Previously we managed temptations of the flesh, feelings, the heart and now we are heading to look at the temptations of our thoughts, the mind, pride of life and position.  We will see what it looks like when we give in to temptation and what it looks like when we overcome temptation. 

If we love the Lord our God with all our mind, we won’t imagine putting ourselves in a position where He did not put us in, having pride in our situation. We will think clearly and not fall for any false prophets. Our minds are critical to us for discernment – for being able to differentiate between good and evil, between truth and lies.

The temptation that Jesus had to overcome can be found in

Matt 4:8

Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

“All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”

“Away from me, Satan!” Jesus declared, “for it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'”

We also read in Matt 22 that we need to Love the Lord our God with all our mind.  Jesus clearly demonstrated that with Satan, as he used his mind to remember Scripture and use a very powerful verse to strengthen Himself against the onslaught of Satan.

Our thoughts, what we think in our brain, are such a distraction!  So immensely powerful and yet many times so wrong. We are continuously searching for truth and many times we get enough evidence out there to support what we believe is the truth. However we are still blind for the ‘’real’’ truth. This is called Confirmation Bias.  We believe if it sounds logical, it must be true. Logic is only valid if it is built on the foundation of truth.  You have probably all seen the picture of the two men looking at a number from different ends, arguing whether it is a 6 or a 9.  What is the truth, is the man screaming 6 seeing the truth or the man screaming 9 seeing the truth?  I think neither of them see the truth, because I think a half-truth is not good enough, I want the full truth, I want to see the full picture where both 6 and 9 is true. That does not mean I don’t think there is a difference between 6 and 9.  If there was a five to the one side of the letter and a seven to the other side, I would think 6 is the truth, it is all a matter of what the bigger picture looks like.  We don’t always have the bigger picture and we need to trust that God has the bigger picture, meanwhile we need to have grace with one another until we see the bigger picture and keep on looking for evidence to support our thinking. 

We would rather have things make logical sense than just to believe, to have faith. Faith is to believe without seeing the results. Without seeing ANY evidence that it is possible, without doing anything from your side.

We like it when we see science confirms what we believe and hate it when science disproves it.  Science is not the ultimate tool.  Science is not the ultimate truth. Science is not the vehicle for faith. Faith should reign over science.

We cannot take pride in what we’ve achieved in life – on what is your achievements built?  Who has enabled you?

Are you a Saul or a David? Both had power, one misused it and did not repent after his sin was exposed, but took pride and misused his power again.  The other was humble even after misusing his power and sinning, he humbled himself and repented.

Is your Position built on what Satan offered you or on what God has offered you? When it is built on God’s offering, pride will make space for the humbleness required. You can take credit for submitting yourself under Him, for working hard (within boundaries). Pride yourself in working hard, but not looking after your fruit/family is NOT something to be proud of.

Do you like to be spectacular? Are you power hungry?  Are your ego vulnerable? Do you hate to say ‘’sorry, I was wrong?”

Part of Mary’s song in

Luke 1:51

“He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; he has shattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts”

What is success?  Many times we as parents think our children will be successful when they have good marks at school, in a way we are proud of their marks. I was the same.  Until the latest research which has shown that school marks and final success in life has a very weak correlation.  I have seen it.  The children who was in my primary school who did well, did not necessarily do well in high school.  The same with the top performers in high school – many dropped out in university.  Those who cum laude their degrees were not necessarily the best engineers in the field. The best engineers in the field were sometimes the most critical, unhappy, unfulfilled people I’ve seen and the Grade 10 pupils that dropped out of school, started their own business had the knack for business and are doing exceptionally well, living decently, loving life and are happy. I don’t say good marks are not a good thing, I say it is not the only thing.  Our childrens’ character is more important than good marks.  Our character in life is more important than the salaries we earn, than the cars we drive and the houses we live in. How do you measure success?

God’s Kingdom has a different measure of success that does not always look logical.  At the same time I did not receive a corporate salary any more, my husband started tithing and surprisingly we still were able to make our budget.  That does not make logical sense.  In my business I did all I could to market myself without any clients coming in, but when I started to tell God – ‘this is yours, I am giving up’ I got more clients in a month than in the previous quarter.  God is ruler of all, we need to trust Him, have faith and accept that our logical brains will not always understand His ways, but our logical brains must accept His principles and incorporate it into our lives.

Mat 22:37 (also in Mark 12 and Luke 10)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, …….. and with all your mind.

 

Your heart and mind is so interconnected, I feel in my heart and think in my mind. Feeling produces thoughts and thoughts produces feelings.

 

Next week we look further into the interrelationship between heart and mind.

 

Final thoughts

Jesus could recall Scripture in his mind to counteract the Devil.

The truth is in the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is not always revealed and then our minds must have faith.

Science should not reign over faith.

Pride of life is a major temptation.

How do you measure success?

 

 

 

May the LORD bless you and keep you.

May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you

May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

 

You can contact me via e-mail; Wilmien.davis@icloud.com

 

 

You can support me by buying one of my favourite books on Amazon.  It will cost you nothing more, but Amazon gives me a small percentage of the sale.  

My favourite books:

 Emotional Intelligence 

Your Brain at Work 

 Quiet Leadership

Your Best Year Ever 

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality 

Boundaries 

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