Tag Archives: Temptation

Daniel Fast Day 17…on Sin and Cupcakes

6 Jun

I have never stuck to a diet, an exercise regime, even a plan to wash my face every night before bed. This is the first time in my life, that I have actually made a commitment to a lifestyle change and stuck it out….

Almost.

I work full-time Wednesday through Sunday which leaves my days off as Monday at Tuesday. Tuesday morning, me and my little bug (4-year-old daughter) went out on the town to celebrate the last day of 3-year-old preschool. We had a girls day, complete with manicures and pedicures.

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After being out in the Houston heat all day (95 degrees!!), and still being about a 45 minute drive from home, we decided to stop by Barnes & Noble. Immediately, I was captivated by the smell of coffee, and if you remember from the beginning of my fast–there is nothing I love more than a grande white mocha with extra whipped cream, nothing I tell you!

Now, I know that I am fasting and at that point I had made it past 2 weeks without so much as cheating even a little bit. But, my daughter wasn’t fasting….

“Hey baby bug, would you like to have a snack from the café?”

“Sure Mommy! Let’s go!”

So off we went to the café. I was resolved. I was determined. I was not going to cheat even though I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast and we were going on 2 o’clock.

Then she ordered a cupcake. Not just any cupcake either. A strawberry cupcake with cream cheese filling.

Oh. My. Heavens.

I ordered a nice bottle of Fiji water and then took a bite of that cupcake.

“Would you like to share with me Mommy?”

Who can say no to that?

I ate half a cup cake, right there in the Barnes & Noble café. Yes I did.

And it was not nearly as good as I had hoped. Afterwards, I was sad and I had a stomach ache. I felt like a failure. I felt like I had let myself and God down. I felt awful.

Which led me to this post. Everything that happened was a perfect example of the Christian struggle with sin:

  • We do not prepare to face temptation or occasions of sin.

“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Luke 22:46

  • We are tempted.
  • We do not turn to God when we are tempted and ask for help.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38

  • We put ourselves in a situation which is a near occasion of sin.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

  • We rationalize, use other people and look for reasons that what we are doing is okay. (I am hungry, she ordered it-not me.)
  • We try to minimize our sin.

Taking this one step further, we then have two options:

1.) Confess and acknowledge our wrong doing and turn away from future sins.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

2.) Feel ashamed, embarrassed or even afraid of God. Refuse to acknowledge the sin and keep on sinning.

God, help me to choose the first. Help me to recognize my sins when I commit them so that I am aware and can turn to you instead. Hopefully, if I can overcome the small with your help, then the big things will be easy too.

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9

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Daniel Fast Day 4…”Little” Temptations Every Day

24 May

Before I began my Daniel Fast, I fully expected to suffer for the first week or so from cravings galore, but so far that has not been my experience. The nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables have been leaving me plenty satisfied and all of the water I am drinking seems to help as well. I have tried ‘diets’ before and failed miserably, but what I am learning is that a fast is not a diet at all. Yes, there is food (and lack of) involved, but I am finding more and more that the needs I was satisfying with food before (boredom, stress, anxiety, hunger) are now being satisfied by God.

Lesson 5: When God calls the fast instead of the individual, He will provide the strength to get through it and fulfill all of your needs.

Because I haven’t been tempted by food as much as I thought I would be, I have begun to think more about temptation in my life in general. Restricting my food, focusing on God and scripture has made me keenly aware of the everyday temptations that I face.

temptation

In any given day, there are so many encounters with temptation that I have. I may not consider all of them ‘sins,’ per se, but they do make me less self disciplined and less able to focus my attention on God and my place in His creation:

Temptation to…

1. Hit the snooze button repeatedly and not get out of bed on time.

 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”-Mark 1:35

snooze

2.  Rush, yell at or otherwise become impatient with my children as they get ready for school.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

3. Dress in a way that draws attention to me or worry excessively about the way I look to others.

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes”-1 Timothy 2:9

4. Drive too fast, text, talk on the phone or have my attention on anything other than the road in front of me, therefore putting myself and others at risk.

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 12

crazy driver

5. Cuss or use mean language when I am upset about something

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

cussing

6. Fail to complete my work to the best of my ability or waste time at work.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23

7. Talk down to or just generally argue with my spouse.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1

8. Choosing to spend my money on myself for immediate wants instead of being a good steward of the gifts God has bestowed upon me.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

9. Failing to make time for service.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

10. Not ensuring that I get enough sleep to be ready to be the wife, mother, servant and employee that God has called me to be.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—    for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2

zzz

There is a song by Francesca Batistelli that perfectly addresses the way these ‘little things,’ little frustrations, little temptations and decisions are able to separate us from God. Oh! But then there is the good part. Nothing is too little for God, there is nothing that He cannot use. Batistelli sings,

 This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use
So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations

 

 What about you, dear reader? What are the ‘little temptations and frustrations’ that you face every day and how has God used those to draw you near to Him?