We finally made it on a family vacation for a much-needed break. It has been an intense year with moving twice and we needed some quality family time. After looking at our budget we decided that Las Vegas would be a fun trip with so much to see and do without breaking the bank. Even after being warned with mixed reviews of whether it was a family friendly place or not, I don't think I was prepared for the city that is Vegas.
There is a reason it is called "sin city". Anything goes! There isn't a view of the strip that doesn't include some sort of temptation. Don't get me wrong, it is an incredible place to see with so many family things to do. The beauty of the buildings is breathtaking... but even the candy stores are filled with... um... edible undergarments;).
In a city with so much energy, temptation, and excitement all in one place, I even found myself getting caught up in the energy of Vegas only after a week...
In this world, no matter where we are, or where we look, temptation is calling us, ready, waiting, to meet our hungry desires. How do we survive life in this Babylon world we live in?
This reminds me of when Jesus fasted for 40 days and was lead to the wilderness. Satan tried to tempt Jesus at a time that He would have been most vulnerable. But Jesus was so full of the Holy Spirit, He was strong enough to withstand the pressure and temptation of the fleshly desires. He knew He had come to earth for a greater purpose. He knew that what God had in store for Him was greater than the immediate satisfaction of giving into temptation; the temporary satisfaction which would leave Him even hungrier after.
In a world that is growing increasingly darker, we as believers are called to be the salt and light in this world (matt 13-14). How do we stay strong when sin is acceptable and even encouraged?
We cannot do this world on our own. It is simply too hard this day. We need to be plugged in or we will get swept up in the current. It is time to stop. To breathe. To trust the word of God. To stand firm in Him. We need to be plugged into the only source that can keep us from the power of death. We need to stay plugged into our power source; Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The enemy wants nothing more than to distract us into the trap of the lies of this world.
Think of a lighthouse. Its job is to protect the boats and be used as a guide to know where the boat is. The old lighthouses used real fire to light the way. Without keeping that flame lit, the fire would burn out and what good would the lighthouse be? And who would guide the way?
This world is dark and increasingly becoming darker. But the amazing gift is; just as the lighthouse, when the days are dark, we as believers can shine even brighter. We are being used to guide the way to abundance in Christ. We are called to be the light of the world.
Another idea is your smartphone; it has a battery that needs to get plugged in every day or it really is useless. You know, the smartphone that you feel like you would fall apart without it? Don't you feel like you need your phone just to function in everyday life now? You possibly go out of your way to plug it in daily so you can use it everyday. If you don't, the battery will die. What good is it then until you plug it in again?
While I walk down the streets of Vegas, I can't help but see the many walking down the road that leads to death, and here I walk having the hope of the world; Jesus!
It is time to stay plugged into the truth. To be lit up, so you can shine the light into the lives around you. To stay plugged in so you are not tempted by the things of this world! When we are full of Christ and all He has to offer, we let go of the worldly desires. Only He can fulfill us. What the world offers us is only a temporary fulfillment usually with negative consequences.
You may hold the hope of the world in your heart. Are you going to share that? We think of the ones we love so dearly that are caught up in the world. How can we watch them fall to their death without at least sharing the hope of Jesus and His great love for us? How can we be set on fire to shine the light of Christ without getting pulled into the pretty lies the world has to offer?
How to stay plugged in...
- Read the word of God daily
- Pray. It's an ongoing conversation with our sweet Savior
- Be obedient and serve where you are called
- Join and be active in a good bible study group
- Worship to set your heart and your eyes on the things above
- Go regularly to a Godly truth filled church
- Find an accountability partner that you can pray and share your heart with
- Flee from your sinful destructive behaviors that may cause you to fall. Find healthy options you enjoy that will be beneficial for you.
Lord, set our hearts on fire for you. May we be placed into the right churches, life groups, and surrounded by Godly people who will help grow our faith. Break us free of the chains of this world. Give us a hunger to stay in your word daily. Because nothing, absolutely nothing can compare to the fullness we have in you. You are worthy and our everything. Give us strength to withstand the temptations of the world and be satisfied by you, the only one who can truly satisfy. Give us the courage to shine your light into the world around us and be exactly where you are calling us to. May we be full of the power of your Holy Spirit and flow into the lives around us. May we keep growing brighter each day in you. Fill us with so full of your love so we don't desire the things of this world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Ready to get plugged in and be set on fire to shine into the world around you?
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
My eyes are ever on the Lord , for only he will release my feet from the snare.