Temptation Tracker, BLAST-Part 2

Like I said in my last post, my next several blog posts will have to do with the temptation tracker.  This will be true today as well.  Like I said last time, I would love it if you posted the link to this blog to your facebook or twitter, etc?  You can also post this link to a sermon I did about the temptation tracker specifically:

Temptation Tracker Sermon

Just a reminder about where this came from.

Temptation Tracker (created by Doug Hutchins with goingtransparent.com)

To see more on this on my site, click on this link: TempationTrackerPage

We must identify the idolatry issue of our heart, and the temptation tracker can help us determine the root issue behind our idolatry struggle. One of the things the temptation tracker helps us identify is what emotionally triggers us to bow down to other idols.  Every time a person is tempted to bow down to a false idol, they need to account for what they were feeling emotionally during that temptation.  It looks like this-

Feeling: how were you feeling when temptation hit (Remember: BLAST)

  • Bored
  • Lonely
  • Afraid
  • Angry
  • Stressed
  • Sad
  • Shame
  • Tired

Today let’s again look at B, the issue of boredom.

In my last post I said that I believe boredom is actually a purpose problem.  I do not exist to be entertained, but I exist to worship my Creator!

Let me give you a link to an interesting article.  This article shows that many young men are choosing video games over work.  Work is too boring and unfulfilling the article says.  Click here to read:

Chicago Tribune Article

May God help us in this nation!!!

Enough of that rant.  Back to my thoughts on boredom.  Another way to really address boredom is through serving the less fortunate.  Boredom feeds my entertainment desire, and the desire to constantly be entertained can produce intense selfishness.

What is the cure for this?

Serve others!

Isaiah 58:6-11 says this:

Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?  Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 

When I am selfish, I tend to only be thinking about myself.  In my experience, if I am bored, then I am typically being selfish.  What if I lived out Isaiah 58?  Let’s back up.  What would motivate me to live out Isaiah 58?  Answer=The Gospel!

Christ is MAJESTIC, and I don’t measure up to His greatness.  I deserve hell, but because Christ is MESSIAH, He rescues me from sin and hell.  This motivates me to let Him be MASTER of my life.  When He is in charge of my life, then I will live out His MISSION.

Part of His mission is serving the less fortunate.  Questions to ask yourself?

  • Am I currently in bondage?  Am I helping others out of bondage?
  • Am I serving the poor?  If so, how?
  • Am I feeding the hungry?  If so, how?

Please note serving the poor and feeding the hungry can be the physically poor and hungry, and it can also be the spiritually poor and hungry.

When I am in those darkest of places, do I live out Isaiah 58?  When I allow boredom to lead me to idolatry, do I live out Isaiah 58?

Practical ideas:

  • Focus on God’s creation to help elevate His Majesty in your life (See Job 38 & 39 or Isaiah 40)
  • Worship Him in song that He is Messiah (Sing Jesus Messiah, by Chris Tomlin)
  • Let Him be Master (Constantly ask yourself throughout the day, “Who is master of my life?”)
  • Live on Mission (What neighbor needs me to serve them?  What local shelter or mission could I volunteer at?  What child with Compassion International could I sponsor?)

Please note to sponsor a child with Compassion, click here:

http://www.compassion.com/

My light will break forth like the dawn when I am living for Him and Him alone.  When I live for Him alone, I will serve those who are in bondage, poor, hungry, etc.

What if every believer in your local church did exactly that this week?  What impact would be made for God’s Kingdom!

Would we only live for Him and His Kingdom!

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Temptation Tracker, BLAST-Part 1

My next several blog posts will have to do with the temptation tracker.  I am trying something new.  I believe that God has given me some unique insight on this.  Therefore, I am asking this about every blog I post on the Temptation Tracker.  Can you post the link to the blog on your facebook or twitter, etc?  I do not use social media because of my past struggles with pornography, and there are many things on social media that could potentially trip me up.  I would just rather avoid the temptation completely (this is the same reason I don’t have a smart phone).  But I also know that social media is a powerful communication tool.  I would love for this insight that God has given me to be communicated to as many as possible.  If you so desire, you can also post this link to a sermon I did about the temptation tracker specifially:

Temptation Tracker Sermon

Just a reminder about where this came from.  I spoke at a school a few years ago, and I met a guy who had come up with a temptation tracker to help folks track lustful temptation.  I have since found that this helps us track all temptation to bow down to idols.  First, we must identify what that idol is, and the tracker can help you determine the root issue behind your idolatry struggle.

