FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS – How To Rise When You Fall And Remain Standing

The shouts from the stadium was deafening. Terry could not believe the results, they had finally won, the underdogs had come out victorious in this one. Coach Henderson had forced the team to continue practicing even though they failed again and again. This was a big win for them, even though it wasn’t the finals. The finals was many months away, but they had made one step towards it after four years, with David being the only difference in the team. It did not seem much a difference at first, but they all could see how he had changed the team. He looked around in search for the coach, and their eyes locked. He was sitting on the coaches bench with a satisfied smile on his face that said, “You made it.” It was indeed a win worth celebrating.

How long has it been now? When will it all end? Why can I not please God with the whole of my life? Why do I keep making these mistakes? Maybe I should just sit this out so I won’t have to keep disappointing God, he doesn’t deserve someone like me. When I get this whole thing sorted out, then maybe I can serve God as much as I want and my life can now please him. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be saved? I’m not like my Christian friends, they all are so perfect with God. Are these your thoughts? They sure are a lot! It’s a good thing that you are tired of falling, but there’s something very important you must learn today about that.

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.” [JUDE 1:24-25, NLT].

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…[JUDE 1:24-25, KJV].

What? You didn’t know that? There’s a parable in our culture that says, “There is a stone in Zion, those who trust on it shall never be ashamed”, that’s our culture! You now see that it was never your responsibility to save yourself. Why would you want to take the glory that belongs to God? Why bother yourself with a job that doesn’t belong to you, when you can’t even pull it off! God is responsible for our salvation. Our salvation is us being saved from both sin and it’s consequences. In ‘The Ultimate Save’ I told you of how God saves us, now I’m telling you again that he doesn’t just save you, he gives you the power to remain saved.

This is like saying, if you fell into a well and he pulled you out, he made sure to leave that rope hanging around, but not just that, he also covers that well up so you never have to fall into it again. This is more good news, I know, that’s what the gospel is about! It’s liberating and refreshing, it is empowering.

Jude tells us first, it is God who keeps us from falling, and presents us faultless.

Secondly, it says that the person who keeps us from falling is God and he is our saviour through Jesus Christ. The same God who was/is to judge us, is saving us from his own judgement, therefore if God (who is to judge you) be for you (and stands to support you in court), who can be against you? He has removed every evidence that should be presented against you in court, and now presents you as faultless (Why won’t your joy be full?).

Thirdly, just in case we have forgotten how he can do this, He does this on his own and doesn’t need us to keep trying to be faultless on our own. He has all power; he owns the past, so there is no sin we have committed that he cannot wipe away. The present belongs to him too, so there’s no sin we commit today that he will leave remembered. He knows the future, yes, he knew we would stumble sometimes and so he both forgives us in advance and then makes a way out for us to remain standing. Glory!

I understand your thoughts (especially if you know all these things already), it’s tiring to keep falling, it feels like you disappoint God a lot. A lot of people think that because we profess faith in Christ it means that the law is unimportant. But this is not true, we are justified by faith, but Christ did not come to destroy  the law but to magnify it and honour it (Isaiah 42:21). He fulfilled the law, so faith in him means that we have fulfilled the law, not avoid it (Romans 3:7-8, 31). So you are right to be tired of falling, just don’t go thinking that it’s in your power to make yourself stand. In fact, you are already standing righteous before God, but again, the proof of your faith is the works that it produces. James said, “…show me your faith and I’ll show you my works, faith without works is dead.” He wasn’t saying that you had to work, no, he was saying that your faith should and will produce works. It means you should grow your faith until it begins to produce work, if it doesn’t then you don’t yet have faith.

Now, God understands this and this is the reason for this post, so you can know what provisions he has made for you to remain standing (in him), and be in control of sin. God warned Cain that sin was at the corner so he could cease control of it before it would control him, yet, he failed to do so. A lot of us feel like that most times when we sin against God even after knowing the difference between right and wrong. We feel trapped like Paul, unable to do what you desire to do while doing what you hate. He instructs that we should regard (reckon, believe, think)  ourselves dead to sin but alive unto God, and therefore not allow sin reign in our mortal bodies that we now begin to obey its lusts, but instead we should yield ourselves to God.

