No Temptation. Really?

GIVEAWAY NOTE: Please plan on joining us Friday for a fun and practical giveaway. I’ll have an Encouragement for Today devotion running  at Proverbs 31 and on Crosswalk.com on the topic of using our time wisely and how to decide when (and when NOT) to multi-task. The giveaway includes a copy of my book The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized and some organizational and “office-y” items. Plan to hop on and leave a comment!

Well, my calendar tells me it is Weight Loss Wednesday again! (If you haven’t joined our little cyber group of girlfriends, don’t fret! Newcomers are always welcome. You can get caught up by clicking on Weight Loss Wednesdays in the side bar.)

How was your week?

Mine was kinda/sorta hard.

I gave up dark chocolate last week. Not forever, just until Valentines Day. I don’t eat a lot of it, just 2-3 small squares a day in the late afternoon as a treat and reward for sticking to my eating plan (and finishing school with the boys for the day–always a good feeling!) The total calories of my little, habitual treat only comes to 80-120 per day but it gives me a delicious (though not overly sweet) treat to look forward to and savor. And, it even is rich in anti-oxidents and contains some good fat too.

And it is ESPECAILLY scrumptious when it is the dark chocolate/pomegranate type.

Uh……that would be the type that our little town’s grocery store had marked down this week from $4.00 per bag to a little over $1.00 per bag.

Yep, six bags of my favorite chocolate in the world beckoned my name when I got groceries last week, just after I’d told all of you I’d given up dark chocolate for a while.

All six bags chanted in unison “Buy me, buy me!!!” Oh, and they had to throw in the fact that they were now less than half the normal price. That appealed to my innate, frugal nature.

I decided to be brave and just walk on by. However, my frugal side argued with my “Be brave and avoid the temptation” side. It just had to look at the out date. If they outdated in the next 2 weeks or so, I shouldn’t buy them because I wasn’t supposed to be eating them.

However, (that frugal inner voice reasoned), if they outdated later, then I should buy them due to the savings I’d enjoy.

Bossy Miss Frugal won out.

They don’t out-date until July. So, I purchased them and had a family member stash them away somewhere I will not find them. Now, you all just pray I stay true to my plan and don’t go rummaging around before Valentines Day looking for them! I’ll let you know how that goes!

My dark chocolate dance and giving up of the treat got me thinking this week about temptation.

Food temptations.

The I-crave-it-so-much-I-can-hardly-stand-it kind of food temptations.

Mine come mostly in the form of salty fat (a plate of Hint of Lime tortilla chips smothered in melted, sharp, shredded cheddar cheese) or sweet dairy fat (ice cream, chocolate malts, full-fat mocha lattes, cheesecake, …you get the picture!)

However, God encourages us, promising to help us fight temptation (and win!). One of the verses I clung to when I lost over  100 pounds a few years back was I Corinthians 10:13.

I love me some I Corinthians 10:13.

I memorized sweet I Corinthians 10:13.

I plastered up several sticky notes around my house sporting I Corinthians 10:13. (Mostly in the kitchen on the fridge and pantry)

Perhaps you’d care to do the same thing. It goes…..

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

That is from the English Standard Version of the Bible, the one I am currently studying. I love this version because it is the latest word-for-word translation of the Bible (as opposed to phrase-for-phrase translations) and it is written with the English language in mind, unlike older word-for-word translations that read rather choppy. However, perhaps you are a contemporary language gal. If so, here is the verse in The Message version of the Bible:

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”

For those who love to dive into the original Greek or Hebrew meanings of words from the Bible, here is another one of my favortie translations that does just that: the Amplified Version.

“For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”

Slightly wordy, but oh, so rich!

I began quoting this powerful, promise-packed verse to myself again whenever I was tempted to give in to an unhealthy craving last week, sweetly reminding God He promised me a way of escape…a landing place.

He never failed.

