emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “temptation”

So, You’re Ballin’ Huh?

It is easy to get caught up, to fall into the trap of pride when our bills are paid and when we have financial surplus. Oh, how the temptations seem to surround us like vultures circle (dead) prey when people place us in positions where others “look up” to us and we buy into the idea that we are superior. When we are not struggling—not in need, not in want—, it is easy to fall into a worldly-defined ballin’ mentality.

The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks
and make your home on the heights,
you who say to yourself,
‘Who can bring me down to the ground?
—Obadiah verse 3

Life takes us up and down. In a moment’s notice, something can happen which can plant us on our knees in tears….or on our behinds. In another moment, we can receive news that will have us ecstatically jumping for joy.

As I continue to grow in Christ, I try to maintain a humbled core. Am I always successful? No, but I am much more likely these days to recognize when I am not and repent. Truth is, I want to receive God’s blessings—all of them—much more than I want to live with a pride-filled heart. As a matter of fact, I expect to be abundantly blessed. The removal of pride allows me to understand that there are responsibilities and a mindset that should accompany such living. After all, to whom much is given, much is expected.

Woman Reading Bible

In your seasons of being blessed according to the world’s standard, don’t forget from where your blessings really come and that you are a representative of Him. If you are going to be ballin’, ball for Christ.

The Backhanded Temptation

A part of life’s journey is the continuous greeting of temptation. Some are more obvious than others and amazingly they arrive in numerous forms. As a result, I have learned to pray for increased discernment.

Woman Praying

One of the behaviors I had to grow in the awareness of was that of consciously thanking God in the “good” times. I needed to break the habit (–the backhanded temptation–) of having as the motivating reason for humbly coming to the Lord, that of listing needs and wants. Sure, I would regularly pray for others too and it would be common that I would include expressions of gratitude, but at some point I noticed that I would for sure make time for God when I had a need…or when someone asked me to pray for her/his need, again there I was bringing to Him a need.

Upon reflection, it had been easy to develop this way. It seemed like most of the gospel songs of which I listened to then evidenced situations of people needing God. Most of the sermons I heard seemed to highlight a people in a place of need. The alter callings seemed to be marketed to those in need. As a result, in my adulthood I would take my worries, my concerns, my problems to the Lord because that is what I was taught to do. This is what I still do and what I believe I should do, but in doing so at that time I can honestly say that there were many, many times when I would forget to pray and I noticed that it was more probable that I would forget during times when things were going well. Isn’t that something? Am I the only Christian with this experience?

When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
—Hosea 13:6

I am thankful for this awareness. Interestingly, it came as a result of being overwhelmed with happiness and needing to express it. Guess where I turned? That’s right. I turned to God to say, “Thank You”.

I have recently watched God manifest a series of miracles in my life. They are so awesome to see. As I type this, I am smiling with excitement because God is truly amazing. I am very conscious that in this time of life, I have an expressively grateful heart. As a result, it would not be unusual for me to pray and have moments when I just take a minute to say, “Thank You God” and just start listing stuff. When you KNOW that you KNOW that God is REAL, sometimes you just have to take a moment and list the blessings He is truly doing, has done, and will do in your life. (Amen.) As my relationship with God deepens, I find that just as determined as I was to express to Him my concerns, I am just as excited to say, “Thank You.” His presence in my life is much too appreciative for me to forget to acknowledge His blessings along the way. It’s funny. I am finding that I am even more blessed by doing so.

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