Saturday, May 26, 2012

patterns that continually cause you to stumble

the question we are looking at here on the front porch is how do i keep from falling into the traps of persistent temptations?  if the last part of the LORD’s prayer in matthew 6.13 (nlt) says, don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one then how do I do that?

now i’m not talking about the little temptations of life like, “i shouldn’t have that piece of chocolate cake” or something like that.  no, i’m talking about the persistent temptations – patterns in your life that have continually caused you to stumble over and over and over. 

maybe it’s anger that seems to be out of control.  you just can’t get control of your anger.  maybe it’s fear that tends to dominate your life and cause you to panic.  maybe it’s worry.  maybe it’s resentment.  and you can’t seem to let it go.  it could be lust and sexual thoughts.  you just have compulsions about some areas of sexual thoughts.  in vegas where i used to pastor it could be gambling.  you just don’t have enough and all you need to do is win.

it could be greed.  it could be jealousy.  it could be envy.  i could go on and on.  but it’s those persistent habits, traps that you know mess up your life and you’d like to get rid of them.  you just don’t know how to break the cycle. 

now paul obviously felt this way, the apostle paul.  in romans 7,15 (nlt) he says, i don’t really understand myself, for i want to do what is right, but i don’t do it.  instead, i do what i hate.

again, as you read through the new testament you find there are certain principles and patterns that you find over and over and over.  and i’m going to summarize them all in seven different steps. 

we’ll look at the first one on monday.

just a thought from the front porch…

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