I’ve been going through my old emails from my Aunt Betty and thought this email from her would be worth sharing. I know the truth of staying in the present moment, but it is still tempting to go into the “what if” or “if only.” However, it only torments me. At those times, I find it helpful to read something that inspires me to stay in the present moment. Old habits are hard to break. Here is what she wrote me:
Satan tries to tempt us to look at what is happening in our life that we don’t like and tempt us to go in rebellion against God. Whenever your mind goes into playing the “what if” or “if only” game, you need to remind yourself that these are “Satan’s torture chambers,” causing you to lose your peace and be tempted to go into rebellion over how you perceive what is happening in your life or the lives of those you love. Instead, you need to recognize you need God’s guidance and PRAY! “Lord, don’t let me miss the good You intend to bring out of this.” (Romans 8:28).
God is good. He never intends evil for us, so we need to acknowledge it, and admit that we are being tempted to mistrust God by doubt or rebellion, instead of humbly drawing close and asking Him to teach us. Whenever we lose our peace, we need His wisdom to bring us back to union with Him. Satan loves to tempt us out of the present moment with the “if only” and “what if” games, and that is why Jesus warned us “Sufficient for the moment is the evil thereof…” We only have grace for the moment. That’s why we keep needing more and more of Jesus in our lives.
If something disturbs, hold it up to the Lord. Pray and ask the Lord to lead you to the truth, and lay it in His hands. Satan doesn’t want us to be in the Lord’s hands. He will get uncomfortable, because if we call on the Lord, what is of truth will be revealed. What’s in the dark, God will bring into the light. We can’t afford to roam around in the darkness of our mind without the help of He who is the Light of the World. If we are in darkness, without light, we can stumble and fall—we know that in the natural world. Why do we not see it is the same in the spiritual world?
God only permits us to be tempted in order to grow. Temptations are opportunities to strengthen our choice for God and thereby honor Him. If God permits our desires or Satan to tempt us, God is saying, “You have the strength to overcome.” We need to learn to utilize the grace of the moment that God sends us. “My grace is sufficient for you.”