Temptation

The Silent Voice of TemptationPremium Content

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23


Artist, Gerald Moira, creator of the 1898 piece, "The Silent Voice," is a haunting image. In it, we see a young woman with an ethereal creature whispering in her ear.

To me, it calls to mind recovery from addiction as it relates to silence and the voice. Personally speaking, my restrictive abusive childhood discouraged any use of my voice which was considered displeasing. "Children are to be seen and not heard." That's how the saying goes.

And that sentiment had its oppressive hand in my eating disorder development and thought processes. Things "innocently" started out as a desire to lose weight and be thin. But it wasn't long before the disorders, in all of their different forms, became about control and exerting my declaration of independence. In short, disordered eating/image became my voice screaming against the silenced abuse, inequity and toxic environment I endured.

But, just because I've been removed from that confining time and space, does not mean my need to deal with those triggering voices is over. Quite the contrary, in fact. For whispers still come from unexpected corners.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

And these whispers are certainly not affirming. In the context of disorder and self-destructive tendencies, the whispers go more like this instead…

Remember when things used to be so great...

Remember how in control you were...

Remember how much better you looked being thinner...

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Is it the ego? Or is it the soul?Premium Content

I recently came across a little gem about the ego and the soul.
It's quite profound. It states things like:

"Ego looks outward. Soul looks inward."

"Ego sees lack. Soul sees abundance."

According to one definition of the word, soul is comprised of the mind, the will and the emotions. So, it stands to reason soul would be quite vulnerable to disease. Indeed, there is a battle going on.

And, let's get real -- a large part of that battle involves the toxic pride factor.

Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16

And that pride rubs shoulders with rebellious foolishness.

The fool hath said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Psalms 14:1

And yes, that goes for even us Christians.

It's not about being a good little boy or girl in the pews on Sunday. Instead, it has everything to do with the very real, very rebellious, prideful and diseased thoughts which have ensnared us in affliction. Saying "no" when we should say "yes."

As is echoed in the "Ego Versus Soul" post...

"Ego rejects God. Soul embraces God."

Again, profound.

And, while we may nod our heads in agreement with that statement, do we really examine any rebelliousness lurking in our tricky hearts?

After all, we're not above being deceived...

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

For, once upon a time, there was a certain rebel who let some audacious, prideful attitudes rip.

And he said unto them, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Luke 10:18

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Cross-Addiction: A Way That Seems Right?

Recently, a young girl reached out to me concerning her struggles with disordered eating; she informed me she just took up the habit of smoking.

For what I am doing, I do not understand... The Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15

She's currently in a facility, being treated for bulimia, a mood disorder and self-injury behavior. I asked her what her treatment center thought about this habit. She told me she thought it was a better action than engaging in the eating disorder and self-injury behaviors.

But, to me, it smacks of cross-addiction. Indeed, someone afflicted with an addiction, obsession or disorder can often become convinced if they just switch it for another passion or behavior, he or she will be fine.

I did this myself.

Do You Embrace Everything that is Permissible?

In the past two weeks, I've become aware of two pastors (same denomination, different churches) who are wallowing in self-pity and self-indulgence. Both claim depression and overwhelming personal pain. One used the term "burned out." A Christian who is "burned out?" Who cannot go on in ministry or service for the Lord? Oh . . . my . . . goodness!

On the one hand, I'm angry at these brothers. How dare they, as servants of the Lord and leaders within the Church, be so self-centered as to put their own desires ahead of the desires of the Lord? And, on the other hand, I'm filled with pity for these men who are so deluded in their beliefs that they can justify "crises of faith," doubt as it were, without feeling the least tinge of remorse or fear of God's judgment. (And if they are fearful, not fearful enough to turn back to the narrow path.)

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

Pornography Addiction: What Can a Wife Do?

Don't give up on your marriage! Porn addiction doesn't have to mean the end to marriage. In fact, it is time to nurture your marriage with the tender loving care it so needs and deserves. You can actually learn from this and have a better marriage over it. I encourage you to put forth every effort to reinforce the bonds of trust and love that may have been broken between you and your husband.

The moral outcome of a husband viewing pornography does not only affect him but the wife as well. A wife may feel unloved, invalidated, and sexually unattractive. "Why doesn't he want sex with me anymore? Why does he look at all those gorgeous naked women?What's wrong with me?"

Nothing at all is wrong with you! This problem has NOTHING to do with you. It is your husband's problem. Don't make yourself feel victimized by this issue in your marriage. Your husband is looking at porn and acting out sexually because of an underlying problem within his inner awareness that is still haunting him. He may not even be aware of it himself.

