Have you ever felt like you were being led to be brave, step out and do something new? Maybe you sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit to serve God in a new way or new ministry opportunities presented themselves; or maybe just new opportunities even, a new job, a new home, any new territory God is opening up to you.
The excitement wells up within you as you begin to see all of the possibilities. You pray, listen, ask others to pray & listen. You feel a sense of confirmation and you embark on this new journey before you. Then all of the sudden, out of seemingly nowhere, challenges begin to pop up. Circumstances start occurring which make this adventure difficult and lead us to start second guessing ourselves; did we hear right??? Things are just not as we expected they would be. If God has led us here, it should be easy, shouldn’t it?
The devil’s main goal is to steal, kill and destroy all God has for us, (John 10:10).There are temptations he sets before us designed to entice us to get off the path or to trip us up and hinder our progress down the road. The biggest temptation may be to quit, to throw in the towel, to believe all of the lies that whisper, “you’re not good enough, you don’t have the talents or the skills, find an easier way.” Sometimes though, the voices tell a different set of lies, the ones that shout “are you going to put up with this, you are better than this, just do the thing that is going to end those circumstances that make you uncomfortable.”
The enemy tries to feed our fear or our pride and if we succumb to either temptation, we lose sight of where God is trying to lead us and of receiving the blessing He fully intends for us to have. God will Himself never tempt us, (James 1:13) but at times He does allow us to be tempted so that we can learn to use His power in us and that our faith will be strengthened. 1 Peter 5:10 “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
It is interesting to me that the Greek word “tempted” used in the story of Jesus time in the wilderness can also be translated as “tested”. The account begins by telling us that “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” for the purpose of being tested.
But Jesus did not wander in to His time of testing unprepared. His mind and heart were deeply rooted in the Word of God, which provided for Him, in His humanity, a way of escape and an answer to the enemy’s attempts to ruin God’s plans. As the devil presented these temptations, Jesus relied on the promises found in scripture as His refuge. The word of God emboldened Jesus to rebuke the lies instead of receive them as fact. By doing so, He gave us an example we can follow; hide God’s word in our hearts. (Read Matthew 4:1-11)
Even when we are excited about the future or the path we are on, life is going to be full of temptations, challenges and trials. May I suggest that we prepare ourselves early on? We need to arm ourselves now with scripture verses that will protect us from the lies of the enemy and remind us of our purpose for following the leading of the Spirit to whatever place He will take us to next.
Learn to answer the lies of the devil with the truths of God. Go forward, knowing that God will be there for you during this time. That He has given you the tools for overcoming. He will allow you to be tested but as you look to Him, He will strengthen you and provide you with a way of escape from your temptations. It may be challenging but it will be worth it!
1 Corinthians 10:13“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
I would love to hear about a time you successfully overcame a temptation and what helped or to pray for you as you go through I specific challenge, please use the comments section to share your thoughts on the matter.