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I am tempted by:

-ice cold Pepsi

-gooey chocolate

-a rainy day and a good book

-a handsome man….say like….oh, I don’t know, BRAD PITT. Yum.

(I only LOOK, but it doesn’t matter, shame on me)

-good juicy gossip

I know I am not alone in my temptations. All of us are tempted by multiple things….I’m just crazy enough to slap them up on a blog. Some of us have temptations with alcohol, some have temptations with drugs, and some have temptations with S * E * X. We are human, we are fallen, and we are being hunted.

1 Peter 5:8

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Yesterday, in Sunday school, we talked about the temptation of Christ in Luke 4:1-13. I am not a huge theologian, so I wasn’t going to take the class too deep into it. I am a simple girl, with a simple mind….teaching simple teenagers, so I was good. 😉 Like I’ve said, I’m not Jeff, or Travis, or Mike…I do not get into theology. And since all the other teachers abandoned me to other things like sick beds, work, or church outreach…I was alone in teaching the Youth.

{evil laugh} Ahem, I mean….I did a smashing job! 😉

We have to be on our guard, and we have to be filled with the Spirit in order to combat this determined enemy. In every temptation of Christ, He came back with scripture. That is significant! If we don’t read the Scriptures, how are we going to be armed adequately enough to conquer an enemy like satan? We have to be in the Word.

Satan first tempted Jesus with His physical desire for food: turn the stones into bread. First, it’s doubting that God will supply our needs.

Ouch. Sorry, was that your toes or mine?

Secondly, Satan is wanting Christ to think of His own selfish desires. Most temptations, if not all, deal with our selfishness. Our temptations always look good, always smell good, always are desirable. And it always has undesirable strings attached. But it’s temporary satisfaction. Our satisfaction comes from Christ alone. Jesus was HUNGRY, bread would have been very nice at that point. Satan looks for our weak, vulnerable times to attack.

And, Jesus replied with…….Scripture. Holy Spirit giving Him strength.

Next, Satan tempted Jesus with what so many people seek: power, authority, prestige, control, pride…..You can be ruler of ALL of this…..if only You will bow down and worship me.

I have to admit, for a second there, I had a little black girl moment: he said WHAT?!?!

Did Satan not get the handbook? He, KINDA doesn’t have the power to do that….he has temporary control of the earth, but only what God allows. God always, always has ultimate control. Duh.

The third temptation was a test of God. If You jump, see if God will send His angels to protect You like the Scriptures say…. We aren’t to be manipulative and that is what Satan was attempting to get Jesus to do.

And Gordon would have been so proud: I gave them the 3 F’s to remember:

FLEE-run away from the temptations we face! Don’t put yourself in the situation to begin with, but after you are already there, GET OUT OF IT.

Focus-focus on things that are GOOD, and RIGHT! Focus on our Savior, stay in the Word. We are less tempted when we are occupied with GOOD things and doing what we are supposed to do.

Fellowship-surround ourselves with like-minded people. I am less tempted to get myself into trouble when I am with fellow Christians who are also pursuing GOOD things. (Christians can lead each other into a mess just as well as anyone else, don’t mistake this statement.) I encouraged the teens to find an accountability partner to help them in times of temptations, someone they trust.

Finally, our object lesson I was really excited about, and really really hoped they didn’t find me totally lame. I asked them to take the cardstock and write in big letters what their temptations are, what is it that distracts us from doing what we should. I wasn’t sure how this would be welcomed, quite honestly. But I was pleasantly surprised when they broke off into their groups and began an excited chatter around the room.

I then told them, I want to take a photo of what they wrote. I didn’t want a picture of them, but of what they wrote. For me, knowing the kids, it was one of those beautiful, proud moments. It was an open and honest look into their lives. Some, I had a little chuckle over. Some I wanted to sit and cry over.

So I’ll leave you with a look into the lives of some of the struggles our teenagers are dealing with:

Father God, I am humbled by their openness. They are young, 16 and younger, and yet, they are dealing with the same issues so many of us grown adults are. Lord, I ask that You will protect them. Guard their hearts, guard their minds, guard their eyes and ears. Holy Spirit, I ask that You will bring to their minds Scriptures that will help them in every circumstance. Give them courage and strength. Send someone to encourage them, hold their arms up for them when they are tired and weak. Lord, I ask that You will surround them with friends and influences that will encourage their walk with You, not distract them. Lord, You are always faithful to us, show each of these young teenagers this. Help us as teachers to be there for them, and love them, give us Your words for them. Keep us always accountable in doing what is right. Father God, I love You, and I thank You for all that You have done and all that You are doing, and that You will do. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.