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July 28, 2014

Overcoming Temptation, Part 3

“Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!” Psalm 119:5 (NLT)

Does this express your heart cry as well? “Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!” Now there’s a desire I can relate to in my walk with Christ. It’s the longing of my heart to consistently reflect God’s will and ways in all my actions; but, like the psalmist, I too often fall short. Temptations crowd into my life like unwelcomed intruders seeking to control my attitude and conform me to this world. The struggle within is fought in the battleground of my mind. Thankfully, the psalmist continues with helpful insight on how our actions can consistently reflect God’s decrees with power to overcome temptation. In verse 9 of this chapter, he asks and answers a common question when living in an immoral world. How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.” If I’m to consistently reflect God’s ways, I must know and obey God’s Word. In verse 11 he says, I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” One translation uses the word “treasured” for hidden. When we treasure God’s Word and hide it in our hearts, we have a formable weapon against temptation. In fact, the New Testament refers to God’s Word as the Sword of the Spirit in the arsenal that God equips the Christian with in our conflict with Satan. (Ephesians 6:17) Jesus used the weapon of God’s Word against Satan in the temptations He faced. Three times, the tempter tried to lure Jesus into temptation by following his lead and, three times, Jesus responded, “It is written ….” (Matthew 4) What a model to follow in our struggles with sin and temptation. If your desire is for your actions to consistently reflect God’s decrees, you must know what those decrees are and treasure them in your heart. It’s the truth you know that sets you free! Don’t let the enemy keep you in the dark. The psalmist found victory through the power of God’s revealed Word. He says, Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 (NLT)