January 26, 2017
Have you ever been tempted to make seemingly small compromises in the short term that had the potential to take you away from God’s best in the long term?
I know this struggle all too well. But I also know that those small compromises build upon one another until they become a big pile of regret.
Temptation of any kind is Satan’s invitation to get our needs met outside the will of God.
One of the subtle ways he does this is to plant the hesitant thought in our mind that God will not meet our needs — that God is not enough. Satan wants us to feel alone and abandoned, so that we turn to his offerings instead. It’s the seduction of satisfaction.
Often the script that plays in our head is, “I need __________ so I can be satisfied.”
It’s what sends the wife on a budget off on a spending spree. She feels the thrill of the sale in the moment. But as she’s hiding the bags from her husband, shame creeps in.
It’s what pulls at the business woman to work harder and longer and refuse to build boundaries in her schedule. Always chasing that next accomplishment or that next compliment but it’s never enough.
It’s what sent me on many eating sprees. The kids were loud, the house was messy, the demands felt beyond my control. So with great justification I’d indulge only to have a bloated stomach and a deflated heart.
This subtle message sold to us by Satan can be exposed when we understand the difference between a need and a want.
All of the examples above were wants — not needs. But oh, how Satan wants to make them one and the same.
When the difference between these two words starts getting skewed, we start compromising. We start justifying. And it sets us up to start getting our needs met outside the will of God. The abyss of discontentment invites us in and threatens to darken and distort everything in our world.
Listen, Satan is a liar. The more we fill ourselves with his distorted desires, the more empty we’ll feel. That’s true with each of the desires mentioned above. The more we overspend, overwork or overeat — the more empty we feel. Remember, Satan wants to separate you from God’s best plans. He wants to separate you from God’s proper provision. He wants to separate you from God’s peace.
God’s provision sustains life. Satan’s temptation drains life.
God’s provision in the short term will reap blessings in the long term. Satan’s temptation in the short term will reap heartache in the long term.
God’s provision satisfies the soul. Satan’s temptation gratifies the flesh.
Oh sweet sister, we must consider these realities when making choices today. We’re all just a few poor choices away from doing things we never thought we would. Especially when our hearts are in a vulnerable place of longing for something that God hasn’t yet provided.
And the time to prevent destruction from temptation is before it ever starts.
We are either holding fast to God’s promise or being lured by a compromise. And isn’t it interesting that the word promise is right there in the midst of that word com(promise)?
God promises, “I will meet all your needs according to the riches of My Glory in Christ Jesus,” (paraphrase, Philippians 4:19). He is everything we need and so perfectly capable of filling in the gaps of our wants as well. We must let truth seep deep into the longings of our soul. Otherwise lies are prone to creep into this place of our desire.
Yes. We must trust God. Embrace truth. Live His promise.
Dear Lord, help me to focus only on Your provision in my life today. I don’t want to be separated from You, Your best plans for me or Your peace. Help me notice when the enemy is trying to entice me with false desires, because they only lead to emptiness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Matthew 26:41, ”Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (NIV)
Are the words Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago really applicable to the answers our hearts are searching for today? Join us as we learn more about finding truth and hope in Christ with Lysa TerKeurst’s new Bible study, Finding I AM: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart. Get your copy here.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are there any areas in your life where you know you’ve been compromising instead of waiting on God’s provision? Spend some time in prayer today. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and strength. And then thank Him that His plans for you are good and that you absolutely can trust His timing and His ways.
© 2017 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.