Breaking Bread for 9.26.19

Scripture

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Reflection

There is so much temptation in the world that can lead us astray, handicap us both spiritually and emotionally; and that can physically destroy us, and leave us as mere shells of who we are.

Whether it be temptation to pursue or be pursued by another person for emotional or sexual pleasure; temptation by food that leads to an unhealthy lifestyle; temptation towards financial riches and wealth at all cost with no regard towards others; temptation to break God’s commandments; temptation to lie, cheat, or steal; temptation to physically or emotionally cause harm to others; or temptation to possess things of the world just because you can.

We can overcome these forms of temptation and all others. God can redirect our steps. God brings us love, joy, peace, wealth, bliss, comfort, happiness, and a high that no drug can match.

God knows your heart. He knows if you truly want to contact and meet up with that other person (knowing that you shouldn’t) knowing that by taking those steps you risk losing your relationship with the one who truly loves you…and you risk losing a huge part of yourself.

God knows if you truly want to ‘fudge’ those numbers on your time sheet, expense report, tax return, application, estimate, or invoice. God knows if the kind or harsh words that you say about someone else is genuine. God knows your fears and insecurities, your strengths and weaknesses. You can’t hide from God. He knows all and sees all. So even if you smile inside about deceiving another person, You haven’t deceived God or Jesus.

The actions you take will have consequences eventually. Maybe sooner than later, or maybe they appear when you least expect it so that the results have a lasting impression. How far are you willing to go and how much are you willing to risk losing?

So if you truly want to resist temptation then remove yourself from situations where you know you can, will, and are being tempted. The warning signs always appear, it is what you do afterwards that matters most. Why chase after or give in to the 20% of temporary bliss that may come from temptation, when you can get 100% joy from God?

I am frequently in a position where men are attracted to me and have no problem expressing this. I find myself being presented with business cards, in receipt of emails or other electronic messages from men who want to meet for coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert to “get to know each other better”, “to connect” or “reconnect”, or any other number of lines and excuses they throw my way. Some even slant their approach as though they’re interest is in doing business with me and my company, Foreman & Associates. Yet, with continued dialogue their true intent is revealed.

Coming at me in the guise of business is a major turnoff for me. You’re telling me that you’re willing to waste my time to get what you want. You’re telling me that you will deceive me to get what you want. Your unwillingness to be upfront and honest, tells me volumes about you and your character. You have already started off wrong.

It could be very easy to give in, especially to the men that I find highly attractive; but I don’t. I’m not saying that I haven’t given in before, been intrigued, because that would be a lie. I’m saying that my mindset as of typing these words, as a single woman, not married, is focused more on the excitement of achieving goals than on carnal pleasure. The former can take me to greater heights, the latter is temporary and fleeting.

When I was married, there was absolutely no way that I would ever risk disappointing God over some heated moments of desire and lust. I honored my vows from the beginning to the end, in all ways, every single word.

So when tempted, I lovingly decline the advances and invitations, and pray that the men lovingly accept this rejection— not as a personal one but one based on principles, ethics, and morals that guide me. I’m trying to align with God, to please Him, not to please and be pleased by man.

I don’t want any visual, emotional, or other distractions taking my mind and presence away from the person that I love, and most importantly from what God has in store for me and my life. Love and salvation have no price tags, so I refuse to gamble with them. I refuse to risk one moment of temporary bliss for a lifetime of joy—whether I’m in a romantic relationship or not—my eyes will remain on the prize.

There will always be eye candy, and attractive people surrounding us-–it is what we do and say that matters most. Do you give in to temptation and risk ruining your life, or do you walk away, cloaked in God’s light and love?

So before you make that call, send that text, email or instant message; before you consume that tempting food or drink; make a financial decision or any decision …think about what Jesus would say and do, and what God expects and commands of you. Either be hot or cold but never lukewarm with Him for there is no room for fence straddlers. Choose to follow or not, obey or not, commit or not, try or not, believe or not-–just make a decision.

Prayer

Father, thank You for keeping a close eye on me, and Your hand near, to redirect my steps. Father, thank You for leading me out of temptation. When the feelings to do or say something that I know goes against Jesus’ teachings, Your commands, and Your expectations for me, rise up inside of me I pray that I can overcome this test of my willpower, strength, devotion, and commitment to You.

