DREAM ON • Stand – 8/6/23

No one plans to wreck a relationship, a marriage, destroy their reputation, become an alcoholic, end up in jail, or participate in something that puts another person at risk. However, these things happen all the time. If you want to live a God-honoring life and pursue your God-given dreams, there are some things you must stay away from, some things you must decide about ahead of time, so that when temptation arises, you will make the right decision. The quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life. The right decision keeps you moving forward on the path to attaining your dream. Bad choices can derail your life, destroy your dream and even worse, destroy your soul. 

Scriptures – Ephesians 3:20-21; John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Matthew 26:41; 2 Corinthians 2:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 10:12-13; Psalm 16:6; Numbers 32:23; Proverbs 16:3

Verses – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ep 3:20-21 NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10) Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (1 Co 16:13) So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Co 10:12) The only temptations that you have are the temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to stand it. (1 Co 10:13)

Thought – When you decide ahead of time, you can stand when temptation comes your way. By waiting to decide until a moment of decision, you risk giving into temptation in the heat of the moment. When you decide in advance, you know who you are, and you know what to do. You understand your future, relationships, and dreams are too important and life is too precious to make a terrible, destructive decision. Satan’s mission is to kill, steal and destroy. He’s a liar. If you don’t decide ahead of time, temptation may overtake you. Next, you need to realize that you are not as strong as you think you are. Over-confidence is dangerous. Thinking you have your temptation in hand, leaves you vulnerable. Don’t overestimate your strength and don’t underestimate the amount of energy it takes to resist temptation! The more you must work and resist, the more it wears you down and drains your willpower. You must always recharge and keep your guard up. Don’t try to dance as close to the line as you can without crossing it. Stay back. Keep some distance! You also need a plan for escaping temptation. The Bible says God won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can stand, and he will make a way of escape. Consider the cost of giving into temptation. A few moments of sin could destroy your marriage, family, career, dreams. What might the cost be. There’s always a cost to sin. You may not have to pay up today or tomorrow, but your sin will catch up with you. With God’s help you can stand because you want to experience God’s best. You want to live with no regrets. Commit everything to the Lord, and he will establish your plans.

Questions – What people, places, or things have you given up because they create too much temptation? What is your greatest temptation? How do you handle a temptation that you cannot avoid. (For example: sweets, alcohol, a person you are attracted to) What decisions have you made ahead of time to help manage temptation when it arises? How does assessing the cost of temptation help to keep you from giving in to temptation?

Response – Decide NOW what you will do in the face of temptation. Don’t overestimate your strength or underestimate the power of the temptation. Plan NOW how you will avoid and get away from temptation when it arises. Consider the cost of giving into temptation. Pray, stay in the word, in Christian fellowship, and in communication with God so you will be able to stand against temptation.

Prayer – Dear Lord, help me to acknowledge the things that tempt me most and to avoid them. I decide now that I will honor you. Keep my heart pure. I want to live with no regrets! In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen!

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