Being Human and Temptation (Part I)

We know the enemy of our soul is a liar, a manipulator and masterful at deception.  From the time he was cast upon the earth, he has attempted to cause us to miss the mark and disappoint our Lord.  Amazingly, he doesn’t seem to let up.  He waits for the perfect time, a time when you are physically exhausted, feeling down mentally or emotionally and/or exasperated with life.  He seems to know when you are most susceptible to his slithering alongside you to whisper a half-truth in your ear.   It might be in the middle of a time of fasting or prayerful concern over a loved one.  It could be that you are experiencing a physical disorder or family life disruption that feels bigger than life itself.  I can almost guarantee that it will be when you least expect it, with your guard down – a total surprise.

It’s a trap and he’s setting you up.  The bait is hanging out in front of you and you’re not thinking correctly, you’re unprepared.  Temptation is an appeal made upon a weakness within you.  That weakness may not even be clearly identified, but it is there or, at the very least, lying dormant.  The enemy wants to resurrect it and defeat you with something you were unprepared to face at the moment you had to face it.  It is a stealth attempt to tap into that weak area, not wanting you to recognize what is happening.  It is blindsiding you, coming from an unexpected direction or angle.  If you allow its pull, you’ll be sucked in before you know it.  It will go from temptation to sin quicker than lighting striking during an electric storm.  In part two, let’s take a closer look at overcoming the evil one’s temptation.


Giving Away My Daughter, the Wedding Day

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of walking my baby girl down the aisle and then doing an about-face and performing the marriage ceremony.  It was a sacred, holy and God-honoring time.  My biggest fear?  Tears.  How do you look at your daughter of 28 years and perform the ceremony to give her “away?”  As I started by sharing some personal stories, we both cried.  But then I had the privilege of speaking a ten-minute message to this husband and wife to be.

I take personal issue with long and boring wedding messages that are more about the messenger than the couple receiving the message.  I decided that four quick points would suffice (how many listeners would remember even one of them?).  1. Marriage is a creation act of God; it’s from the beginning.  Therefore, it precedes Christianity by a few thousand years (Genesis 2:24).  That said, Christ agreed with this creation act, as the New Covenant was about to unfold, one man with one woman – a holy union (Matthew 19:4-6). 2. The purpose of marriage is not to have my needs met or even marrying the right person.  The purpose of marriage is about becoming the right person, a Christ-like person, as the challenges of married life grow us up.  3. The “why” of marriage is our personal marriage mission statement.  As God had a mission in sending His Son, we too have a mission in marriage.  4. Always, always, always remember the six most important words in marriage, “I am sorry, I was wrong.”  And, consider making it nine words with the addition of: “Please forgive me.”  Congratulations my beautiful one.


Encouragement, Small Groups, Training

The Law of Attribution II

Last week we gave a clear example of the law of attribution in someone’s life.  Did you think of any examples from your own life?  When we believe something to be stress producing, it will be.  I have been in many traffic jams and find it rather amusing as I look around at the different reactions among drivers.  One driver is visibly frustrated and on their phone, another on their GPS trying to find an alternative route, others are yelling at someone in the car or at no one and still another is just sitting there calmly reading a book.  What is the difference between the one yelling and the one reading?  It’s the same traffic jam.  No one is going anywhere and yet one is enjoying the moment and another is steaming with anger.  That which we attribute to be stress producing will be.

Is there an answer to this dilemma?  Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.”  Jesus never feared the storm.  In fact, He even slept through one in the bottom of a boat.  I love Psalm 112:7 which says, “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”  Why?  Verse eight tells us, “His heart is secure, he will have no fear…” We make the choice to be in fear, in anxiety or stress.  When we do so, we are saying that our issue is too big for God to handle or be concerned with.  And that thought, my friend, is full of pride.

Children, Leadership, Training

The Law of Attribution

I was helping a middle-aged man with a fear of suspended bridges a number of years ago.  His fear was that he literally could not drive his car across them.  He had to plan all of his travel in such a manner that he did not cross a bridge that spanned a river or a mountain valley.  Imagine how limiting that would make life.  After some digging around, he told me that when he was a young boy he and his grandfather were stopped in construction traffic at the peak of one of those bridges.  When you are just sitting on the amazing expanse of such a structure, you can actually feel the bridge sway.  It literally moves underneath your vehicle.  His grandfather began saying, “Do you feel that?”  Further, he teased his young heart and mind with, “The bridge is collapsing, THE BRIDGE IS COLLAPSING and we’re going to end up in the river.”

A spirit of fear came over the young man that day and it still gripped him as he sat before me shaking with the memory exposed.  To this man, bridges were something to fear.  A lie was spoken to him through innocent teasing and his soul and spirit received the lie.  The Law of Attribution, defined, says, “That which you attribute to be fearful and stress producing will be.”   When approaching a bridge, a warning light and alarm went off within him and told him to avoid it, pull over and back up.  There was no truth in the lie, but still fresh and deep within his memory bank.  What do you attribute to be fearful, anxiety or depression producing?  How has the law of attribution been put into effect within your life?  Stay tuned for more on the subject next week.