, Muskogee, OK

March 10, 2014

Beating temptation starts with trusting God

By Barrett Vanlandingham
Fort Faith

— It’s funny how God can know just what you need even when you thought you needed something else.

Trusting God can be difficult. But it is a necessary first step in overcoming temptation. God taught me a lesson on this recently.

I was sitting in an auditorium of about 1,200 people at the CHRISTeens Youth Rally in Russellville a few weeks ago. It had been a fantastic weekend. We were getting ready to start another worship session, and the singing had been just terrific, and I was really looking forward to some great congregational singing. The lights were dimmed so none of the teens felt self-conscious about singing their lungs out. But when the singing started, there was a young lady behind me who I just can’t describe to you how bad she sang.  

I know we’re supposed to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, but this young lady took the word “noise” and re-defined it to “horrifyingly-bad,” shrill, warbled, cuts-like-a-knife, and on top of that she knew every word to every song. She sang with joy, and began each verse about a split second before the song leader. I was honestly tempted to move to another row, far away. But having been through other similar, uncomfortable situations, I thought to myself, “I wonder what God has up His sleeve this time?” So, I decided to stay put and focus on the words of the songs, worship God the best I could, and just see what would happen.

So, I sat there in the dark looking at the words on the big screens, trying to sing in spite of the challenges. As I couldn’t help but hear the voice behind me, it became evident that this young girl was a special needs child who, even though she had not been blessed with a beautiful singing voice, she praised God with everything in her. Suddenly, the songs took on meaning like I had never experienced before. I started thinking about the fact that in this life, no one but God is going to give her the kinds of breaks that most people take for granted.

And so she sang: “In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease. My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ, I stand.”

Yes, I was uncomfortable. Yes, I was tempted to have a bad attitude. But as soon as I began to trust God and focus on a Savior who is worthy of ALL of our praise, my perspective changed, and my heart changed, and I received a blessing that turned out to be the biggest God moment of the weekend for me.

Trust God and just see where it leads. Your temptation will fade. Your faith will grow, and God will be glorified. Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or