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March 2021
Three Things to Avoid
Springtime is coming and God is certain to do new things in your life. Throughout the Bible we see God doing new things for his people. When we believe in Jesus we become new creatures in Christ. Born Again! Brand New!  God is the God of new things. 

The devil? Not so much. Satan has had the same ol' dusty tricks in his bag from the beginning of time. 

1 John 2:16 tells us, "For everything in the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life— comes not from the Father but from the world." 

So...the devil only has these three things to trick us into disobeying God.  Lust of the flesh... things that help us escape discomfort; sex, alcohol, drugs, buying a new car when we can't afford it, eating a whole cake, etc.  Lust of the eyes... things that we see others have and want them for ourselves; fame, fortune, a million instagram followers, a whole cake, etc. The pride of life...things that swell our egos or threaten to crush them. 

There are millions of scenarios that may bring drama, disappointment, and chaos into your life. However, I bet if you caused it, the situation falls into one of these three tricks of the enemy. 
TODAY, MARCH 15,  is the last day to pre-order your signed hardcover copy of TOYI ELIZABETH.  

Even my mama can't get a signed hardcover copy unless she buys it from the link below.
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Dusty Ol' Devil

While God is known to do new and wonderful things in our lives, the devil only has three tricks up his sleeve. He uses them quite well. Fortunately for us, the Bible is always a "lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path."  (Psalm 119:105)

Let's take a look at Luke 4... Satan tries these three tricks on Jesus. Here's the situation...

Jesus has been fasting forty days and he is hungry. Satan comes to tempt him with those same three dusty ol' tricks. In verse 3, Satan uses the lust of the flesh trick and tells Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, turn this stone to bread."  

WARNING: The devil often tempts us with things to avoid discomfort. He offers shortcuts and harmful behaviors that deliver limited relief and plenty of bad consequences. 

Jesus knew better than to fall for this.  In verse 4 Jesus answers, "It is written; Man shall not live on bread alone." 

Knowing what the scripture says and what God wants us to do is the key to fighting against  temptation. It's why I always post #readyourbible It's our playbook. It was used by the undisputed, heavy-weight, Holiness Champion of the world. If Jesus wasn't too good to quote the scriptures, neither are we. Learn it. Live it. Love it. 

The devil hasn't wreaked havoc on earth for thousands of years by being a quitter. So...he moves to trick number two: The lust of the eyes. The devil takes Jesus to a high place and shows him all the kingdoms of the world. He tells him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor." (verse 6) There is only one little caveat. In verse 7 he says, "If you worship me, it will all be yours." 

WARNING: The devil does not want you to worship God. Most of us are smart enough not to worship satan, but he often tricks people into worshipping material things, lifestyles, desires, etc. instead of God.  

Jesus responded in verse 8, "It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only." 

God may want to give you fame, money, comfort, etc, and he has a plan for that. God wants you to prosper, but you can't do it by bowing to the ways of the devil. The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and no trouble with it. (Proverbs 10:22). If you don't do it God's way, if you chase your own selfish desires, you are going to have mo' money and mo' problems. 

You'd think after two failed attempts that satan would leave Jesus alone. Nope! He kept coming. This time, he went big. He went for the ego, the pride of life.  Satan challenged Jesus' identity again, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here."  Since Jesus quoted the scripture, Satan decided to quote it, too. "For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."  

WARNING: The Devil will manipulate you with scripture out of context and in opposition to God's truth. He will challenge your identity in Christ to force you out of God's will and into your own plan.

Jesus responded, "It is said, Do not put the Lord your God to the test."  

Know who God says you are. Don't allow the devil's tricks to push you out of the will of God because you are trying to prove your worth, your intelligence, or seeking status. 

All through the Bible, the devil used these same three things to bring destruction onto God's people. From Eve to Judas, he worked those tricks and he's still working them today. So be vigilant. Before you make the wrong decision, be sure that you are not being tricked by the desire to escape discomfort, the desire to chase "more', or by your prideful ego.  

The lust of the flesh is a big one for me because I hate to be uncomfortable. I hate to be sleepy. I hate to be hungry. I hate to be angry. I hate to be anxious. So, it's usually the first trick the devil tries. I have to stay prayed up and alert for when I see this trick coming into play in my life. 

Writing this book was terribly uncomfortable for me. Like Jesus at Gethsemane, I didn't want to write this book. However, I knew that God wanted me to write it. So, through the discomfort, I prayed for strength and leaned on His sufficient grace. The scripture I used to battle the temptation to quit was John 13:34: "A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." 

I love you guys and I pray TOYI ELIZABETH brings you healing, hope, restoration, and a closer relationship with Jesus. 
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