Most likely your husbands porn addiction is caused by something unpleasant that happened to him in his childhood that is manifesting itself within his mind. He may be feeling anguish over his past and for a temporary "feel better" fix your husband is acting out his emotional pain and feelings of grief through the use of porn.It makes him feel better emotionally and mentally.

Overcoming Porn

** Are you having less sex with your spouse or stopped having sex with your spouse because you are looking at pornography?
** Are unhealthy emotions overtaking your thoughts and controlling the outcome of your actions?
** Have you tried to quit looking at porn but can’t?

If you answered yes to any one of these then you are addicted. Anytime we are addicted to something it means we are under its control and have become a slave to it. Does being addicted to porn mean you are a bad person? Not necessarily.

What it means is that you have a sexual temptation that you desire more than you desire the goodness of self brought on by God. You are allowing the sin to overwrite the natural goodness of your character. Satan is pulling at your flesh to look at porn, while principles and mores are put on hold somewhere in your mind.

Bad people remain in their addiction all the while getting worse spiritually and emotionally. Bad people don’t even try to come out of their addiction but rather revel in it and eventually get worse in their sinful behavior. Bad people don’t know they are lost, they believe they are following the right path already. Bad people are literally holding hands with Satan.

Some of you might be playing a game of tug and war because your conscience is having a difficult time dealing with your actions. This is the flesh (physical and emotional feelings) fighting with the spiritual aspects of your nature. The spiritual aspect of self knows right from wrong. Which way are you tugging? Did you fall into temptation again?

What does "Pray Without Ceasing" Mean?

Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 declares that God's will for us is that we

[p]ray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.

To pray unceasingly does not mean spending twenty-four hours daily in prayer. >b>Rather, it means being open continually to God, sharing our thoughts and hopes with Him in mental prayer, and so on. It means, as we face a problem, praying, in a sentence, "Lord, help me with this problem"; or, "Give me patience as I talk with this trying person"; or, "Thank you for seeing me through that mess," and similar prayers.

O. Hallesby years ago wrote, "We cannot breathe in the early morning in such a way that it will be sufficient until noon. Likewise, we cannot pray in the morning so as to suffice until noon."

Continual sentence prayers are simply Christian breathing. They keep us alive and strong.

Laying Firm Foundations in Recovery

Jesus says:
Matthew 7:24-27
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Matthew 7:24-27 speaks to everyone who is in recovery. At one time or another, we all have built our houses on sand. That sand could be alcohol, riches, drugs, sex, food, another person, gambling, anger, abuse, depression, the list is endless. And just like sand, these God-substitutes slip through our fingers, leaving no trace as we desperately grasp at them looking for something firm to cling to. None of these sand-gods provide a firm foundation. Only God Almighty provides a foundation that is unshakable. No matter how bad things get, God is always there. He never fails. Yes, at times we may feel He is distant, but that is a FEELING. The reality is that He is always present and He holds you firmly in His grip, if you let Him.

Defeating Lies with the Truth

Lie #1: "I can't trust God."
The TRUTH: God is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:9 (NKJV) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Lie #2: "God is against me."
The TRUTH: God is for you.
Romans 8:31 (NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Lie #3: "I'm not good enough to be blessed."
The TRUTH: Christ is your righteousness, and you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him.
Philippians 3:9 (NKJV) Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Perseverance in Prayer

"By running and exercising every day, you are the fitter to run in a race. Just so, the more often you come into God's presence--the greater confidence, and freedom, and enlargement it will bring to your soul."


No doubt by praying we learn to pray; and the more we pray--the more often we can pray, and the better we can pray. Those who pray by fits and starts are never likely to attain to that effectual, fervent prayer which avails so much.

Prayer is good,
the habit of prayer is better,
but the spirit of prayer is the best of all.
It is in the spirit of prayer, that we pray without ceasing.

It is astonishing what distances men can run, who have practiced often; and it is equally marvelous that they can maintain a high speed for a long time after they have acquired stamina and skill in using their muscles.

Likewise, great power in prayer is within our reach, but we must work to obtain it. Let us never imagine that Abraham could have interceded so successfully for Sodom, if he had not been in the practice of communion with God his entire lifetime. Jacob's all-night at Peniel was not the first occasion on which he had met his God. We may even look at our Lord's most choice and wonderful prayer with His disciples before His Passion, as the flower and fruit of His many nights of devotion, and of His rising up often and early, before daylight, to pray.

A man who becomes a great runner has to put himself in training, and to keep himself in it; and that training consists of much exercise and running. Those who have distinguished themselves for speed have not suddenly leaped into eminence, but have been runners a long time.

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