Sometimes the way out was a bowl of slightly thawed, frozen blueberries or blackberries sprinkled with stevia.

Some days it was a steaming cup of orange or apple or passionfruit herb tea, also sweetened with stevia.

Those were on my ‘sweet fat’ craving days.

On my ‘salty fat’ craving days, often it was some soy crisps (like mini-rice cakes) dipped in salsa. Or some air-popped popcorn misted with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

And sometimes, the way of escape had nothing to do with food.

It was to escape to my bedroom, fling myself on my bed and open my Bible or pour out my heart to God about how tempted I was. About how much I didn’t want to give in and how I loved Him so much more than food, but right now the food was chasing and tormenting me and would He, could He, please help me to stand up under it?

He never failed.

My challenge for you this week is to memorize this verse, in whatever translation you’d like. (You can find more translations at www.biblegateway.com) I’ll even give a prize away next week to one gal who does so.

Oh, and the temptation avoidance worked. The scale went down a little more this week. Three fourths of a pound is all. But hey, I’m not gonna fret. That is like losing three sticks of butter–solid fat! (Because, as my Weight Watchers leader use to always say, “If the scale goes down, you lost solid fat. If it spikes up a bit, you are retaining water! ;-))

Now, how was your week? And will you commit to memorizing this amazing verse?

Temptation Escaping Blessings,

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  • by the way, although the daniel fast is not a diet, and it’s purpose is spiritual, you can’t help but lose weight while doing it. i lost six pounds and it has made me more health conscious and aware of what i put in my mouth. i will do this fast again and also some 3-day full fasts.

  • Praise the Lord! With my church I just ended a 21 day Daniel fast and this scripture is one the Lord pressed on my heart during that time. for me, all the foods i couldn’t eat represented the stuff i didn’t need in my life. all the STUFF i thot i couldn’t do without and couldn’t be happy without but in reality didn’t need. it was the 1st time i had participated in this type of fast and had read that fasting causes your spirit to become super sensitive to the voice of God. and i was determined to find out if this was true. God was faithful and i didn’t have one craving for sugar (even tho i missed it in my spaghetti sauce), meat, soda…nothing. i mean i thot about them, they were missed, but i never entertained the thot of eating them and breaking the fast. i think it was because i was so committed to finding out if fasting works, to getting my blessing, that i kept my eyes on what was waiting for me at the end of the journey instead of the difficulty i might have while on the journey. i have never been so committed to anything in my life and i’ve been saved for 30 years! God used the scripture you shared to let me know there is no reason i have to continue in any habitual sins. Jesus’ death took away ALL my excuses.because of Christ , there is no temptation that is beyond my human power of resistance! WHAT A RELIEF!

    Karen,
    thanks for your blog. i intend to sign in daily. i came across it today when God lead me to begin a study on Proverbs31. since there are 31 verses i decided to study a verse a day for 31 days. i’m on verse 1 and i didn’t think i would get that much out of it but God has given me 3 PAGES of notes, things to think about and to do and what i call “whispers from him’. i am just amazed!
    pray my strength so i will stay on course and FINISH the study.
    BE BLESSED.

  • Karen,
    I have so much in common with you. Would you believe that the day before this devotion I had just purchased a bag of dark chocolate pomegranate? I, am addicted to dark chocolate(it’s my biggest daily must-have) and also have a very frugal nature. I can totally relate to the inner struggle between Ms. Frugal and Ms. Self-Control. Thankfully, though, weight is not an issue for me. I am blessed with a fast metabolism and I make sensible and healthy choices regarding my food consumption. To all those who struggle, keep up the good work – take those baby steps and make good choices. :)

  • I came over from the Encouragement for Today email. I’m in Germany so I’m a little early for the contest.
    I think I need to look more into this group too. I’ve been exercising and trying to eat better. But, I enjoy sweets and nightly microwave popcorn. I am going to write this verse down on an index card right now and put it in my kitchen. Thanks for the encouragement.