I’ve had a couple people comment that they love the videos [and so do I, by the way], but they don’t want me to stop writing…because they like to hear what I have to say? I’m not sure I get that, because I’m not really sure what I have to say that hasn’t already been said. But nonetheless, it has been my plan to share my thoughts on my blog tonight….and I just now decided what I want to write about. You wouldnt think it would be that big of a decision, but for some reason it was tough for me tonight.
I finally decided that I would discuss our recent sermon series at Westside dealing with temptation. Every Sunday I have left feeling very challenged, which hasn’t happened for a while. I think a lot of people have been challenged by it. I really haven’t sat down and processed it yet. And if I can be honest, I’d say it might be because I’m worried I might feel even more convicted than when I heard the sermons for the first time. Not because I have some deep dark addiction I’m hiding from the world, but because I know there is still a deep human selfishness residing in me that I white-knuckle hold onto.
My heart longs to chase God as fast, and as long, and as hard as He is moving in front of me but there are still deep desires in me that cause me to halt because for some reason I think I can provide for myself better than He can. I run towards Him as fast as possible, but there are some roads I hesitate to run down because in my perspective, He’s taking me even further from the things I truly want…a relationship, committed friendships, affirmation, success, security, trust, love, etc. But He’s the one who instilled those desires in me in the first place….they are true, real, pure, beautiful, God-given desires. So why do I not run full force in the direction He is leading me? Doesn’t He already know these things that I want..because He put them there? And isn’t He trying to lead me down the path that will fulfill the desires I so long to be satisfied?
Instead, I slam on my breaks and come to a screeching halt if He makes any sudden moves which pull me away from the path I think will get me what I want. These are the temptations I face…that most of us face. Sure, we face those addictive temptations sometimes, but more often than not, we will find ourselves staring in the face with the temptation of control, will, and self-desires. Who’s going to be in charge?
Westside’s series, titled PAUSE, encourages us to stop and think about how we will respond to temptation because satan’s main goal is to get us to strictly focus on the immediate rather than the permanent. Satan’s goal is to strip us from our family, our future and our faith.
The PAUSE series covered three main temptations which I will cover in greater detail in the days to follow:
1. The temptation to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.
2. The temptation to manipulate God rather than cooperate with God.
3. The temptation to pursue the right things in the wrong way.
Join me as I process how these temptations affect my own life, and how they may affect yours. Sorry this was so long, but thanks for reading.