Redemption Through God Unbiasedness

One undeniable fact of God is His fairness. The root of this truth first surfaced after Adam and Eve’s great fall from His grace. Once God finished handing them their consequences for disobedience, He provided a way out (Genesis 3:22). It’s here, where God’s unbiasedness gave birth to faith and redemption.

The ensuing story is my experience with the Lord’s impartial interaction with me.

On the negative side, agnosticism fueled my disbelief of God and I spread its poison to anyone with open ears. Many times I argued God’s none-existent using the evilness of the world to point out His dislike for humanity.

How could God exist in a world riddled with death, hatred, and cruelty to children?

This outlook on God showed my misunderstanding of faith. I couldn’t grasp the idea those kinds of human actions in the world are not acts of God but the results from wicked people doing evil deeds. In my mind, I used those realities as a way to reject God. I didn’t know faith is an example of the inner changes God provides to remove sin’s corruption.

During this period of life, my thoughts became influenced by alcohol and drugs. This sent me on the road of self-destruction causing severe problems.

In fact, addiction almost killed me. One time I wrecked the car. It happened driving home from a bar. I became intoxicated from several hours of hard drinking and this impaired my ability to think. My drunkenness caused me to veer off the side of the road and crashed into a metal utility pole.

Then the next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of the road in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic. Even though I walked away uninjured, this incident put me in the path of death. This wasn’t enough to stop me ruining my life. I continued driving drunk.

Besides the substance abuse, I lived in fierce resentment, self-centered fear, and other unrighteous behavior. Sin ran wild, causing emotional, mental and physical harms to many people. My life continued to get worse, and along the way, suicide raised its ugly head.

Then one day in the spring of 1985 God got my attention. Alcoholism reduced me to one hundred and ten pounds, looked as if I was walking death and ended back home at mom’s house. This devastated her, and those tears she cried showed the terror behind her eyes. Now she experienced up close a frightening example of the horrors of an unsaved soul. With the agony of defeat prevalent and nowhere else to turn I heard God’s calling.

God took my hand and taught me the real meaning of life. His light overpowered the darkness hanging over my head. And nothing mattered except God. Over the next fifteen years, the relationship between God and me blossomed. He gave me the keys to the meaningful and purposeful life anchored in His purpose.

Even though God took hold of me, He understood I wasn’t ready for His way of living. And in the summer of 2000, I chose to distant myself from God. It began with complacency. You know those times when I believe my spiritual life is well but fail to rely upon Him. Well, this lack of faith cost me His grace, and three years later I returned to the nightmare of addiction.

It wasn’t a wise decision returning to alcoholism. But because of my dead faith and failing to recognize my error God’s voice fell on deaf ears. Under those circumstances, the day I drank, alcoholism returned with a vengeance.

Over the next eight years nothing I tried to ease the unnecessary suffering caused by my disobedience worked. My ability to make sound decisions ceased to exist, and this drove me deeper into despair. In my darkest days, I remember sitting on the couch with no electricity or running water with a cooler full of beer getting drunk. Self-pity filled my heart driven by my refusal to turn back to God.

I tried geographic changes to no avail. Every time I moved the lurking notion of impending doom never left my mind. Other ways included changing friends, hangout places and isolating myself at home. Nothing overtook the reality of my choice to walk away from God. And from my actions to live willful the quality of life continued to get worse.

Alcohol became my worst enemy and every time I drank the blackouts from abusing it became severe. It wasn’t uncommon for me to awaken from a blackout with black eyes or broken ribs because others told me I became violent. They had to manhandle me to stop me from causing more physical damage to property. And this led to more destructive drinking to drown out the embarrassment.

Not sure what happened. One day in the summer of 2011 I asked God for help. And within a few weeks, God’s Living Spirit became visible. He embraced me with His grace. God showed me mercy, and Christ entered my heart. This remarkable and unbelievable spiritual awakening changed me forever.

I knew God answered my cry for help because He removed my obsession with alcohol. No longer was I consumed with constant thoughts of getting drunk. Those became non-existent and God replaced them with a peace of mind unlike any other I had every experience. And God freed me from the bondage of self and as the result of His intervention, my thoughts shifted from the alcohol to thinking on Him.

