God allows tests and trials to come to you sometimes to see if you would allow His divine guidance to direct your affairs. If not, you end up bowing down to the pressures and submitting yourself to the temptations that accompanies the trials which always ends up in failure.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2 NIV
To gain control over the challenges you might face we first must understand them and then build a defense against any areas of your weaknesses to sin so that at the time of any trial, you will be able to withstand the pressure and come out of it victorious.
You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” Genesis 4:7 NLT
Si bien hicieres, ¿no serás enaltecido? y si no hicieres bien, el pecado está a la puerta; con todo esto, a ti será su deseo, y tú te enseñorearás de él. Gen 4:7 RSV60
You could say that every trial starts with a beginning, a middle and an end. At the onset, what you do when initially faced with the trial determines how long you will remain in the trial. What you do during the middle of the trial establishes the severity or the impact it will have on your affairs. What you do at the end of the trial determines your victory. Either you will overcome that period victoriously or you will repeat that trial but when it comes again, it becomes amplified.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me.” “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” Genesis 16:1-10 NIV
In this situation the beginning of Hagar’s trial started when Sarai gave her to Abram to have a child in her stead. When Hagar got pregnant, which became the middle, she was going through so much torment and mental anguish that she couldn’t bare it – all because Sarai despised her pregnancy. When a woman comes against you it’s like inviting the wrath of hell into the situation. Hagar could have aborted the baby. Instead the solution Hagar decided upon was to run away from everything that she knew and try to raise her son on her own and denying her owner Sarai the dignity of having a child. She was well on her way until the angel of the Lord came and spoke with her with instructions on how to deal with her trial – submit to her owner. As a result of her obedience, the Lord blessed her.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1st John 2:16
Sin comes in many forms but only through three areas of your life.
Sin can enter through your desires for the sensual pleasures out of our animal instincts. Your desires for the things that soothe the body, like food or putting another notch on your belt, can tempt you into making the wrong decisions which will lead you to bigger problems down the road. In the Bible it is called “the lust of the flesh.” because your body craves those sensual desires. Naturally there are many other forms of the lust of the flesh not listed here but you get the point, right? To combat and defeat the devil, you must take a look at your life and analyze all those areas where you missed the mark. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, then you can build up your resistance to that particular sin.
Sin can also enter through your desires to have everything pleasing to your eyes. A gold-digger has this problem. A person with a gold-digger’s mentality can never satisfy their desires to have everything they see. Some women even sell their bodies in exchange for receiving material possessions just to satisfy the lust of their eyes. This desire is not limited to having money, jewelry or even clothes. It can also be as big as the house, the car or even a trip to London. In the Garden of Eden, Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and “pleasing to the eye.” She lusted after it, ate it and gave some of it to her husband Adam, who, when he ate disobeyed Authority and severed our relationship with God. Thank God He created a way for us to come back in fellowship with Him like the way it was in the Garden of Eden by an exercising of our freedom of choice to accept the Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
Finally, sin comes when pride in your possessions or achievements hinder your ability to humble yourself in any situation by subjecting yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 NASB I can just mention one word associated with pride and give you an example from the Bible – Anger. Anger gives a foothold to the devil and with it, the devil controls your every move until you hurt the ones you love or lose them or even lose the blessing the Lord wants to give you – all because you got angry. When you are angry, your pride forbids you to accept the things you cannot change.
Naaman was a commander in the king’s army. He was highly regarded by the king and a mighty man of valor. Naaman had a physical defect. Naaman had Leprosy. In those days, anyone who was inflicted with leprosy was banned from the general public and considered uncleaned. One day he got wind that there was a prophet of the Lord who can heal him of his disease. So Naaman went to find him. When Naaman got there, instead of the prophet Elisha even coming out to heal Naaman himself, Elisha sent a word of instruction to Naaman so that he could get healed. Here’s what happened.
Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 2nd Kings 5:10-12 NIV
Not only did Naaman get mad, but he also complained about the process amplifying his problems even more. Did his lofty position with the king and his skills in battle get in his way in the form of pride? We all make the mistake in our thinking when we credit ourselves with gaining any material possession or position in life. If it wasn’t for the grace of God we would have nothing. Many things are destroyed from our pride.
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”1st Corinthians 1:31
In the case of Hagar, she could have allowed her pride to stand in the way of obeying the Word of the Lord given by the angel and kept running. Instead, she humbled herself, put her pride under subjection to the Authority of the Lord and returned to her master.
And in the case of Naaman, Naaman listened to wise council and decided to do what the prophet of God told him to do and received his healing.
Subject yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 Darby
Being subjected to Authority gives you the power to resist the devil. Rebellion fastens you to the sin and its control over you as long as you hold on to, in this case, the rebellion. You will find yourself doing everything you can in defiance to every law established by the one in authority. Whether it is your parents, your spouse, or even the law of the land, you will find every excuse not to conform. One way to gain the upper hand in this situation is simply to comply. You will find out that all things established by God are for your good – if you do the right thing.
And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season. Luke 4:13 ASV
What this means is that even though you’ve won this battle, the devil will be back to attack you in the same areas of your weakness but from a different angle. You see, not everyone has a problem lusting after material things or even after the things that gratify the things your body craves. So if you are never tempted in that area, the devil can never get to you. He will always come at you where you are weakest at. Therefore Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1st Peter 5:8 NIV