How You View God Matters When You Face Temptation

“Hurry Mom! Cosette ran off. Max came to get me,” my daughter called to me.

I ran to the door and saw my 90-pound poodle staring up at me. “Where is she? Show me,” I said to Max. He raced around the side of the house and zipped up and down the line of the invisible fence that faced the wooded area next to a busy road.

An invisible fence surrounds our yard to protect our dogs from wandering. Since both my dogs now know the boundary, half the time I don’t bother with their collars. Big mistake this day. A passing deer was too much temptation for my huntress.

“Cosette,” I yelled. “Come; come now!”

My heart flipped when my daughter spotted a blur of white racing along the road filled with five o’clock traffic. Finally, she pranced home happy from her chase. Later we noticed her limp—and a trail of blood.

The next day, both poodles clamored to join my husband and me on our walk. But Cosette’s injured paw meant she couldn’t come. She didn’t connect missing out on a walk with her earlier disobedience. I’m sure she felt like we were punishing her, when we just wanted to protect her so she could heal.

As those big brown eyes implored me, I reflected on how our own disobedience to God’s laws can leave us too injured to enjoy legitimate pleasures. And, like Cosette, we fail to realize we’ve brought the loss upon ourselves. We may even blame God for our pain.

Some see God as a stern disciplinarian waiting to swat His children when they step out of line. But the Bible portrays a compassionate Father #warning us about the consequences of sin. Click To Tweet

How Do You View God?

Some people view God as a stern disciplinarian waiting to swat His children when they step out of line. But the Bible portrays a compassionate Father warning us about the consequences built into every sin. Just as blisters are the natural result of a burn, so each sin carries its own consequence (James 1:14-17). And, like Cosette’s cut, when the consequence isn’t immediately apparent, we fail to connect the cause and effect.

God’s commandments protect us from the burns and bruises of sin.

The serpent tempted Eve to doubt God’s word and good character. The heart of temptation is rooted in these same doubts about God. Does God really mean what He said? Is He holding out on us?

The better we know Jesus the less power these doubts hold over us. Knowing the character and love of our Lord is our best protection against sin.

Are you wrestling with a biblical limit? Does a particular temptation seem too hard for you? We have a High Priest who is able to rescue us. And God has provided the help of the Holy Spirit to ensure victory.

A week later and Cosette is still limping. Tomorrow we visit the vet. God forgives us of our sins, but some consequences affect us far longer than the passing pleasure of sin.

The wise see biblical fences as protective guardrails, not as prison bars. How we view God affects how we follow His commandments. What benefits have you found living within God’s fenced in yard?

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands” (Ps. 119:9-10 NIV).

Add your comments here.

Blessings,

Resources:

Give Yourself a Break and Give Yourself a Break From Temptation and Spiritual Attacks (E-book coming soon!)

Temptation is common. But victory isn’t. Whether we fight impatience or wrestle with pride, greed, discouragement, or sexual temptation, God has promised a way out of each snare.

The Christian life was designed to be lived in partnership with the Lord. Give Yourself a Break from Temptation and Spiritual Attacks will equip you to recognize and win the battles that tempt you to live according to your human nature without God’s power. It is the fourth book in the Give Yourself a Break e-book series.

This series covers the same lessons found in the original Give Yourself a Break ten-chapter study. The smaller two-topic e-books allow readers to choose the lessons most pertinent to them.

Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouraements#Recharge Wednesday, #TuneinThursaday, #Dance with Jesus, #FreshMarketFriday, #Grace&Truth, #Faith ‘n Friends

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Ann Musico

    So beautiful Debbie. You are so right – how we view God colors every decision and choice in our lives! Knowing Who He truly is – not who we are told or think He is makes all the difference. I hope Cosette is better!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, you said it well: “how we view God colors every decision and choice in our lives!” Amen! We take her to the vet today. Another lesson. Disobedience is expensive! And not just to the one who disobeys.

  2. J.D. Wininger

    For many years, that’s exactly how I viewed God. He was a vindictive, tyrant, who was just waiting to squash me like a bug when I sinned. That was the way He was presented decades ago to far too many I’m afraid. Gratefully, God showed me that His judgment is just, but more than His law came His love. In it, I came to understand His love for me is why He allowed trials in my life. Not to punish me, but to correct and grow me to be the man He made me to be. Finding a true relationship with Abba made all the difference in the world in my life. Well done ma’am. Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      J. D., what a wonderful testimony of how truth sets us free! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Melissa Henderson

    What a beautiful message! Yes, how we view God in every moment causes our choices to be led by faith and trust in Him or by trying to handle things on our own. I pray Cosette is better. Debbie, I always enjoy your messages.