I always like to give credit where it is due:

Temptation Tracker (created by Doug Hutchins with goingtransparent.com)

To see more on this on my site, click on this link: TempationTrackerPage

One of the things the temptation tracker helps us identify is what emotionally triggers us to bow down to other idols.  Every time a person is tempted to bow down to a false idol, they need to account for what they were feeling emotionally during that temptation.  It looks like this-

Feeling: how were you feeling when temptation hit (Remember: BLAST)

  • Bored
  • Lonely
  • Afraid
  • Angry
  • Stressed
  • Sad
  • Shame
  • Tired

Today let’s look at B, the issue of boredom.

I believe that being bored is actually a purpose problem.  We live in a culture where we believe the purpose of our life is to actually be entertained.  If I am not constantly entertained, then boredom can set in.  I have found this to really be hurting the young men in our American culture.  The American church is not exempt.  Many churches have resorted to entertaining those who come into their worship services.  Why?  If I am not entertained, then I may get bored.

The reality is we were not created for the purpose of being entertained.  We were created for the purpose of worshiping the One who created us and redeemed us at the cross.

Consider Colossians 1:13-22.

  • Followers of Jesus were rescued from the Kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Light.
  • Followers of Jesus were purchased by Christ’s blood on the cross and are forgiven of all sins.
  • Jesus is Creator of all things, and all things (including us) were created to worship Him.
  • Jesus sustains all of creation.
  • Jesus is the head of the Church, and He has first place in everything.
  • Through Christ we can be reconciled to God the Father.
  • Followers of Jesus used to be engaged in evil, but because of Him, we are now holy and blameless.

I have been rescued from darkness by Jesus so I worship Jesus!  

I have been forgiven by Jesus so I worship Jesus!

I have been created by Jesus so I worship Jesus!

Jesus sustains creation so I worship Jesus!

Jesus has first place in all things so I worship Jesus!

I have been reconciled to God the Father by Jesus so I worship Jesus!

In Jesus, God the Father sees me as holy and blameless so I worship Jesus!

What does this look like?

When I wake up in the morning and get ready, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I spend time with Jesus, I am worshiping Jesus. When I eat breakfast, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I go to work, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I eat lunch, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I continue working, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I get home and eat dinner, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I engage my wife and children in the evening, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I put my younger kids to bed, I am worshiping Jesus.  When I lay down to go to bed, I am worshiping Jesus.  No matter what I am doing, I am worshiping Jesus.  If this sounds redundant, it is meant to sound that way.  All of life is about worshiping Jesus.  I was created for that, and I was redeemed by Christ at the cross to do that.

If I am not worshiping Him when I am doing life, then there is a good chance I am worshiping myself.

When I worship myself, I often times can be looking to be entertained.  When I constantly need to be entertained, boredom can set in.  When boredom sets in, I lack purpose.  When I am experiencing a lack of purpose, I am really prone to temptation to bow down to idolatry.

What’s the point?

I can find purpose in whatever I am doing if I am doing it to worship the One who created me and died and rose again on my behalf.

Are you bored?

Are you lacking purpose?

Can you see how Christ wants you to worship Him in everything?

Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to worship Christ and Christ alone!

I want this to be the aim of my life, and I want it to be what I model for my children-Created to be entertained? NO WAY! Created to worship the Creator!

Pray that God will help me to live out this aim.  Pray that He would help you do the same thing!

If boredom is potentially leading us to idolatry, let’s run to Jesus and find our purpose in worshiping Him!

Saving Men in a Hyper Sexualized Culture

The Southern Baptists of Texas are putting together a free online workshop on October 27th at 9am.  I am partnering with them in this endeavor.  This is what they are calling it:

 

 

 

 

 

Please be in prayer for this.

I know it is during the week, but please make an effort to watch/listen.  And please let people know about it.

If you are unable to watch/listen that day, then my understanding is the video content will be available to watch/listen at a later date.

As I get more details on how to log on and watch the workshop, I will let you know.

Regarding the workshop itself, Praise the Lord that the Southern Baptists of Texas are helping to tackle this.  May God bless them for their courage!

May we all have courage from the Lord to tear down all idolatry, and may His Kindness lead us to worship Him!