Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Resisting Fleshly Appetites

Ephesians 2:1-7

The Holy Spirit guides believers to make wise and righteous decisions. But when Christians fail to listen, they can make choices that appeal to the flesh instead.

After the serpent spoke to Eve, she no doubt took a long look at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). Whatever she might have thought about the tree before, she now saw it with new eyes flesh-focused eyes. Genesis 3 tells us that the forbidden tree appealed to Eve in three ways: 1) it was good for food, 2) it was a delight to the eyes, and 3) it was desirable to make one wise.

In other words, the tree could fulfill three legitimate human appetites: the desire for tasty meals, beauty, and wisdom. There is nothing wrong with these God-given yearnings. The Lord created a variety of food and an earth packed with breathtaking sights so that people could enjoy them. He also offers the Holy Spirit as a source of His true wisdom and knowledge. In fact, it is the Spirit who teaches believers to keep fleshly appetites under control and in balance.

Meanwhile, Satan works very hard at corrupting healthy desires. He abhors seeing people’s appetites satisfied. What he wants is to watch a person lusting after a good thing until he or she is controlled by the impulse to have it.

The Devil is pleased when people make themselves slaves to a desire that in the proper context the Lord intended to be enjoyed freely. A believer walking in the Holy Spirit rejects gluttony, preferring desires that are within God’s boundaries instead. That’s how we get His very best.

Enduring Satanic Attacks

Ephesians 6:10-14

Every believer faces temptation. Take a moment to recall a particularly enticing situation involving something that would displease God. Did you realize you were involved in a satanic battle.

The Devil is real. Scripture reveals that he leads an army of fallen angels and is prideful enough to think he can gain victory over God. By definition, a satanic attack is a deliberate assault upon an individual, which is designed to cause spiritual, physical, material, or emotional harm. Satan desires to thwart the Lord’s purpose in believers’ lives, to rob them of joy and peace, and ultimately to deny God the worship He receives through yielded followers.

As in any war, knowing the enemy’s plan helps us prepare for the attack. First, be aware that the battlefield takes place in our minds. To walk in a godly manner with Christ, we must first be sure that our thoughts are in submission to His Spirit. This takes daily surrender and time in God’s Word. Second, Satan tempts us during vulnerable moments. Be cautious when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (This is often known as the H.A.L.T. warning). Third, he is deceptive; we won’t recognize the trap as an evil scheme. Instead, it will seem good, and we’ll likely wrestle with some sort of doubt.

As Christians, we should walk closely with Jesus. Satan desires to lure us into destructive actions that rob us of God’s plan for a good, full life. Stay connected to the Savior: read the Word, pray, and fellowship with other believers. These are weapons we use against the Devil in spiritual war.

True Spiritual Growth

James 1:17-27

If you want to genuinely grow in spiritual maturity, it is not enough to simply be instructed by the Word of God. You may love going to church or listening to Christian radio programs. You might talk about everything you hear and assume you’re growing because your knowledge is increasing. However, if you don’t actually grow closer to God by allowing His Word to change you from the inside out, your head will merely continue to fill with information. You might even sound like a godly person who is admired for the ability to quote chapter and verse. But if you don’t take the next step and allow God to touch others’ lives through you, you’re missing the point.

Spiritual growth is the result of practicing the truth you receive from God. He wants you to give away what He gives you–that is, by loving and serving others and sharing the truth of the gospel. Our example is Jesus, who said that He did not come to be served, but to serve even the lowest outcasts in His society (Matt. 20:28). He could have exalted Himself and spent all His time preaching and teaching. Instead, Jesus did only the Father’s will, which was to reveal His heart of love to a broken world. The Lord sacrificially involved Himself in people’s lives, and He calls us to follow in His footsteps.

God’s plan is to reach the world through you. If that weren’t the case, He would have taken you to heaven as soon as you were saved. But you are here for a purpose–to live out Christ’s life alongside hurting people who desperately need to experience His love.

A Godly Heart


Psalms 37:1-8

The Lord promises to give us the desires of our hearts. But many people take this passage out of context, forgetting that their own mindset plays a vital part in bringing it to fruition. As my mother once said, “Where your mind goes, your feet go, so be careful what you think about.”

