How To Get The Victory (Part 3)
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
How many times do we do something and then ask ourselves “Why did I do that”? If you’re like me, and every other human, we do this probably daily. We all have reasons why we do what we do. We all have our own thought process in which we go through before we even being to act. What I have seen in my own personal life is this process:
Christian’s Thought Process:
I. Temptation Presents Itself
II. Christian Initially Fights It
III. Christian Remains In The Heat Of The Temptation
IV. Christian Begins To Think About The Temptation In Detail
V. Christian Begins To Make Mental Plans On How To Do It Without Doing It
VI. Christian Feels Bad About Thinking About The Aforementioned
VII. Christian Asks For Forgiveness But Really Wants To Do It Instead Of Forsaking It
VIII. Christian Secretly Desires To Do The Thing Again & Doesn’t Care About The Consequences
VIV. Christian Goes And Completes The Sinful Act (To Satisfy Their Personal Desire)
X. Christian Realizes That It Wasn’t Worth It, Asks For Forgiveness, Then Feels The Guilt And Shame & Wants To Hide From Other Christians Until Encouraged
Do you live in this thought cycle? I know that I struggle with a few of these points. I believe that we can discover some practical advice from God’s Word of how to break this repetitive behavior. However, there has to be some extraordinary changes in personal motives. You see, unless the Christian changes their motives/desires to succeed, they will NEVER see true victory. Notice that I didn’t say GET true victory. You can’t get anything until you see it first. You must see the victory before you get it. You have to Change Your Motives!
CHANGING YOUR MOTIVES
Disclaimer: These steps mentioned for Getting The Victory are not guaranteed to work unless you are dedicated, determined and disciplined to work through adversity. If you plan to do it until they work, you must not accept failure nor allow yourself to surrender until you have achieved the victory.
So what are motives & desires?
Motive – something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act; a reason for doing something.
Desire – to want or wish for (something) : to feel desire for (something); to express a wish for (something).
So we see that motives are basically the reasons why we do things. Desires are the wishes to do those things. So the complete picture basically show up that we wish to do things because of our own personal reasons. In order to change our motives we have to know what they are first and why we do the things that we do. Here is a list of why:
- Tunnel Vision – Only focusing on one thing until you have reached it.
- The Power Of Names – Seeking to remain in a position of prestige.
- Social Bond Theory – Don’t feel important. So you act out to get attention.
- The Galatea Effect – “I’m nobody so it doesn’t matter what I do.”
- Time Pressure – People will ignore to do good when they are under the time crunch.
- Acceptance Of Small Sins – Small sins are overlooked but all sin is sin. Big or small.
- Self-Serving Bias – “It’s all about me! Right now I’m gonna get mine”
- Conspicuous Consumption – “People should cater to me because I’m ________”
- The Pygmalion Effect – “I’m seen as a cheater, so I might as well do it.”
- Environmental Influence – Sin is everywhere so since I can’t stop it, I might as well join in like everyone else.”
- Reactance Theory – “I don’t want to be told what to do and live so I will do my own thing because I can”
- Obedience To Authority – Following an authority figure when they condone bad behavior because it’s easier to put the blame on them instead of accepting responsibility for your wrong.
- The Blinding Effect Of Power – Setting the rules high for others but seeing yourself as above the law.
- The Free-Rider Problem – “If I do this, since no one can see me, then it will be okay.”
- The Foot In The Door – Trying to impress someone. Masks itself as being a team player or extremely loyal.
- Winner Take-All Competition – In situations where there is a clearly-defined winner and loser, people are more likely to cheat.
- Cognitive Dissonance & Rationalization – When people’s actions differ from their morals, they begin to rationalize/justify both to protect themselves from a painful contradiction and to build up protection against accusations. “I’m going to sleep with this person to make them happy but I’m unhappy because it’s not right but as long as they are happy it’s right.”
