Thursday, October 13, 2005

How to Recover from Temptation

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Bill Keller wrote a wonderful devotional today
that I highly recommend to you. He has given
me permission to copy his e-mails, and I'm sure
he would be happy if you would share this with
people you know as well.


(Matthew 26:41, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 John 4:4)

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body
is weak." Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

"No temptation has seized you except what is
common to man. And God is faithful; he will not
let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But
when you are tempted, he will also provide a way
out so that you can stand up under it."
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Satan is out to get YOU! I know yesterday's
Devotional on the battle with the flesh and the
allure of this world versus our desire to serve
and please God was a "heavy" and very personal
word that applied to everyone who read it. Some
days it is easy to dismiss what you read in the
Devotional since it doesn't directly apply to your
life at that moment. That is a key point of this
Devotional today. Satan is out to get YOU and you
will be shocked at how he will try to accomplish
that, and even more shocked when you wake up one
morning and find yourself in one of his traps that
you never dreamed you would be in.

Every day I read emails from people that start
out, "I can't believe I am in this situation."
Sin is so subtle, can start out so innocently. I
don't know how many people we deal with each day
who became addicted to pain killers after using
them legally under the supervision of a doctor.
We deal daily with people who let a few glasses
of wine with dinner enslave them to alcohol.
Often I hear from dear people who went to play
the slot machines at a local casino for a night
of "fun," and have now destroyed their finances
due to gambling.

Over and over I hear of work friendships that
turn into adulterous affairs. Sadly, I deal too
often with pastors and men and women in the
ministry who allowed themselves to get too close,
too emotionally involved in the life of someone
of the opposite sex, and it ended up destroying
their marriage and their work for God.

Please hear me today when I tell you to NEVER,
EVER, think you are above falling into any type of
sin. Just because you may not have a propensity
towards drugs and could never see yourself in that
bondage, doesn't mean one day you won't. Just
because you don't have a propensity to drink and
could never see yourself bound by alcohol, doesn't
mean one day you won't. Just because you love your
wife or husband and could never imagine in your
wildest dreams having an affair, doesn't mean one
day you won't.

The point is, NEVER, EVER feel you are above any
sin, because you are not. In most cases, it is
those areas of your life that you feel you are the
strongest where you are most likely to fall!

Perhaps quicksand is the best example of what it
is like to be in one of satan's traps. You sink,
slowly to your death in quicksand. If you try to
get out by yourself, it only pulls you in deeper.
That is exactly what it is like when you wake up
one morning and find yourself in sin. For some
of you, your quicksand may be drugs, alcohol,
gambling, shopping, food, or any of a number of
other addictions. For others, your quicksand may
be a sexual sin. For still others, your
quicksand may be greed and the lust of things
this world has to offer. Regardless of what your
quicksand may be, the question now is how do you
get out?

The first step is to realize that you are in a
situation that on your own you can't get out of.
If you were strong enough to get out, you
wouldn't have fallen into this trap in the first
place. So now is the time you have to humble
yourself before the Lord and come to Him for help.
That begins with repentance and asking the Lord to
forgive you. I'm not talking about that "I'm
sorry I got caught" type of repentance either.
But having a real, broken and contrite heart for
sinning against the Lord and seeking His
forgiveness for your sins. He knows your heart
and He knows if you are sincere or just trying to
use Him to get out of the trouble you are in.

The second step is to fully surrender yourself to
the Lord and submit yourself to whatever His plan
is for getting you out of the quicksand. We all
want God to come swinging down out of the trees
like Tarzan in the movies, grabbing our
outstretched hand and pull us out of the
quicksand, placing us on solid land. He may do it
that way too. He also may take us out the slow
way as well. We may have to stay in that quicksand
for a while, simply being sustained by His grace
and mercy. You are in no position to tell God how
to rescue you, just be thankful that if you
surrender to Him, He will.

Never forget that there are ALWAYS consequences
for our actions. Once we are out of the quicksand,
it is very possible that we will have to deal
with the consequences of our choice to rebel against
the Lord. The key is, Christ is our ONLY hope to
get out of the quicksand and to eventually get
our lives back on track where they need to be.
We must surrender ourselves completely to Him and
know that it will only be His grace and mercy
that will see us through whatever we have to face
in that process.

The third step is that time of restoration. After
we have fallen, been rescued, we now need to have
our relationship with the Lord restored. No
doubt one of the greatest examples of this
process is Peter being restored by our Lord after
he denied Jesus on the night He was taken in the
Garden of Gethsemane. (Note: Peter is a perfect
example of a man who fell into a sin he would have
never expected to. Denying Christ is probably the
last sin Peter ever expected to commit, proving my
earlier point how we are immune to NO sin.)

The restoration of Peter is a powerful and
encouraging message that even if you have failed
the Lord, sinned against Him, He is ready to
forgive you and restore you to fellowship. The
Peter we read about in the Book of Acts after
being restored by Jesus, is a powerful and bold
man of faith who helped to lead the early church.

I love you and care about you so much. I realize
that the Devotional on Wednesday and this one
today are not easy to read. I realize that it
has caused many of you to literally break down in
tears as you were reading these words, knowing that
God Himself was speaking to you. Listen my
friend, He loves you! He loves you more than you
will ever know. God is there to try and protect
you from satan and his traps. But you do have
free will, and in exercising your free will you
can choose to obey the Lord or rebel against Him.

Satan does not play by any rules and is out to
destroy you. He will use whatever tricks and traps
he can to accomplish that. That is why as I
stated yesterday you must stay close to the Lord
each day thru the Word and prayer, stay busy,
especially finding ways to serve the Lord so that
you aren't as likely to dwell on your flesh and
the allure of this world. The message today is
that you are not above ANY type of sin, so you
must always be on guard and don't ever think you
are immune from being tempted by the evil one.

We all sin, we all fail God at times. The key is
if you wake up one morning and find yourself in
the quicksand, realize you can't get out without
the Lord's help. Humble yourself before Him and
submit to His plan in getting you out. Lastly,
allow Jesus to restore you to fellowship. Failure
does not mean you are finished. Often your
greatest works for the Lord come AFTER you have
failed and have been restored to His fellowship.

Satan is out to get YOU. However, I want to leave
you today with that powerful promise we have in
God's word, "You, dear children, are from God and
have overcome them, because the one who is in you
is greater than the one who is in the world."
1 John 4:4 (NIV) AMEN!!!

. . . .

Thank you for your love, prayers, and support of
all God is doing each and every day here at
Liveprayer. It is friends like you that make all
we do each day for so many possible. May the
Lord's richest blessings be upon you and your
family as you faithfully serve and follow HIM.

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

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(C) Copyright 2005, Bill Keller Ministries.
All rights reserved


May God bless you as you learn from this message!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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