The better thing doesn’t always seem like the better thing. There is a reason for that and it leads us away from the best life.
Every time we face temptation of any sort, there is a battle that extends beyond whether we should or shouldn’t take some action. There is a battle for what we believe.
Every….hear that….every temptation is at its core a lie. It is a false advertisement. It is a promise of satisfaction that will not be fulfilled.
Jesus called the evil one a liar (John 8:44). In fact, he said that his native language is lies. Satan is our tempter (Mt 4:3;1 Th 3:5) and he tempts by telling us lies that, if we believe them, will lead us to embrace the offer of temptation.
Let’s say that someone hurts you. The lies start coming…it will feel really good to give them a taste of their own medicine…you should hold onto your anger a while… they don’t deserve forgiveness…you are justified and on and on they come. Lies. The only way to combat lies are with truth. That was Jesus primary defense against Satan during his forty days in the wilderness. Satan would toss out a lie. Jesus threw back truth. Here is a truth to remind yourself of every time you face temptation:
God has better!
That phrase has been rattling around in my mind for the last week. God has better. If temptation is a false offer of life, God has a true and better offer of life.
Temptation is appealing. It draws us in and makes great promises. It looks good. It feels good. It sounds good. It seems like the best choice. That is why it can be such a struggle, but the reality is that God has better for you than anything temptation offers. Telling a lie offers a quick way out. God has better through a clear conscience and relationships based on trust. Porn offers instant pleasure. God has better through a loving marriage, true intimacy and great sex. Selfishness offers what you want. God has better through putting others first and the joy of serving another.
The things of life often push me toward discouragement and worry. There is a strange indulgence that comes by giving in to these things, but God has better. Through faith I can enjoy hope and peace rather than despair and anxiety. Simply reminding myself in that moment that God has better allows me to rise up out of it and assume a more positive position.
Whatever is being dangled before you cannot compare with what God has for you.
Believe it. God’s ways are not restrictive. God’s ways free us to enjoy the fullness of life. God’s ways are life.
The next time temptation comes say to yourself “God has better for me” and choose the better thing. The best life is the one that God has for you.
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