I am the true vine and my Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the Vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me,… for apart from Me ye can do nothing. (John 15:1-11)
Are you frustrated with your fitness? You’ve tried and tried to permanently punt those last 30 pounds but they slyly sneak back on? You make a pact with yourself to shun sugar but the pastries in the fellowship hall are too tempting to bear? Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. Physical temptation is one of Satan’s favorite side-tracking seductions. Remember! He is hard at work to steal, kill and destroy you. HE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE PHYSICALLY VICTORIOUS! He revels in seeing you down and defeated, sabotaging your testimony and Kingdom work.
As Jesus followers we understand our natural nature runs counter to God’s will. Our human DNA is selfish, gluttonous and greedy. By design we want what we want and we want it NOW! Our personal mission is self-satisfaction.
But we also know – intellectually at least – that the minute we surrendered our life and our will to Jesus Christ a transformation began. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation! The old has passed away. Behold! Take heed! The new has come! But it surely feels like there’s a lot of leftover old creating havoc in our lives, doesn’t it? We still trigger. We remain self-indulgent and -destructive. So what’s the solution to overcoming treacherous temptations?
Abide. Abide. Abide.
abide: to remain fixed or stable; to continue; settle into; cuddle near; snuggle close; remain
It’s sort of like making a cup o’ tea. You can’t sprinkle leaves in your pot and immediately savor your brew. It has to steep awhile. Sit a spell. Remain fixed or stable, transforming boiling water into a sublime sip.
We need to steep too, by abiding – remaining - in the Vine. And one of the best ways to stay close is memorizing His Word. “Thy Word I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11) When that donut is dangling under your nose, do you try to rely on willpower or do you battle the devil with the sword of truth? Do you claim your abundant life of victory through His strength, or do you cave to the lie of “I can’t”? Keep His Word close at hand, sisters. Print them and stick the paper in your pocketbook. When you find yourself on a dangerous cliff, pull it out and claim it aloud!
“I can do all things” – including turning away from this temptation – “through Christ who strengthens me.”
“To You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Oh my God, I trust in Thee. Let me not be afraid. Let not the enemy triumph over me!” (Psalm 25:1-2)
“The battle is not mine, but God’s.” (II Chron 20:15)
Then stand up and SING! There’s no better way to defeat Satan than to sing the Good Word right into his face! Stand up, sing I Can Do All Things, and dance with the kids!