Tag: Temptation

The Esau Mentality

Have you ever given up something or given up a good opportunity which has long term benefits in exchange to satisfy yourself with something that gives you immediate but temporary gratification?
Do you usually make decisions mostly according to your immediate impulse?
Would you exchange an intangible opportunity with long term benefits for something which will only give you short term satisfaction?

Genesis 25:29-34 NKJV
Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.*
But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”
So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Esau was a man who seemed to not care much about the long term effects of his actions. He was a man who seemed only concerned with satisfying his immediate needs; he was a man whose mind and whose decisions were governed by obtaining immediate and short-term gratification to the extent that he would give up anything of long term value in order to satisfy a temporary and self-gratifying need.
Such was Esau’s mentality that one point in his life, he exchanged his birthright with his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of stew.

A birthright was a special honour given to the firstborn son. It included a double portion of the family inheritance along with the honour of one day becoming the family’s leader. The oldest son could sell his birthright or give it away if he chose to, but in doing so he would lose both material goods, and his leadership position.

Therefore by trading his birthright for a bowl of stew, Esau showed complete disregard for the spiritual and material blessings that would have come his way if he had kept his birthright. This is why the scripture says that Esau “despised” his birthright (Genesis 25:34).

When Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate but temporary pleasure of food, he acted according to his feelings; he was governed by impulse rather than by wisdom; he was tempted to satisfy his immediate desires without considering the long range consequences of his actions and he was a slave to the flesh.

There are many people who are like Esau; who fall into the same temptations and who think only about acquiring short term pleasure rather than long term fulfillment.

The Esau mentality was also such that he exaggerated the depth of his need. When Esau was hungry and in need of Jacob’s food, Esau’s perception of his problem/hunger was distorted and exaggerated. He told Jacob that he was about to die because of his hunger (Genesis 25:32). Therefore the pressure of the moment grossly distorted his perspective in regards to his situation.

 

Overcoming the Esau Mentality

To overcome the Esau mentality, one must begin the process of changing their attitude and perspective so that they view life and circumstances through the eyes of God and not through a distorted view that is based merely on fleshly desire; on impulse, emotion or the need for immediate gratification.

This involves applying the following knowledge in your life:

  1. Lining your own thoughts with God’s thoughts; think like God (Isaiah 55:6-9)
  2. You must realize and understand that immediate gratification is usually temporary but there are blessings in life that exist that are long term (Matthew 6:19-21)
  3. Temptation can only be overcome by having knowledge of God’s scriptures and choosing to apply God’s word in your daily life and situation. Jesus overcame temptation by quoting scripture every time that he was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11)
  4. For any temptation that comes your way, God has provided a way of escape. So don’t allow temptation to overpower you (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

Qualities of a Soldier of Christ

2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

Whether you are aware of it or not – every day you are in a battle.The devil has a plan for your life. It is to kill, steal and destroy everything that is good and Godly in your life.God has a plan for you too. It is ultimately that you may have fellowship with Him and to have eternal life through His Son Jesus.

However, God and the devil are at war over you and over your life – and you must choose a side. You can’t sit on the fence. Because the fight is MORE a spiritual battle than a physical one. The fight is not entirely between people – but the fight is between ideas, values and beliefs. The fight is between God’s values and the devil’s values. The fight is between God’s principles and the devil’s principles. The fight is between the kingdom of God and the forces of the devil. This is what is called “spiritual warfare”.

In this spiritual warfare, we need to be equipped and we need to have the qualities and the discipline of a soldier of Christ. Therefore we are required to

1. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10)
2. Put on the WHOLE armor of God (Ephesians 6:10)
3. Submit to God and always draw close to God (James 4:7,8)
4. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
5. Not conform to worldly standards (Romans 12:2)
6. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
7. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
8. Be thankful always (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
9. Watch your thought life (Philippians 4:6-9)
10. Trust God and not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5,6)
11. Meditate and apply God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16)
12. Apply the blood of Jesus (Revelations 12:11)
13. Love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40)
14. Let God fight the battle (Exodus 14:14)

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

You are not going to win a spiritual battle with your own intellect or with your own strength and effort. You will win it when you involve God and you use the equipment that God has given you.

TODAY. Have the qualities of a soldier of Christ. Equip yourself EVERYDAY for the battle.

 

 

Pride of Life (The Devil Tempts Jesus – Part 4)

The pride of life is defined as a worldly characteristic which leads a person to be arrogant, boastful, conceited and reliant on one’s own wisdom rather than on God.

Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Even the devil can quote scripture in order to tempt somebody. When the devil quotes scripture though, he will quote the Bible out of context with the aim of misguiding those who do not know the TRUTH of God’s word.
By trying to tempt Jesus to jump off the temple, the devil wanted Jesus to test God’s love and God’s promises. God does not need to be tested. He is perfect and He keeps His promises. Testing God would imply that we know better than God. Testing God would also imply that we believe God is imperfect or that we have doubts about God’s sincerity and whether God is able to accomplish certain things on our behalf.

