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Tempted

The Testing Of Your Faith


What use is it, if someone says they have faith but no works? Can that faith save them? If a person is without clothing and in need of food, and you say to them, “Go in peace, be covered and filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (James 2:14-16). Is there a person in your life that is without clothing (help) and in need of something to eat (spiritual food)? Are you that person?

I’m going to use the figurative language of “clothing” and “food” to *self-control* and *wisdom* for my case. Because I do not know and will not presume to know what help you need without learning your heart (so feel invited to reach out to me). But learning of my embarrassment might help you. It’s embarrassing, as well it should be, to confess my recent lack of self-control to my wife and brothers in Christ. It wasn’t that I’d looked at pornography or sought anything out to feed this duress of orgasmic relief. But to keep it “C” rated, Christian rated. I uhhh, “choked the chicken” if you will, and the chicken liked it. I know, deranged, I agree. But the heart of my issue is a relationship between respect and worship.

I say that my faith is in Jesus Christ. So why then am I still given over to these lustful temptations? Why hasn’t the Holy Spirit removed the struggle of sin from my life?

My struggle of respect is subcategory to the root issue of pride. I think to myself, “now that the Holy Spirit lives within me I’ve overcome sin.” Give special attention to the I’ve of that thought process. Now … because I was given over to the lust of my heart being a christian can handle it one of two ways. Get frustrated enough to say, “Sense I’m unable to resist the urge; I must not be saved, and or am stepping away from faith for now.” (John 6:66) (confused about the power of faith) or “I’m a sinner saved by grace through faith, it’s not of myself, but is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) and confess it for healing (knocked down, but it’s not over, let’s do this). Share this post if you know someone that can relate to this because they’re not alone. We are in this fight together in Christ.

“Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.”

Psalm 26:2

I don’t want to be like the disciples that walked away just because the testing of their faith was hard (John 6:66). This will be hard to hear because it’s hard to ask, but in love. Are you a coward? Am I a coward? Let’s brow beat about it! Listen, only your friends are going to tell you what you need to hear and I want to be your friend even if you don’t like me. Believe me, I don’t like myself a lot of the time. I mean…my poor wife (I love you honey). I digress.

It is especially difficult to recognize the “clothing” *self-control* I need if I don’t respect anyone telling me where I’m wrong or allow them to help me let alone the Lord my God and Father in Heaven by the power of His Spirit in the Word of His Son—the gospel. It is a hard HIT to my pride when I think I’ve overcome sin that I never overcame nor will ever overcome MYSELF.

This is the GIFT and LOVE of God; that He gave the ONLY ONE capable of overcoming sin, and it took DYING for it to be overcome.

Just because I was baptized in reflection of the death of Christ does not qualify me as having overcome sin (as though I did it myself). It means that I recognize that I’m not capable of overcoming sin (which brings me to the point of death saying “I’m a sinner” in need of saving from this death) and will always NEED the spiritual food {bread and wine} of JESUS CHRIST {blood and body} which is eternal salvation for my soul (Holy Spirit inspired Word of God). That is why I rejoice in these trials and tribulations even when I miss the mark because Christ my Lord DID NOT MISS THE MARK!

I mean … writing this gets me pumped up and ready for war like the appearance of God just showed up having eyes a flame of fire clothes dipped in blood and His name called The Word of God that strikes down the beast and kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS! (Revelation 19). So…

…don’t let sin convince you of your worth to God, you are tested because you are worthy of His love.

I encourage you as a brother of the faith in Jesus Christ, you’re not alone and we need each other. Read Hebrews chapter 12! My (food) *wisdom* is found there. But here is a piece of it—

“4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”

Also, the action steps I’ve taken to go to war against the present duress of sin is memorizing:


If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)


 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:7-10)


 

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