What is your responsibility when it comes to claiming promises from God?

Delight yourselves in the Lord (Ps. 37:4). Christians should rejoice in God and desire to walk in obedience. The Lord must have first place in your life before you can claim the promise in this verse.

Commit your way to the Lord (v. 5). Allow God to change any aspect of your ambition that is not His will.

Remember that when He doesn’t answer a prayer as you wished, it is for a reason.

Trust in Him (v. 5). God is merciful, all-knowing, kind, and generous. You can trust Him with your hopes and dreams.

Rest in Him (v. 7). Resting in the Lord means trusting Him to answer prayers in His timing or transform your aspirations so they conform to His will.

Wait upon the Lord patiently (v. 7). Jesus waited three decades before beginning His three-year ministry on earth. According to His example, waiting is one of the key principles of Christian living.

Do your desires align with God’s purpose and plan for your life? He longs to give His followers abundant blessings and fullness of joy. So allow your dreams to be conformed to the Lord’s will, and follow His guidance faithfully. Only when you surrender to Him will you experience God’s best for your life.

Building Bridges to the Kingdom

Matthew 25:31-34

Scripture refers to “the kingdom of God” frequently, but many people are unclear as to its meaning. Let’s look at the past, present, and future reality of this concept.

The first thing we must realize is that the heavenly kingdom refers to everything under Christ’s control. At the moment of salvation, we are transferred from the reign of darkness to the bright authority of Jesus. And we are eternally secure in Him.

As today’s verses explain, Jesus’ kingdom and reign have been planned since the foundation of the world. From the beginning, God has been preparing mankind for what is to come. One way was by using prophets to foretell how He would redeem humanity and sovereignly rule over heaven and earth.

Once Jesus came and gave His life, He established the “present” kingdom. This isn’t a geographical locale; it’s a term describing the heart, where God’s Holy Spirit indwells believers to guide, counsel, and empower.

But there is also a future aspect of the kingdom, which we can anticipate with excitement. You are probably familiar with the words “Thy kingdom come” from the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2). This speaks of the new heaven and new earth, where we will enjoy freedom from pain and sin. There, we will worship Jesus with gladness and joy for all eternity.

As God’s kingdom ambassadors, we who are His children have the responsibility and privilege of sharing the good news: Through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, all who trust in Him are forgiven of sin and assured of eternal life with God. Whom can you tell about this amazing gift?

God Is At Work

John 5:16-19

Throughout the Bible, we observe God at work in people’s lives. Sometimes He acts in dramatic fashion, as in parting the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape the Egyptian army. At other times it may appear as if He’s not taking any action. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother needed His help, but Christ delayed before traveling to their home (John 11:3-6).

Our Father has given us the Holy Spirit to help us recognize His presence and handiwork. The Spirit cultivates spiritual discernment in us so we can understand when and where He’s at work.

In addition to spiritual discernment, we must develop patience because the Lord operates according to His timetable, not ours. After being promised numerous descendants, Abrahan had to wait until he and Sarah were beyond childbearing years before she conceived. Impatience can cause us to take matters into our own hands and make mistakes.

The Lord’s efforts can bring delight, as was the case when Hannah bore a child (1 Sam. 1:27-2:1). His plan can also lead through painful times, which was Joseph’s experience. Before the Lord elevated him to a position of authority to help his family, Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned.

Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. We will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith when we recognize the ways in which God is operating. These glimpses of His handiwork will motivate us to stay the course and help us maintain a godly perspective on life.

Seeing Obstacles Through God’s Eyes

Joshua 2

Jericho was the first city that the Israelites needed to conquer in their quest for the land of Canaan. When Joshua sent a pair of spies to check it out, he probably didn’t realize that he would receive a glimpse of God’s impressive behind-the-scenes activity.

God wants us to look at every obstacle through the lens of His unlimited strength and resources. Anything that appears to block His plans is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His sovereign power. Just because we don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean He’s inactive.

Always remember that God is at work on the other side of our obstacles, arranging the details and bringing His plans to fruition. When the spies returned to Joshua, they reported that the people of Jericho were scared to death. Having heard about the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, they were gripped by fear of the Lord.