Instead of pretending that I am free from the lure of temptation, I admit that there are seeds of weakness within that can sprout if I’m not committed and focused on You and pleasing You. Father, keep my eyes on You and the path You have laid before me. Strengthen me Lord. In Your name and Jesus’ name I humbly pray. Amen.

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Copyright 2011-2019. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com bbwn.blog

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 10.3.18

Scripture

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Reflection

God provides a way to solutions. The petitions of a faithful heart leads to the result of answered prayers. Along our journey we face obstacles, distractions and temptation. How do we respond, act, and think when our path is not smooth sailing? How easily are we lured in different directions or convinced to dig our heels in and progress no further?

God watches and waits. He knows are strengths, weaknesses and limitations. He knows how much we can bear, how much weight that we can carry before we break, and so He provides us relief when He knows we need it most. Now, that’s not to say that His grace is lenient during our moments of disobedience and disrespect. No, we have to feel what we need to feel, go through what we need to go through, and see what we need to see—so that we can learn our lesson and move forward wiser, stronger, and hopefully with faithful obedience thereafter. Beautifully, even through that experience, there are countless times when God provides us a pressure valve to gain relief; countless times when He provides a way out, if we want it. Some of us see the opportunities and we gladly take them. While some of us don’t.

Pride, arrogance and greed have a way of blocking our blessings, deterring us, and slowing our growth. The learning is always shockingly painful and difficult, but necessary. And even through our ego driven state, God still ensures a way out—a way to freedom. How amazing is that? Look at how amazingly awesome that He is!

We’re all going through something right now: spiritually, physically, mentally, and/or financially. If all that we see and feel are the things that block us from freedom then how can we possibly see the valve, door, window, crawl space, button, or hatch that will lead us to the freedom we desire? If we keep putting our faith into others, depending on others, expecting others to be our answer—then how could God ever be our answer in our eyes and heart? Would we not be just like the people of Israel, taking 40 years to complete what is now said to be roughly an 11-day journey? That forest that we read of is not just literal it is symbolically spiritual. Since their faith was not fully in God, since they were confused and easily distracted and led astray, God prolonged their journey and kept them in a state that reflected their spiritual growth. Where we currently stand, our present state of affairs, just might reflect our spiritual growth—our standing as faithful and obedient, or as wavering, disobedient, conditional followers.

If we keep thinking that solutions can only come through our ego-driven efforts and not through our obedient compliance to God’s directives, then won’t we continue finding ourselves lost and walking in circles? Do we not continue to ignorantly or arrogantly seek and search for only the things that God can be and that only He can provide?

God’s waiting for us to let go and get out of the way. He says to us to do our work but stop trying to do His. This is to be a mutual relationship, a two-way connection. It’s not all about you. It should be all about how you can serve Him, reflect Him, embrace Him, be obedient and faithful to Him, and be loving and gracious to His creations.

Ponder that; but not for long. God wants action not stagnation!

Prayer

Father-Mother, I thank You for this day; a day not earned or promised, but Your will and grace made it so. Thank You. It is clear that You have important things for me to do, see, and experience today. It is clear that You have people lined up to touch my heart today, just as I’m to touch hearts. You know my heart. You know my fears. You know the challenges placed before me caused by the decisions that I made, passively or aggressively. The full picture is not clear to me. I can’t see all of the pieces to this puzzle. Only you can.

Father-Mother, I know that You have opportunities for me to walk through this painful experience to a state of freedom. Help me to see the doors, windows, levers, and openings, and fill me with the strength and courage to walk through to the other side. Help me as I take these daily steps. Help me to see and hear Your presence and Your voice above all others. I want freedom. I want to be where You want me to be so that I can serve as You see fit. You have placed big, bold dreams in my mind that have filled my heart. Help me God so that through You I can achieve those dreams, live that life, and be that person for You and Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name I humbly and passionately pray to You. Amen.

I love each and every one of you, whether I know you personally or not. We are all children of God, which means you are my brothers and sisters. I am and forever will be your sister in Christ. Have a boldly beautiful day. Embrace your blessings and be a blessing to others. You may be used by God to be the presence and the example that someone needs to see and hear, to be inspired to turn around and embrace our amazing Creator. You never know!

