I can tell it’s time for some personal spiritual growth. I’ve found myself leaning toward comfort over outreach and control over trust. I’ve allowed pride to reign more than once recently. When my heart is battling the flesh (Rom. 8:5-8), I know it’s time to fill it with more of the Word.
- “Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psa. 119:11).
- Referring to the righteous…“The law of God is in his heart; his steps do not slip” (Psa. 37:31).
- “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” (Psa. 40:8).
I need to be able to recall the perfect Law in each moment of temptation. In order to resist the flesh, I need to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” by arming myself with the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:10-18). I need to memorize more of the Word.
Neal recently said, “If there’s a struggle, a difficulty, a problem, a situation that arises in life, there’s a text for that. There’s somewhere that God has dealt with that–at least in principle.” So here are a few verses to fight specific temptations that I’m going to work to treasure in my heart. If you find yourself struggling with some of them, too, perhaps you’d like to memorize them with me. Good news for the not-so-young–I recently learned that our brains never lose the ability to memorize new things (but I still tried to choose verses that are short and to the point)!
“Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished” (Prov. 16:5).
“But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Rom. 14:10).
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).
“He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly” (Prov. 14:29).
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29).
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col. 3:23).
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5).
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
Obviously there are many more fleshly temptations, but I tried to choose the ones that can so quickly sneak into our hearts. If you can think of any others (and the verses that combat them), please share them with us!