What to Do When You are Tempted
“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (James 4:5-6)
Those who live in this world have to confront the test of sin every day. For those who want to win the test and lead a holy life, the above quote is like a breeze of relief. “He gives more grace.” The one and only way to achieve success in your life is to depend on God’s grace.
I believe that those who want to lead a holy life without surrendering themselves to the grace of God are the ones who will greatly fall. But for those who believe in God’s grace, God will strengthen them to lead a successful life.
Nowadays, people are like batteries. Consider we put two or three batteries in a flashlight. The first day we will get good light. Gradually the power of the battery reduces and within 15-20 days it will be useless.
This is just like the people who try to lead their own life. We should not forget that God’s grace gives strength and inspiration to lead our day-to-day life. If we believe in our own strength, we can carry on for some weeks. But after that we will commit sins. Day by day we will get immersed in them.
We cannot change our natural selves on our own. Like the saying in my native language of Malayalam, “even after keeping a dog’s tail in a pipe for 12 years, it will not straighten”. People who want to lead a holy life on their own will commit sins.
But those who embrace the salvation which is claimed through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – those who depend on the grace God – can lead a holy life. No doubt about it.
Complete Surrender to the Holy Spirit
The invisible power of Holy Spirit comes to the hearts of those who consider Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The power of the divine Spirit is beyond human power, philosophy and intelligence. To win over the desires of flesh and self we need the power of Holy Spirit.
I don’t think we can lead a victorious life just by looking back to one experience where we said, “I received the Holy Spirit.” The most important thing is giving place to the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. God never wants to compel anybody to do anything.
To take care of ourselves and to lead us through the path of truth and holiness God gave us a divine gift—the Holy Spirit. Without taking the help of this Spirit, whatever we do by ourselves will hurt the Holy Spirit and grieve him. The Word of God says it.
The Holy Spirit stays in you and is always ready help you to walk toward success. But God want us to forsake arrogance and be humble. The immense bundle of God’s grace will be open to the oppressed and the humble.
Once while driving I saw a sign on the roadside which pointed out that everything belongs to God. “This vehicle is not yours, you are just the one who controls it,” it said. Like this, if the desires of your flesh lead you; you will end up in deep trouble. The Holy Spirit that lives in you should lead you.
Your complete surrender and humble cooperation is required for the Holy Spirit to control and lead your life. When you give the rights to control your life to the Holy Spirit then you will attain success.
Consider that when we get some money, before spending it we have to ask God about it and spend it according to His will.
Don’t forget that even in things which we consider very silly we have to seek the will of God. Then we will get more and more blessings.
You may not be able to understand the will of the Spirit within weeks. But if we are happy to walk with him, the Holy Spirit will teach us to listen to the voice of God day by day.
Deciding everything on your own and then praying that God will bless it is not seeking God’s will. Some people arrange their son’s or daughter’s marriage, then pray, “Lord, thy will be done” and “Bless us”. We can’t consider these as prayers which are according to the will of God.
In your life, try to ask God’s opinion in both big and small things. There is nothing more beautiful in our life than saying, “Thy will be done.”
This is the first of a two-part series on drawing near to God. Part two covers three steps to a victorious life.