Love,

Natasha

COPYRIGHT 2018. NATASHA L. FOREMAN. SOME RIGHTS RESERVED. ALL PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED BY NATASHA L. FOREMAN, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. PRIOR POSTS FROM SEPTEMBER 2013 TO MAY 30, 2018 ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED UNDER THE NAME NATASHA FOREMAN BRYANT. PRIOR POSTS FROM 2009-SEPTEMBER 2013 ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED UNDER THE NAME NATASHA L. FOREMAN. BREAKINGBREADWITHNATASHA.COM
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Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 7.22.13

So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:12, 13 HCSB

Pray
Father thank You for this day, a gift from You that I will not take for granted. Father lift me up in protection from temptations of the world. Show me how to avoid the trappings, undo things I naively overlooked, and walk without questioning my steps and having to look over my shoulder. Help me to abstain from those things that are displeasing to You. Help me to make decisions that first consider You and then my family. Help me to always put You first, family second, and my career third. Protect me Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Reflection
Temptation is everywhere. If you call yourself a Christian you then have to know that abstinence is even more critical, and temptation will be more intense. You are constantly tempted to live life as a constant and celebrated sinner, believing that you are free to sin. You cannot sin freely and call yourself a believer and follower of Christ. When we sin we must stop, repent, and commit the sin no more. God only puts as much on us as He knows we can bear, while providing us doors and windows of opportunity to escape the temptation.

I have admitted numerous times that I have been struggling with the words that come from my mouth, at times using profanity ignorantly to convey a message. I say ignorantly because I know how not to use profanity, especially when in the company of my elders, believers, and those individuals who I’m trying to be on my best behavior with. So why use profane words when not in the presence of these people? If I know how to interchange words to express my frustration, disappointment, or pain, why should I ever curse? Every time I do I give in to temptation, and I prove myself to be a hypocrite.

Every time I make exceptions to God’s rules I am giving into temptation. Now think about your life.

Are you 100% faithful to your spouse? Do you engage in personal and intimate conversations, emails, text messages, posts, and letters with another person not your spouse? For those of you who want to parse words let me say this, are you involved in any communication with another person (not your spouse) that you would cringe or go crazy if evidence of this communication was shared with your spouse and the world? If you wouldn’t let your spouse read or listen to your communication with this other person(s) then you aren’t faithful, and thus have given into temptation. You also have shown the type of person you are and the type of Christian you are not.

You must make a choice to either end your affair and work on yourself and your marriage or end your marriage, but doing both leads to only one outcome for you, both in the short-term and for eternity.

Here’s a second example:

Do you drink alcohol? Wine, liquor, etc? Each time you drink how many glasses do you have that day? How many glasses do you have per week? The occasional glass of wine is one thing. Slamming back several glasses in one day has placed you in a separate category. Several glasses more than one time a week has placed you in yet another category. You call yourself a Christian but would you want a video of your drinking activities shared with church members, your employer, neighbors, and family members?

Here’s another example:

Do you party hard and/or act a fool Monday through Saturday and then have the audacity to post gospel videos, songs, and scriptures on Sunday and random days through the week? What message does that send to others who see you partying hard and acting a fool?

How you conduct yourself says everything about how you are, and it tells everyone the type of Christian you are versus the one you want the world to believe.

Here’s one final example:

If you have a problem with your body weight or health, do you engage in healthy lifestyle choices to correct your issues, or do you continue eating the same junk and processed poisons that are slowly killing your body and/or making you gain weight? Do you workout three or more days per week or do you make excuses for why you can’t workout but you can sit on the sofa watching tv, sit at your computer surfing the Internet, drive to your favorite coffee shop or fast food restaurant? You can fight this temptation.

As I’ve gone farther and deeper in my walk with the Lord I have seen the parts of me that I don’t want to keep. I have seen the areas of my life that were plagued by temptation. Times when I chased the money that came from a business deal, when I should have focused on something else. I can recall the relationships that I entered because a man was attractive and had a nice personality, but was so insecure that he could never be my “king”. I had given into temptation. I can recall instances of engaging in gossip or someone’s negative speech and watching my energy level plummet and my time slip away. I gave in to temptation. So I pray that He molds these things out of me, and molds into me those things that He desires.

