I am sure you’ve noticed it, too: we are all strained and annoyed and weakened by the pandemic situation.
Restrictions, not being able to go where we want to go, see whom we want to see and mingle and gather with whom we would like all the time – it is getting to each and every single one of us.
And we are trapped.
All of us are.
More or less and perhaps in different ways.
And when we are locked down or locked in, we are getting nervous and our mind is starting to turn against us – because we have been thrown out of balance, have been robbed of coping and calming mechanisms… social distancing is not good for our mental health, that’s for sure!
And what happens when we are getting more and more “edgy”, we are starting to look for remedies, for some sort of ease, relief…
That’s where the enemy comes in.
Instead of turning to GOD, we will ALL (all of us, I am no exception!) look for an easy fix, a quick cure – this is our first instinctive reaction.
We will look for something to eat or have a cuppa or a smoke or a drink or we will seek some physical release of tension via exercise or sex (if we have a partner) or masturbation (if we have no partner, but in both cases, it will be abuse – either of our body, the TEMPLE OF GOD, or even of our partner as well as ourselves…
We have ALL been there.
Moments of temptation are part of life.
Because the enemy is part of our life – just as GOD is.
He doesn’t have more power than GOD, he has been defeated, but he is still powerful, especially when we are not watchful or when we are weak – and he has perfected his ways to tempt us, to lure us into sin, promising us relief, relaxation, peace… all those things he doesn’t have, but what he has is the illusion of it!
He has temporary, short term remedies… and we like a quick fix, instant gratification, effortless results… we all do!
And that’s what he is banking on and how he is selling all his fake products.
They are all CARNAL solutions.
And they do work!!!
They all bring fast, temporary relief.
Drugs, alcohol, food, masturbation.
For a minute… or even an hour… or an evening…
It works until the next “edge” comes.
And then we need another dose of whatever we had used to get some relief.
And it will work again the next time.
And the times the relief lasts will become shorter, the urge to use again will become stronger.
We all know it, this is how addiction develops… to alcohol, to pills, drugs, porn… whatever it is… shopping… eating… even house cleaning can become compulsive… or fighting with your spouse…
We need a different approach, don’t you think!!!
I have prayed and pondered about this and the scripture I had read many times came to mind again:
1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Like I said, I had seen this before…
But I would lie if I said this had saved me from temptation.
Never has it.
It didn’t work.
So I was thinking… just like the other promises of GOD in the bible, they can be words and only words, wise words, yes, but not reflective of our own reality of daily life.
Until we APPLY them. Until we stand on this promise!
I remembered that I had had a situation with one of my clients yesterday… he is struggling with substance misuse and the last time we spoke, he had been desperate to get an appointment with the substance misuse service. He had said to me that he is withdrawing and he needs a prescription to help him… we had spoken for a while and also, I had sent him some encouraging words I could come up with via text message the next day…
The content of our conversation was more or less to take it one minute / day at a time, to remember he had done it before, remember where he had come from and what he had now been able to accomplish, to remember what he had going for him and what he had coming up (in his case, it is a vocational exam which will most likely get him a good job really fast if he passes it and also, he is about to move on to his own place – if he doesn’t mess up and has a relapse) – and I learned 2 things from this:
These things are valid for me as well:
In the moments of temptation, we need to take it one minute at a time and remember how far we have come and also remember the consequences of what will happen if we fall… they are never good!
The devil will never give us something for free!
He will always, always, always demand a price sooner or later.
Be it addiction, illness, shame, estrangement, isolation, guilt, defilement, loss, chaos, bondage… the wages of sin is death.
And although in most cases, one time of sinning doesn’t mean that something will “die” or be destroyed immediately, that’s where we are headed.
There will be some sort of destruction if we go down the road where the enemy wants to lead us.
And unless we learn to go about these things in a spiritual way, we will not get anywhere.
He replied to my text message with a little emoji, it was the one with the fortress
I realized that this means strength for him.
And not just for him, it means strength in general…
This made me realize that he is actually training and hypnotizing himself into being and staying strong!
I was very proud of him in that moment and I was happy that some of the things I had said had helped him to connect to his inner strength in that moment…
When I am speaking with GOD about temptation and asking HIM for the way to escape, this is something HE replies to me as well:
Be strong, my daughter!
I have found a metaphor, a picture of strength for me and this means so much, not just in terms of representing strength, but also, I love this as a metaphor for my KING, my HERO, my SAVOIR, my WARRIOR and the one that loves me fierce-fully, forcefully, bravely and endlessly, THE LION OF JUDAH…
I love this post on instagram that I saw the other day:
The lion is the symbol for strength, majesty and victory for me.
And MY lion, THE LION OF JUDAH, has won it all.
HE will help me win, too.
HE will help me fight all the temptations the enemy will bring my way.
With HIM and through HIM, I, too can win and overcome.
This is the way that GOD has shown me.
The way to escape temptation…
What have you found, my friend?
Do you think you could try this?
Or do you have anything to add?
What is your symbol for strength?
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal, bless and encourage you.
And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you PEACE. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.