The stage was set for the conquest, yet by that point, Joshua had done nothing. Sometimes we think we need to be involved in the solution to our problem, but God is not limited with regard to whom or what He can use to accomplish His will. In this case, He worked in the hearts of the enemy by instilling demoralizing fear.

For Christians, great obstacles need not be reasons for discouragement. Although much of the Lord’s activity is silent and invisible, we can be sure He is dynamically working out His will for our lives. When the pieces of His plan are in place, He will move us on to victory.

The Cross The Believer’s Victory

1 Corinthians 1:17-31

From a worldly perspective, Christ’s death signaled His defeat. After all, dying in agony on a cross hardly seems like the path to victory. But it was! And He did it all for us. Because Jesus triumphed over death, we can be victorious in life. Just consider what He won for us by sacrificing Himself on the cross.

Our Eternal Salvation: The cross was the means of our salvation. Without it, we’d have no hope of heaven. If Christ hadn’t died in our place, we’d have to stand before God and receive the just punishment for every sin we’ve ever committed.

Power over Sin: Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sin; He also brought us present victory over it. When He was crucified, our old sinful nature died with Him (Rom. 6:6). The power of the “flesh” was broken, and Jesus now lives His triumphant life through us. That means we are no longer enslaved to sin and can choose obedience to God.

Defeat of Satan: At the crucifixion, the list of decrees against us was nailed to the cross, and the Devil lost his power over our lives (Col. 2:13-15). None of his accusations can stick, because God holds nothing against us anymore. And now every time we yield to the Spirit within us, Satan is defeated once again.

Christ met all our needs on the cross. By making us a part of His family, He gave us a sense of belonging. When He died in our place, He affirmed our value. And by coming to live His life through each believer, He gives us the ability to live a victorious, obedient life.

Conquering Fear

Conquering Fear

Psalms 63

Every one of us will experience moments of apprehension, and denial or trying to hide from it will do no good. When fear arises, ask yourself the following questions: Where does it come from? (You know it isn’t from God.) Has God ever failed me in the past? Does He promise to meet all of my needs? Does He keep His promises?

If we read the Bible, we’ll find countless stories of God’s faithfulness. For example, Paul lived through hardship, persecution, pain, and all kinds of terrible circumstances. The apostle wrote these well-known words: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). This testifies to the fact that for those who trust in Him, God turns every difficulty, loss, and separation into something good.

From Abraham to Isaiah to David to Job to Jonah to Paul to John, we see God’s constant love and care for His people. His Word is a lamp that will give us clear guidance when circumstances are bleak. It offers the best direction we will ever find. When we meditate upon it, pray over it, grapple with it, and incorporate it into our lives, His light chases away the darkness. The psalms, in particular, are helpful in dealing with fear.

God, the sovereign ruler of this universe, is in control of your life. Don’t make the mistake of thinking He isn’t, simply because He does not operate according to your will and schedule. If you read your Bible and meditate on it, you will find genuine strength in His promises.

Failing to Listen to God

Genesis 3

Listening to God is not a onetime event. We must continually keep His Word before us, or we’ll begin to listen to the wrong voices.

In Genesis 2:16-17, the Lord gave a command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Eve began to listen to another voice and did not hold firmly to her Creator’s words. All that Satan had to do was plant a single doubt about God’s integrity and offer Eve one appealing advantage of doing things her own way and she fell for it. He mentioned wisdom, but using her own reasoning, Eve added two more benefits to the temptation: the fruit is good for food and a delight to the eyes.

The schemes of the Enemy have not changed. He still whispers lies and twists truth to convince us that a) God cannot be trusted and b) His ways are not the best. In every temptation, there is a deception about the character and motive of God, plus an attractive promise of a better way.

The world is filled with voices that vie for our attention and influence our thoughts and actions. Throughout the day, consider the messages that are sent your way through the media and people. Consciously begin to compare them to what Scripture says about God and His ways.

Remembering what God says in the Bible is our safeguard against deception and temptation. Daily devotions won’t protect us if they’re quickly forgotten during the day. Follow Christ’s example: be ready with truth in your mind and on your tongue whenever temptation strikes (Matt. 4:1-11).

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