Focus on God's Plan
In His Presence: . . . so we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures (James 1:18).
To overcome temptation, the final element we must focus on is God’s plan. James 1:18 refers to believers as the “first fruits” among God’s creatures. First fruits are things of utmost value. In the Old Testament, the first fruits refers to the tithe to bring to the Lord. The first ten percent of what was accumulated went to Him. Giving the first fruits to God shows that He is the priority because He receives the best portion. Here, God says in His Word that we are the first fruits of His creation. Nothing God ever made is more important to Him than His saints, His people.
God has mighty plans for us, and we shouldn’t let the devil convince us otherwise. To believe the devil’s lies is to live beneath what God has in store for us. If we want our behavior to change, we must believe the truth that we are special to God. That will impact the way we live and the choices we make. We will want to please and obey Him.
Dogs are trained using the tool of temptation. The dog’s master will throw a piece of red meat in front of the dog. The first time the dog sees the meat, he goes after it because that’s his nature. The master corrects the dog and says, “No, look at me.” The master throws some more meat down, and the dog moves to get it, but the master says, “Stay! Look at me!” You know that the dog is trained when it stops looking at the meat and keeps his focus on the master. The dog can handle the presence of the meat because his focus is on the master.
One Minute Please
Christians can overcome temptation when their eyes are focused not on the temptation, but on God’s character, Word, and plan.
Rather than viewing the cross as an historical event that will take us to heaven, we ought to view it as a current event containing everything we need to bring heaven to bear on earth.
In The Power of the Cross, Tony Evans carefully and pastorally applies the cross of Christ to life today. In three parts, he considers:
• What makes Christ unique; how Old Testament prophecy and typology looked ahead to Him; and how His humiliation, death and resurrection sets Him apart as Lord
• What was accomplished on the cross for us, how it is to be the centerpiece of our lives, and how it's a source of authority for us
• What is the power of the cross and the stability it provides, deliverance it offers, the power of its ongoing remembrance, and more
The cross is the hinge of history. How much more, then, is it the hinge of your life? It gained more for you than you may realize; do not make the grave error of overlooking it. As a thank you for your gift of any amount, we’ll get this brand new book, The Power of the Cross, out to you right away.