Spiritual Tug of War Pt. 2

My last post was about the inner struggle that we have, when we are fighting against the temptations of life.  The battle of ‘what we want to do’  vs. ‘what God wants us to do’.  It’s one thing to be aware that we have this struggle, but the bigger issue is, “how do we win it?”

I heard a phrase a couple of weeks ago that answers this question.  The speaker said, “Don’t let your WANTS determine your behavior”.  This would also be known as living with integrity.

In the bible, there is a man named Samson.  Samson was chosen by God to be the deliverer of Israel.  He was given supernatural physical strength, good looks and was blessed by God. The secret to Samson’s strength was his hair; as long as he never cut it, he would always be an unbeatable powerhouse. Only he and his parents knew this secret.  Someone like that could never be defeated….or could they?

“So the Philistines captured him (Samson) and gouged out his eyes. They took him to Gaza, where he was bound with bronze chains and forced to grind grain in the prison.”  Judges 16:21

Samson was captured and ruined because he was his own worst enemy.  He was so physically strong that no one could overtake him, but he lacked self-control, and that became his downfall.  Instead of living a life of integrity, Samson lived a life that was dictated by his ‘wants’.  His final ‘want’ was a woman named Delilah.  This relationship was not acceptable, because Israelites were forbidden to marry outside their own people, and Delilah was a Philistine.  But this was what Samson desired, and what he desired he  indulged. Delilah ends up being bribed, by some lords of the Philistines, into finding out the secret of Samson’s strength and exposing it to them.  This is how Samson becomes captured and enslaved as in the aforementioned verse.

We too can be our own worst enemies, leading ourselves into defeat.  If we want to win the spiritual tug of war, we have to decide each and everyday that we are going to be people of
integrity.  Instead of relying on our own power, we need to yield to God and let him lead us in the right direction, so we will not become victims of our ‘wants,’ when they are clearly not good choices.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16)

To end this post, I want to share with you a 4th grader’s view of integrity.  It was written by my daughter a few years back.  Sometimes students are the teachers. 🙂

Integrity By Deja Jackson

I am going to tell you about integrity, which means doing right even when nobody is looking.   An example of integrity is when you are at home by yourself and your parents tell you not to watch television. Instead of watching television, you obey your parents even though they are not there watching you. Integrity is very important because God judges you by your integrity. It even says it in Psalm 7:8, “let the Lord judge the people. Judge me, O LORD, according to my integrity, O Most High.  Another verse about integrity is Proverbs 10:9, which is,  “ The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found.”  Proverbs 10:9 tells you that if you have integrity, you shall walk safely and no harm shall come upon you, unlike the wicked who will be found out. I just wanted you to know that integrity is an important thing and you should have it because that is the way God judges you.

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