“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3: 1-4
I love this passage of Scripture. The New Living Translation reads, “…set your sights on the realities of heaven…” in verse 1. This simple phrase is revolutionary. What if we considered the possibility that our temptations don’t have to become our reality?
The truth is, temptation is a fire. When you dwell on the temptation, you are fanning the flame and giving life to it. With every thought, the flame is given more and more life until we are rendered helpless to do anything except satisfy the desire born from the temptation. I’ve talked to people that have honestly believed they are destined to fall every time temptation comes up. They think they just can’t beat it! That’s not reality at all; not according to Colossians 3 where we’re told to set out minds on things above.
See, your thoughts will determine your reality. That’s why I love this Scripture so much. It reveals to us that the REAL reality is in Heaven, and it urges us to set our minds there.
Satan would love to convince you that the temptations and struggles you fight are the true reality. He would love to make you so fearful that you become timid and stop moving forward in your walk with God. He’d love to make you believe that overcoming temptation is impossible and that you’re destined to struggle with insecurity and fear forever. He’d love to tell you that there’s no way out of the battle against pornography and lust in your heart. Satan would love to convince you that the person you’ve been, and the things you’ve done, are too big and too bad for you to bring them to God.
However, Paul tells us in Colossians to check our eyes again. Those attacks from Satan are all in your head! I can picture Paul somehow reaching through the pages of the Bible to us today and saying, “Snap out of it! Stop looking at the mirage of sin, and set your sight on the reality of Heaven!”
Seated at the right hand of the throne of God is our Champion, Jesus Christ. He has come into the world as our Great and High Priest, and He understands our struggles. Jesus knows that even though it’s all in our heads, Satan is skilled in making it seem real.
Today, I’d like to offer you a reality check. Those thoughts you struggle with are just that — thoughts. Temptation is a fire, and knowing that truth will also help you expose it’s weakness. Fire needs oxygen to keep burning. Therefore if you cut off the oxygen, you extinguish the fire. How do you get oxygen to fire? You blow on it, you fan it — you fan the flame. Temptation is a fire, and when you stop fanning the flame, it will die out.
Are you fanning the flame of temptation when it comes, or are you adjusting your thoughts to resist the attack of Satan?
Let’s walk in the power Jesus has won for us. Let’s put to death the sinful things our flesh longs for and instead feed our spirit with the truth of the Word Of God. Jesus was tempted, and overcame. Now He lives within us, and greater is He within us than he that’s in the world. Rest in the power of God and the victory of Jesus, and watch the fires of temptation smolder into ash.
Proverbs 23:7 || 1 Corinthians 10:13 || James 4:7 || 1 Peter 5:8-11 || Hebrews 4:15 || James 1:12