  4. Debbie Wilson

    Thank you, Melissa. You are an encouragement to me! Blessings, my friend.

  5. Melody

    I loved this devotional. Hope and pray your beautiful poodle is OK.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Melody. My daughter ordered her a dog boot to wear until she heals. 🙂

  6. Stephanie

    Wonderful analogy! So helpful to illustrate in ways I can remember!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Stories help me too, Stephanie.

  7. Marilyn Nutter

    Beautiful! We have a compassionate Father–in tough times and celebrations. He is tender and loving. He withholds, not to be a tyrant, but a protector and provider of something else. And another note–when I open your site-your cover photo visualizes refreshment–a beautiful design.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! He is perfect in all of His ways. Thank you, Marilyn.

  8. Candyce Carden

    Beautiful analogy, Debbie. And so helpful and encouraging.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Candyce.

  9. Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Debbie,
    Why is it that God gives us this beautiful coloring page to color however we please. The only rule is “don’t color outside the lines.” Even when we have all this room to color however we want within the lines, we always want to push the envelope and color outside the lines – boundaries that are there for our own benefit. Thankfully I’m old enough that I “get” that the wages of sin are death, but communicating the benefits of boundaries to a younger generation is difficult. Sadly, my kids have had to learn many a lesson the hard way. Great illustration with your huntress, Cosette.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Debbie Wilson

      Bev, that is a benefit that comes with experience. We know that we never regret following His ways and we always, if not immediately, eventually, regret disobeying Him.

  10. Patsy Burnette

    Debbie, great points! I believe our view of God shapes so much of our life and response to Him and others as well. Great post!

    Pinned and tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Patsy.

  11. Mandy Farmer

    I recently heard a suggestion to look at God’s laws this way… “Don’t hurt yourself by…..”
    As parents, we give our children rules for their safety. It’s the same with God.

    • Dale Quarles

      I like your suggestion, Mandy! Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Mandy, that is a great way to look at temptation. Thank you.

  12. Lauren Renee Sparks

    I can honestly say this is a new way to look at temptation for me. Thanks for the angle. laurensparks.net

    • Debbie Wilson

      Awesome, Lauren. Thanks.

  13. Lynn

    The boundaries are there because He loves us, aren’t they? I wrote about a similar theme this week regarding King David, and how crossing boundaries is a slippery walk leading to even the most kingly to fall. All of us are not beyond temptation. Always be on alert for sure. I hope Cosette’s vet appointment went ok and she’s on the mend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Lynn, they are. Thanks. She seems to be doing better. It was a deep puncture wound so it is taking some time to heal.

  14. Karen Del Tatto

    Great word picture using the example of your sweet dog’s experience. Thanks for these excellent insights about how the way we view God should encourage us when temptation strikes.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Karen. I love how God can speak to us though life’s events.

  15. Katherine Pasour

    I’ve found that I learn many lessons from nature and our farm animals. Both your dogs provided a lesson, I think. There was Max (the good dog), waiting and worrying because Cosette had run away (reminds me of the prodigal story). Cosette was welcomed and had to suffer some consequences. I hope Max got an extra pat for staying home. Reminds me that we often overlook our children, spouse, friends, and mentors that are constant in their faith, love, and compassion. We sometimes take them for granted.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, those are great lessons that carry so much truth! Thank you so much.

  16. Theresa Boedeker

    I love your dog’s name! Hope she gets well soon.

    Seeing God’s laws as fences to protect us will change our opinion about them. We instill rules for our children out of love and to protect them. And the same is true of our heavenly father.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Theresa, that is a great comparison. No loving parent makes up rules to frustrate their children. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Tammy L Kennington

    These words struck me…”we fail to realize we’ve brought the loss upon ourselves. We may even blame God for our pain.”

    His protections are there for a purpose, aren’t they? As I grow in faith, may I learn to live more and more within that protection!

    Peace and grace,
    Tammy

    • Debbie Wilson

      May we all, Tammy. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  18. Dale Quarles

    I like that suggestion, Mandy! Thank you!

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