When I walked into the kitchen this morning, I saw the pumpkin pound cake I baked last night. I have tried to lose the weight I gained in the last year due to some medical issues. I saw the cake and my first thought was, “I could eat that for breakfast!” and took the cover off.
Immediately, I realized it would be detrimental to my goal of losing the extra pounds. I disciplined myself and walked to the bathroom where we have a set of scales. I stepped on them and was two pounds heavier than yesterday, much to my dismay. I know we fluctuate by a few pounds every day, but I didn’t want to lose this battle! I went back to the kitchen, covered the cake with the lid and pulled out a box of cereal.
While I was doing this, I thought about how, as Christians, we face temptations every day of our lives. Sometimes it is frustration in traffic, or being impatient in line at the grocery store. It could be irritation at a family member or an acquaintance, seeing what we view as inadequacies, instead of seeing what they add to life. The list is endless and everyone has a different set of temptations they face. I thought about how we need to discipline ourselves to keep our thoughts Christ-centered. It sounds like such a simple thing until we get away from that focus.
… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
… Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
The verse in Timothy says to be an example; the Greek word for example is tupos which means to be indelibly marked (marks which cannot be erased). It is likened to a seal on soft wax or to leave an impression of something, to be a replica or pattern. When we bear the image of Christ, we are able to resist temptations, we are sealed in our hearts. It is a surrender to the will of God, which conforms us into His image.
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:38
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Jesus’ instructions were to watch and pray to keep our hearts from temptation. If we don’t keep our Spirits malleable, our fleshly nature takes over. When we submit to God through Jesus Christ the veil is removed and we reflect the image of God.
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 2 Corinthians 5:14-16
The love of Jesus Christ controls our thoughts when we live for him, which allows us to see others with the eyes of God… How awesome is that?!
Prayer: Father, help me to resist temptations and allow Christ to conform me into his image. Guide me to immediately take captive of thoughts which are contrary to your will. Help me to have discipline in all that I do and the way I act towards others. Give me your vision as I keep my Own eyes on you!