We all have choices. We have the choice to stop, pray, and think before we make decisions. We also have the choice to run and jump right into a situation. But with those choices come consequences. So it is not acceptable to just walk around and say, “I’m a sinner” and think it’s okay to give in to temptation and sin, thinking that God is just sitting back waiting around to forgive you. Yes, we have all sinned, but do you continue repeating those sins and jumping into more, or do you work at abstaining and resisting temptation every single day?

Trust and believe that God has provided opportunities for you to avoid and get out of tempting situations.

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer and Reflection for 9.26.11

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Pray
Father thank You for keeping a close eye on me and Your hand near, to redirect my steps. Father thank You for leading me out of temptation. When the feelings to do or say something that I know goes against Jesus’ teachings, Your commands, and Your expectations for me, rise up inside of me I pray that I can overcome this test of my willpower, strength, devotion, and commitment to You.

Instead of pretending that I am free from the lure of temptation, I admit that there are seeds of weakness within that can sprout if I’m not committed and focused on You and pleasing You. Father keep my eyes on You and the path You have laid before me. Strengthen me Lord. In Your name and Jesus’ name I humbly pray. Amen.

Reflection
There is so much temptation in the world that can lead us astray, handicap us both spiritually and emotionally; and that can physically destroy us, and leave us as mere shells of who we are. Whether it be temptation to pursue or be pursued by another person for emotional or sexual pleasure; temptation by food that leads to an unhealthy lifestyle; temptation towards financial riches and wealth at all cost with no regard towards others; temptation to break God’s commandments; temptation to lie, cheat, or steal; temptation to physically or emotionally cause harm to others; or temptation to possess things of the world just because you can.

We can overcome these forms of temptation and all others. God can redirect our steps. God brings us love, joy, peace, wealth, bliss, comfort, happiness, and a high that no drug can match.

God knows your heart. He knows if you truly want to contact and meet up with that other person (knowing that you shouldn’t) knowing that by taking those steps you risk losing your relationship with the one who truly loves you…and you risk losing a part of yourself. God knows if you truly want to ‘fudge’ those numbers on your time sheet, expense report, tax return, application, estimate, or invoice. God knows if the kind or harsh words that you say about someone else is genuine. God knows your fears and insecurities, your strengths and weaknesses. You can’t hide from God. He knows all and sees all. So even if you smile inside about deceiving another person, You haven’t deceived God or Jesus.

The actions you take will have consequences eventually. How far are you willing to go and how much are you willing to risk losing?

So if you truly want to resist temptation then remove yourself from situations where you know you can, will, and are being tempted. The warning signs always appear, it is what you do afterwards that matters most. Why chase after or give in to the 20% of temporary bliss that may come from temptation, when you can get 100% joy from God?

I am frequently in a position where men are attracted to me and have no problem expressing this. I find myself being presented with business cards, in receipt of emails or other electronic messages from men who want to meet for coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert to “get to know each other better”, “to connect” or “reconnect”, or any other number of lines and excuses they throw my way. It could be very easy to give in, especially to the men that I find highly attractive; but I don’t. I lovingly decline and pray that they lovingly accept this rejection not as a personal one but one based on principles, ethics, and morals that guide me. I don’t want any visual, emotional, or other distractions taking my mind and presence away from the person that I love, and most importantly from what God has in store for me and my life. Love and salvation have no price tags, so I refuse to gamble with them. I refuse to risk one moment of temporary bliss for a lifetime of joy.

There will always be eye candy, and attractive people surrounding us–it is what we do and say that matters most. Do you give in to temptation and risk ruining your life, or do you walk away cloaked in God’s light and love?

So before you make that call, send that text, email or instant message; before you consume that tempting food or drink; make a financial decision or any decision…think about what Jesus would say and do, and what God expects and commands of you. Either be hot or cold but never lukewarm with Him for there is no room for fence straddlers. Choose to follow or not, obey or not, commit or not, try or not, believe or not–just make a decision.

Love your sister in Christ,

Natasha

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.blogspot.com
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