Genesis 3:4-6
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Even when Adam and Eve was tempted, the devil made Eve doubt God’s sincerity and character by insinuating to Eve that God doesn’t want them to be like Him nor for them to have wisdom or knowledge of good and evil. Therefore Eve gave in to temptation when she thought the fruit from the tree would make her wise. Basically, she thought that God was hiding information from her and she had to test and see if God was telling the truth or not.
Anytime you think you know better than God, you fall into temptation. Anytime you think you know better than God you give in to the pride of life.

In order to avoid falling into the temptation of the pride of life, we always need to have a humble attitude. We also need to remember that God knows MORE than we do, and therefore when He gives us instruction through His word, we must BELIEVE Him and not look for ways to doubt or test His sincerity.

Jesus knew that there was no glory to God if He were listen to the devil by jumping off that temple. The situation was not conducive or appropriate for Him to do so. The motive would be self-centred and wrong and God would not be glorified. Therefore Jesus response to the devil was appropriate “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Lust of the Eyes (The Devil Tempts Jesus – Part 3)


Luke 4:5-8 NKJV

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

Let’s admit it – when the devil tries to tempt you, he’s not going to tempt you with something that appears ugly, horrible, distasteful or hideous. When the devil tempts you he is going to show you (in your mind) an outcome or an appearance that looks attractive.
The problem with what the devil offers is that it is TEMPORARY; it is COUNTERFEIT; it requires that you align your values with the devil; and it therefore leads you away from God.

The devil thought that if he “SHOWED” Jesus the “KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD”, he would be able to lure or appeal to the lust of the eyes in order to get Jesus to worship him in return for worldly power, worldly money and worldly territory. However Jesus knew that ONLY God can offer the best and ONLY God must be served and worshipped.

Genesis 3:6-7 NKJV
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

When the devil tempted Eve, the devil again appealed to the lust of the eyes. The scripture says that Eve “SAW that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the EYES”. Such deception eventually caused her and Adam to give in to temptation. Soon after eating the fruit, they discovered that they were actually tricked, because what the devil promised is not exactly what happened.

Today, the devil still uses the same tricks to tempt people and appeal to the lust of the eyes.
For example, the devil will make you imagine and “see” how rich you would be if you stole that money; how satisfied you would be if you watched that pornographic movie; how you would get your promotion if you slandered your co-worker, etc.

Mark 8:36-38 NKJV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Whatever the world and the devil has to offer is TEMPORARY and it is of no benefit to God or the things of God. When we put the world and the things of the world above God, our actions and thoughts will end up submitting to the devil’s ideals.
Therefore there is NO PROFIT if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul. Because when you die, you take NOTHING from the world with you.

However, when the devil tempts us we must respond with scripture just like Jesus

Luke 4:8 NKJV
And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve

God versus Money – Part 2

In life I’m sure you have discovered that there are people who are willing to betray and kill for money; there are some who are willing to sell their bodies sexually for money; there are some who are willing to destroy businesses and economies for the love of money; some would envy others who have money
In fact, if you think about it, there are some people who are willing to do ANYTHING no matter how bad or sinful if it means that they will receive money for it.

1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Paul does not say that money in itself is evil. However he says that the LOVE OF MONEY is the ROOT of ALL KINDS OF EVIL.
Anything that you love or desire MORE than God becomes your idol. God knows that we need money to transact but He does not desire that we put the love of money above the love of God. Jesus said that “we cannot serve God and mammon (money)” because “for either (we) will hate the one and love the other, or else (we) will be loyal to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24).
The love of money can lead you to betray God on many levels.

Matthew 26:14-16 NKJV
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples of Jesus, betrayed Jesus for money.
The deception of money is that we can be made to incorrectly believe that money or riches can provide EVERYTHING from power, to social, spiritual and material needs.
The deception of money is that it is able to deceive you into believing that it is just like God in terms of supply and the provisions of human needs.

Now am I saying that you shouldn’t desire a good salary and a good life? Of course not. YOU SHOULD NEVER DESIRE TO BE POOR.
However, what is your attitude towards money? Do you have the attitude that money is your source? Or do you have the attitude that GOD is your source? Also are you happy and content with what God has given you at a particular time in your life?

1 Timothy 6:6-9 NKJV
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Therefore be careful not to fall into the temptations, lusts and deception that come with the love of money or with the desire to become rich.
Money can become so useless in its importance that when we were born, it was God and not money who brought us into the world. Even when we die, we will not carry any money with us.

Luke 12:15-21 NKJV
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”