This is the key to becoming firm, mature, and completely dead to sin. I have heard and seen sin die at once in a single moments in people, it always has to die, but this doesn’t mean that we will not be tempted. Jesus was tempted, but he resisted the devil. Yes, Jesus is God and so are you. Remember that what Christ came to give was not just to wipe the slates clean but to also give us the power of choice to say no to sin. When we were slaves to sin, we had no choice. This is why Paul emphasised in his letter to the Galatians that we “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled AGAIN with the YOKE OF BONDAGE. (Galatians 5:1, KJV). Let’s make a small list,

  • “And be not conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. (Romans 12:2, AMP).

To overcome the temptations of sin, you must fix your eyes on the Holy Spirit and be entirely focused on what Gods purpose for you is. Abandon whatever will take away your focus from God, that is what it means to be godly; God-focused. This will help you grow more spiritually mature, and this is only possible through the word of God. Meditate on it, let it be part of your day, pray on what it says and ask God to work it into you since you are his workmanship, while you consciously look forward to becoming what the word of God says you are by practicing it. We fall into sin because we meditate on the thoughts. Reject them immediately when they come, and redirect your focus to something godly. Engaging in christian exercises like evangelism, intercessory prayer (that is prayer beyond yourself for others), fasting (with prayer and intense study of the word), godly conversations with your christian friends (in fact, this will have a very great influence on you).

  • “I am the true vine, my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit. NOW YOU ARE CLEAN THROUGH THE WORD which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:1-6, KJ2000).

Don’t ever forget that you can do nothing without God. You will produce no fruit unless you have developed a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. God is the vine dresser, which means that he ensures that all the branches of the vine are bearing fruits, so long as they remain. Faith in God demands obedience to him. You must submit to all of God’s will if you are to bear fruits, to do otherwise is to be independent of him. Being independent of Christ means you are in danger of losing your salvation.

The power of faith is the word of God. He says that it is through the word that he (the vine) gives you (the branch) life so you can bear much fruits. Remember the word is not just a letter, it is a person, it is Spirit and life, stay with it (obey it) and it will guide you.

  • “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has a great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:33, KJ2000).
  • “In your patience you will gain your souls.” (Luke 21:19, KJ2000).
  • Habakkuk 2:4:

“Behold, his soul which is proud is not upright in him… ” – KJ2000

“Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.” – NLT

“Look, if he holds back, my soul has no pleasure in him, but the righteous will live by faith.” -NHEB

How long does it take to become perfect? One mortal day at a time. In honesty, it takes as long as it takes you to submit to God’s workings in you. Endure and be patient in seeking your salvation. Should you fall into sin, know that God has redeemed you and you are not condemned, continue with your walk with him as you were before you stumbled. Don’t get tired to continue, should you cast away your faith in God’s word, then you will be throwing away your salvation because to cast away your confidence in God means you do not believe that he is able to save you from your sins. Such thoughts are forbidden, and are of the devil, resist them and throw them out! He got to Eve, don’t let him get to you too.

It is pride to think “when I sought out this whole thing, then I can come to God” because no one can come to the Father unless through Christ, and that is by faith. To want to be perfect before coming to God is pride, you are telling God that you will find a way to save yourself. Refrain from trusting in yourself, it is not faith to do so – and it displeases God greatly, after all he said, “…My soul has no pleasure in him” referring to the one that will trust in himself.

Remember our story? The coach never allowed the players to stop practicing soccer. They were footballers, if they stopped playing then they were no longer that. It would have been foolish of them to think, “let me stop playing for now since I’ve lost four years in a roll, when I become a better player then I will come back to play football again.” You cannot become a better footballer cleaning shoes instead of wearing them and kicking the ball with them!

“Finally dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Although I have said this before in a different way; fix your thoughts on things that are true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you have learned about God and the kingdom of righteousness, and from everyone who represents Christ – everything you have heard them teach and do.  God in his divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him (so we must continue to grow our knowledge about him). For this reason, make effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. If you grow possessing these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of Christ. Whoever lacks these qualities is nearsighted and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. So, dear beloved of God, work hard to prove that you are really among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.” – [Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 1:5-10 – NIV, KJV, NLT – and paraphrased texts for emphasis].

God bless you!

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