8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
– Matthew 6 v 8 – 13
Before I get into this week’s post, I’m going to start with some encouragement, so stick with me. I have had one of my worst week’s, but in a week blighted by disappointment, God gave me something to hold on to:
“Even if everyone else does, I will never disappoint you”.
I heard that clear, like it was so sharp. I was actually in the middle of feeling so sorry for myself when God interjected with an intervention:
I AM not going to disappoint you. I never have and I never will.
In the moment, I needed to hear that, and I just feel like someone needs to hear that today. So smile Reader…we do not serve a disappointing God! 😀
Ok, now back to this week’s post…
So we are still going through the ‘Our Father’ series and this week we made it to talking about temptation. Ohhhhhhh the temptation lol. Listennnnnn I don’t know what temptation looks like to you, but childdd
temptation to me is a six foot something Nigerian prince who calls me by a native term of endearment, but we will get into that later in another blog post. First let me set the scene…..
Like I said earlier, this week has been rough. So rough, so disappointing in fact, that this week has actually been weak lol
Can you think of the last time you felt disappointed? Over something unexpected?
Ok, that’s how I was feeling, and to be honest, given that I am usually “sunny-side-up”, I would say, it’s been one of the most “down” weeks I’ve had in a minute – I wish I could throw a “lol” after that.
You know, I feel silly even typing this because I’m not usually a sentimental person, but boyyy, it’s been one of dem ones, and to be quite frank
without being too honest about the nature of the disappointment, the only thing worse than the disappointing news I received was how much it affected me. It was quite uncomfortable. Disappointment is not a feeling that I am used to humbly she says, but when I do feel let down, I am driven in two ways: fight or flight.
Fight: Driven to the Word.
Flight: Driven to sin.
And this is where our theme comes in. For many of us, disappointment leads us into temptation, and once we arrive, the temptation results in us feeling even more disappointed, in ourselves and in others, so the vicious circle continues.
We try to pray that good ol’ traditional template prayer that encourages us against being led into temptation, knowing fully well that God can never lead us into anything sinful or tempting. Nah.
God abhors sin.
He hates it.
He can never lead us into sin, that’s on us. Mi sed nahhhhhhhhh. That’s on our weakness and our flesh.
Our flesh that requires sin to numb pain caused by loss, emptiness or in this case, disappointment.
You know how it is, let’s not even front. The bible says something in Proverbs 13:12:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
This is such a real verse because we’ve all been there. No one remembers to read the end of that verse though, we just nod and click our fingers to the first part. We build up hope in something or someone, and when that falls, we feel it. We may never admit it to others, because we’re not tryna operate in that level of emotion, but we know we do.
And it kinda sucks.
The weight of expectations not met.
Truth be told, some times it can actually feel so heavy that depending on our
strength resilience maturity mood, we can either challenge it with the Word or feed it with our own bad behaviour – fight or flight.
And therein lies the temptation, because not all of us choose the first option.
Nah, we choose to sink.
To just YOLO the
opportunity moment and head straight to jail, no passing GO.
Sis, can we talkkkkkk? Some of us have been kinda waiting for a
reason excuse moment chance to run into the arms of our temptation aka that tall dark and handsome guy we left back in summer who keeps reminding you that he’s “ready when you are”. Lawdhamercy.
Let’s be real. A lot of us do listen when our friends and confidantes try to reassure us with those tried and tested Christian declaratives:
“It is well.”
“God has you.”
Nothing wrong with these words by the way, in fact, when spoken by a loved one, these words can bring some real reassurance, but the temptation remains. And if you are anything like me, the temptation is in two areas:
1. To question God. To question how you hear Him, how He speaks to you, whether He even does speak to you and other elements of your relationship with Him. Ouch.
2. To question yourself. This is probably the most damaging right because disappointment leads us to ask some ugly questions:
Am I not good enough?
Am I not pretty enough?
Am I not smart, funny or interesting enough?
What am I missing?
Because it always tends to come back to value, right? I mean surely if we feel we have been overlooked in an area, it must be because of us and our general value?
The temptation to say “yes” is strong, but no.
This is not about you.
This is not about your worth.
This is not about your value or you meriting or warranting something. Or someone.
Please don’t do that. Don’t make it that.
I can’t even say I understand why things go badly, and I can’t say I can try to give a reason, but I will say this: don’t see it as about you, or even the other person. Make it about God.
Be intentional – dare I say it purposeful even – to make it about God.
Make it about Him knowing the end from the beginning.
Make it about Him working all things together for your good.
Make it about Him turning around apparent captivity into dream-like realities.
Make it about Him turning sorrow into joy and mourning into dancing.
Making it about Him returning tomorrow with beauty for today’s ashes.
Can we try that? Because the temptation is to go backwards right? Fall into whatever works to feel better? Alright cool, but after the deed/deeds is/are done, you can’t take it back, so what’s the need?
Sis, I’ve taken those temptation trains, and the return journey was never easy, just bare stops at stations like Condemnation, Confession and Guilt.
So let me tell you what my friend told me: do some self-reflection. Collect data on yourself. Analyse it and implement strategies.
What’s your actual vice?
Is it rebounding?
Is it holiday romance(s)?
Is it *insert third undiscovered vice here*?
Whatever the vice, the best strategy is always prayer, scripture and correct actions.
As in, pray and stay at home. It’s not everyday movements. Some days home is actually the motive. Yeah, sometimes it be like that babes.
Pray and turn your phone off. You know he’s gonna call you, he said he would. And if he doesn’t, you’re likely to call him cos you wanna have another conversation. Don’t.
Pray and give your phone to your sister. Lol that might not work for all, but for the sake of me being faithful to myself, my sister has been put on notice for 2020. Let it not be iPhone11 drawing you to sin biko…
Just a few tips, but whatever is your issue, do work in the Spirit, take necessary action and hold on to this – God is still speaking. Don’t run away from His voice. The Our Father Prayer simply reminds us that He has power to pull us out of the grip to temptation, and lead us away to paths of holiness, purity and godliness.
Irrespective of the situation that led you to feeling tempted, God is pulling you out of it. He’s still calling forth water out of dry places and rivers in deserts.
He’s the well of living waters and He’s asking you not to fear.
I get you’ve been tired. I get you’ve felt weary, but even when you’re thirsty, He’s the well – draw from Him. In fact, have a drink.
Trust me, life can get stormy, but He’s still your song. Sing, and keep singing.
Until next week folks…