- Problematic Punishments – When someone puts a punishment on something, the tendency is for people to test it. “I want to do it and test fate to see if I will get away or get caught”. It’s mostly about the thrill of the act. Basically, rebellion!
- Lack Of Strength – Basically, this means that when a situation comes up, this person is too weak to put up a fight. They adopt the dead fish thinking and go with the flow.
- Escalating Commitment – Trying to make up for a big mistake by doing an even larger act to cover it up but making an even larger mess.
- The Induction Mechanism – People compare their present behavior to what they’ve done in the past. Another way people slide down the slope of unethical behavior is to stop seeing that behavior as bad. As the unethical becomes routine, the extremely unethical, once unthinkable, enters the realm of possibility.
- The Compensation Effect – Feeling as though you have a bank of good works or deeds and use this as justification to act unethically.
- Negative consequences of transparency – This involves one person disclosing something and others feeling as though they are okay to do it since it was aired out.
- Bad Communication – DUH. I Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived:evil communications corrupt good manners.” This is bible!
- The Pressure To Conform – “Everyone is doing it and I don’t want to be the one that sticks out like a sore thumb. I just want to fit in with the crowd.”
We see that there are a lot of motives to do sinful and unethical behavior. So how do we fight it?
A. Remember That You Love The Lord “…he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him…”
Stoping to think about the one who you profess to love will help you possibly not to adopt and carry out a bad motive. However, you should know that bad motives are usually deep rooted issues that are carried over from the time before you were saved. This is the fight that Paul told us about in Romans 7:19 “For the good that I would I do not:but the evil which I would not, that I do.”. When the bad thought comes into your mind capture it by saying “Lord, I love you more than my motives but my desire to do this seems stronger than loving you. I ask for your immediate help”. As soon as you pray that prayer, find scriptures about God’s love for your life. Knowing that someone loves and cares for you will begin to kindle your desire to seek His love and will instead of your love and will. Remember that you love The Lord.
B. Remember That Your Motives Are Directly Linked To Your Desires “…But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed…”
Our motives are the reasons why we act, but the reasons why we act are because we wish to do an act. For example, I loved to play tennis back in high school and I was pretty bad at it when I started. Then the more that I played, the better I became and the more that I started loving the game. My desire was to play tennis because I saw it as a pretty cool game and I learned that I was pretty good at it. What motivated me to play was the idea of getting better and going further as a player in the sport. The same applies to us spiritually as well. We do something because it seems interesting and we desire to experiment or experience. Then when we indulge we will want more and the pleasure of that thing motivates us to seek it more.
How do I know what motivates me or what I desire? You have to ask four questions and answer honestly.
I. What do I spend my extra money on?
II. What do I spend my extra time on?
III. What do I spend my extra energy on?
IV. What do I spend my time thinking about?
Where are your desires and motives?
C. Remember That Your Desires & Motives Don’t Control You!!! “…But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
I don’t know if that scripture makes sense to you but it tells me that I don’t have to follow “my head voice”. Your “Head Voice” is that voice that tells you that YOU CAN’T WIN. You have a choice! Be doers of the word and not hearers only. We also see that the bible says to Look into the perfect law of liberty and once you look, continue therein it. So we should see the desires and motives of Jesus and continue to observe it and walk in His perfection. You will NEVER be sinless, but Jesus can help you to sin less.
When you drive your car on the freeway, does it jerk the steering wheel from you? I hope not! It submits to you as you give the commands and control it for your pleasure. This is the desire that God demands of us. He seeks to have us controlled by His Spirit. I wonder if you are controlled like that car or do you sputter, buck-up or refuse to even start.
Today we have seen that there are many types of motives and desires. We must all desire to walk with The Lord as He leads us. When we take our eyes off of Him we will definitely put it on something else. The bible tells us that “The Eye, Ear and Mind” are never full but they continue to seek. God made it so that we would constantly seek Him. When we don’t seek Him we will definitely follow something. What are you following? We will cover the final part of this devotional next time as we close out How To Get The Victory. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.