When Tempted Change Your Focus

Focus Focus 8Image via Wikipedia

'...submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee...'
James 4:7

Pastor Jon Walker writes: 'When Tolstoy was a boy he started "The White Polar Bear Club". To become a member you had to stand for 30 minutes and not think of a white polar bear. Have you ever intentionally tried not to think about something? It's almost impossible! We often handle temptation in a similar fashion. We think we can stand near it, and if we don't think about it we'll have the victory. The problem is, the more we try not to concentrate on it the more it becomes the centre of our focus... the longer we think about not submitting the more likely it is that we will.

The Bible says: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7 NIV). We quote the latter half of the verse, but if all you're doing is focusing on the devil you're still focusing on the temptation. I'm not suggesting... you shouldn't say, "Get thee behind me, satan." I'm saying you can't do it in your own strength; you do it by humbling yourself before God, recognising that He's your strength... When you keep your eyes on Him the Devil will flee because you're resisting him by embracing God. Be humble enough to seek help. A sure sign you're about to fall is when you think, "I can handle this on my own." See this as an urgent alarm to submit to God and say, "Lord, I need your strength and wisdom. Lead me not into temptation." Then walk away from the temptation. And if you need to, call a friend for prayer and accountability.'

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Abbey said…
I adore Tolstoy and post a lot of his quotes. Your beginning ..about not thinking about the polar bear ... reminded me of last night when I had a song humming in my brain and I lay in bed fighting it, trying to stop it so I could go to sleep. So true, the more you fight it, etc.

I completely agree with the way to rid one of Satan's control, or temptation to control. I have lived it and can attest to it. There is so much of God exuding from me that Satan didn't walk away, he ran!! And I bless the homes of my children and their children, casting Satan back to the fires of hell in the name of Jesus Christ.

I look all around me and find people who are hurting and trying to fix things by themselves. They SAY they are believers, yet they still do not come to the Father with their troubles. Nor to they give them up and forget them, having trust and faith that the Father is going to take care of them in His time.

I feel my spirit blossoming more fully this Lentent Season. I feel great, I think great, I feel the love .... it is so ..... so ... well, it's indescribable.

Pietro said…
In the Lord's Prayer there are the words "Lead me not into temptation...", which in fact mean "help me, Lord, to overcome the temptation" or "Lord, avert from me the temptation".