In my last post we looked at Part 8 of the Temptation Tracker. This particular post will be part 9. It will also be my last post in the Temptation Tracker series, and it will be my last post of 2016. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
You can listen to the sermon link below. In it I explain how to use the Temptation Tracker and how the Lord wants to be with us in whatever emotion we are feeling.
Where did this come from?
I always like to give credit where it is due:
Temptation Tracker (created by Doug Hutchins, used with permission)
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)
Today let’s look at T, feeling tired.
We all feel tired. It is a basic function of being alive. It falls under the same category of being thirsty or being hungry. Those are also basic functions of being alive. When I am thirsty, I get something to drink. When I am hungry, I get something to eat. When I am tired, I need to go to bed and get some sleep.
There are many times that being tired can get us into trouble and lead us to idolatry. Why is this the case? Many times we are tired, but we won’t go to bed. We won’t get the rest that we need. In a tired state, we can make very unwise decisions. Those can be very costly when those decisions become sinful and when that sin takes over and becomes an addiction.
There is a solution. What is that solution? Brace yourself because this is going to sound very profound. The solution is “go to bed”. What?!? That’s it. Sometimes, it is just that simple. If I am prone to lust and look at porn and bow down to sexual sin, then why am I surfing the internet between 12am-2am? Lamentations 3 tells me that God’s mercies are new every morning.
If I am tired, then I can just go to bed. I will wake up in the morning, and I can experience God’s mercies in a fresh way. At times, it really is that simple.
Other times, it is not. We might be feeling tired, but it is more than just being physically tired. At times we are tired because we are just physically, emotionally and mentally drained. When this happens, I believe God wants us to be at rest in our soul.
How do we experience this? Matthew 11 tells me to bring my weary and burdened self to Jesus. When I do this, Jesus can give me rest. This is not just any kind of rest, Jesus says He can give us rest for our soul.
Does this just come from bringing our burdens to Him? No, it does not. Jesus clearly says in Matthew 11:28-30 there are a couple of things that must happen in order for me to experience soul rest. The first is that I must bring my weary and burdened self to Him! I must do this! I can’t take my weary and burdened self to idolatry. Food will not give me soul rest. Porn will not give me soul rest. More likes on social media will not give me soul rest. Winning my fantasy football league will not give me soul rest. Movies won’t. Music won’t. My job won’t. My family won’t. Other relationships I have won’t. If I want soul rest, then I can only take my weary and burdened self to one place. That place is really a person, and His name is Jesus.
There is something else I must do to experience soul rest. I must yoke myself to Jesus. No, Jesus is not talking about egg yolks here. He is talking about the way two oxen would be yoked together when a field was going to be plowed. Those two oxen would be yoked together. In essence, they couldn’t be separated, and one of those oxen would take more of the lead. That is how it must be between Jesus and myself. I must be yoked to Him. He must take the lead in all areas of my life, and I must be willing to learn from Him! When this happens, I am at rest in my soul.
To sum up, if I am tired, I may just need to go to bed so I can experience God’s new mercies when I wake up the next morning. Doing this can help me to avoid idolatry.
If I am not at rest in my soul, then I don’t want to run to false idols. I want to take my burdened self to Jesus. When I do this I yoke myself to Him. I follow Him. I obey Him. When this happens, I find soul rest.
Who or what are you bowing down to today? If it’s not Jesus, would you be willing to repent today! Could you bring your weary self to Jesus?
If you are battling idolatry, would you have the courage to track your temptation to find the root issue in your heart? If Jesus can lead you to the root issue, He can empower you to bring that root issue to Him.
Will I trust Him be enough in my boredom, my loneliness? Will I let Him be with me when I am afraid or angry or stressed or sad? Will I let Jesus cover my shame with His righteousness? Will I find my soul rest in Him and only Him.
Remember, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is enough. He alone is worthy of my heart, my pursuit and my worship!