I am grateful the Lord gave me another chance. Today I keep my faith active. For example, once awaken the first thoughts of the day begin with glorifying God. Prayer is where it starts and throughout the day a conscious effort made to rely upon Christ. And every night a sincere thanking for His daily bread.

God didn’t give up on me nor will He for you. His unbiased treatment of me keeps me seeking Christ and I look forward spending time with Him. I cherish His Spirit. I hope your experience is one full of His love and filled with His presence!

Christ Defeats Satan’s Temptations

As we continue looking at Matthew’s Gospel we see how God made Christ the King over temptation. A most compelling evidence attesting to this truth is the way Christ defeats Satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3-11).

A temptation is a real and devastating problem. Eve couldn’t resist it nor did Adam. I can’t either and neither can you. The moment we give into its demand, everything changes for the worse. In fact, this three syllables ten letter word damages our relationship with God.

But the Lord’s love for His children is greater than the trouble temptation causes because He redeems us through Christ.

To show us Christ’s as the redeemer, Matthew’s testimony to the three temptations He faced proves Jesus is stronger than everything the devil can dole out. Each time Lucifer confronted Christ with his cunning deception He didn’t waver from God’s powerful truths.

When we take a deeper look into the enticement, Satan used against Christ an incredible insight of God’s sovereignty emerges. Since the Messiah is God’s Son so Lucifer created those temptations to overtake Jesus’s kingship.

In other words, those attempts of disobedience aren’t for humans but made for Jesus. The devil understood who Christ is and designed his temptation in line with assaulting His loyalty to God.

For instance, the devil’s first try to trick Jesus is asking Him to do a miracle. Here Matthew shows us the wisdom of Christ. Jesus rebutted His tempter by sharing the purpose of life isn’t just physical.

Christ used the Old Testament scripture to let Satan know the way God intends for a believer to live (Deuteronomy 8:3). Here our Messiah gives us a blueprint for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s will. Remember, my friends. Salvation goes beyond the flesh.

After Jesus defeated Satan’s first entrapment, then he tries to lure Christ into tempting God. Here we find the devil seeking to extinguish himself as an expert in interpreting God’s word. The devil used Psalm 91:11-12 to show our Messiah his knowledge of God’s law.

Again Jesus corrected him by explaining another key point in living in God’s kingdom is never to tempt the Father (Deuteronomy 6:16). Here Christ gives His adversary God’s truth to stress the Lord’s way in staying humble. Tempting God is useless because He is the most powerful and knows our hearts.

God’s enemy failed in those two attempts but gave one last try to make Christ stumble. This last temptation is the real motive behind Satan’s intention of turning away from God and working for his evil deeds.

But Christ’s unshakable trust in the Lord coupled with His perfect wisdom crushed the devil’s trap. Jesus said to him: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Matthew gives concrete evidence of Christ’s undeniable power in defeating Satan’s temptations. Under those circumstances, Jesus proved He is God’s King by illustrating His dominance over sin.

Through Christ’s victory, God rewarded Him by sending angels to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11). Likewise, we receive a blessing when we rely on Jesus because God takes notice when we move away from sin and into righteousness.

I know the result of temptation. Every time I give into its enticing call my spirit becomes disturbed leading me to sin. I’m powerless over its entrapment. The moment I succumb to its demands my relationship with God becomes fractured placing a wedge between Christ and me.

On my own, this troubling dilemma gets worse. But when I humble myself before Christ and ask for help I find courage beyond mine. Then I’m able to stop and turn away from temptation.

My battles with temptation are overwhelming. But because of my everyday reliance on Christ, those wars become lessen. Since Christ overtook Satan’s domain, He gives me the strength to live in God’s will.

I’m not perfect and when I sin my willingness to repent gives me a way back to Christ. Even though I have to wait for God’s mercy the results from practicing patience outweigh the suffering caused by a hardened heart.

In conclusion, temptations aren’t impossible to overcome because God gave us Christ as our saving King. No matter how tempting you become remember Jesus is never absent.

How do you overcome your temptation?