About the Author

Michele Morin is a wife, mum, and Bible teacher with a passion to see women become committed followers of Christ and inspired students of God’s Word.

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  1. Michele,
    So good to be reading you here at (in)courage and what a terrific post! I think I’m doing well because I don’t succumb to the “big” temptations. I tend not to lie. I am resolved not to gossip. In general, I don’t covet. But, at the bewitching hour – which for me is about 3 o’clock in the afternoon – when I’m running on empty, I too, hear the siren call of the brownies or the ice cream. Like you I skid along on the seat of my pants and try to stand firm in my own power. I love the word “resolve”. In Christ’s power within me, I can resolve to be obedient and use my free will to make good choices for myself. A few times when I’ve been tempted to munch, I have either gone for a gratitude walk in which I thank God for my blessings, or I will put on praise music and dance as I clean up around the kitchen. This replaces the temptation with an act of worship….much better choice. Thank you, thank you, for a sister-to-sister pep talk I needed.
    Blessings dear friend,
    Bev xx

    • I love that you take a gratitude walk when you’re feeling low. That’s certainly a way of leaning into the strength that God makes available to us so that we can respond with obedience even when the discipline tank is drained!
      Blessings to you, Bev, and thanks for your encouragement in so many ways!

    • Bev,
      What helpful ideas to combat the siren call of the goodies – a gratitude walk and praise music and dance while cleaning up your kitchen! In my case I would need to opt to clean another part of the house, where the goodies don’t reside;)
      Michele thank you for this post which has helped bolster my resolve today to “step up to the line of skirmish” in His power!
      Gratefully,
      Katie

      • Standing right there at the line of skirmish with you, Katie!
        So glad to know there’s a sisterhood of warriors who need the occasional encouragement to stay engaged.

  2. ‘Standing at the intersection of tired and tempted.’

    I appreciate this reminder to be savvy, aware, and pro-active when I begin to operate on near-empty, when I’m feeling a bit crispy around the edges, when exhaustion – physical, emotional, spiritual – begins to creep in.

    Yes, yes, Michele. You’ve hit home.

    Again.

    • Oh, good.
      I’m so happy to begin reading here in the comments that I’m not alone in this struggle. (It’s always sort of a risk . . )
      Meeting up with you around this dilemma, Linda, is a great application of C.S. Lewis’s concept of friendship: “What? You, too? I thought I was the only one!”

  3. Wonderful to see you featured here! And oh yes your words speak to me as I too struggle with those sweet temptations at the end of the day….thank you for the encouragement and praising the Lord for women with words!

    • This sweet spot on the internet is one of the places I can count on to find the encouragement of women with words, so I can’t begin to tell you what a blessing it is for me to add my little melody to this big choir.
      Thanks, Anne, for reading and for taking the time to comment.

  4. This is powerful! Preach, sister! I especially loved this: “When I live empowered to act in obedience to ‘every resolve for good and every work of faith,’ I put the glory of God on display.“

  5. What a gift to see your words here this morning. I think I have stood at the same intersection as you looking toward temptation or standing firmly in the path of God’s will. It is a daily reckoning for me. I wish the witching hour never came but my imperfect humanness can get the best of me.

    Thank you for standing in the gap with us. Your words are a blessing.

    • Yes, Mary, a daily reckoning. And the power to live according to His will meets us there–along with forgiveness for the times when we fall.
      Your friendship is a gift.

  6. Thank you for this amazing post. I too can relate to the temptations to my will or His. Just this morning I sent a text out for apologies. Not that my first text was bad, but it had attitude in it & a correction was needed. I may not receive the help I requested from that source, but I placed it all squarely in His hands & trust the need will be met. What an awesome God we have to provide the grace we need at every turn.

    • Gail, you are ministering to me right now with your open-hearted sensitivity. Hooray for you that you nipped that attitude thing in the bud right away rather than letting the interaction turn into a full blown offense. Your humility is a demonstration of the work of God in your life. Thanks for bringing your story here to the conversation today!

  7. Michele, so good to see your writing here! I LOVE the analogy of dancing you used to explain how our responsibility and God’s mesh: “…embodies the movements of a dance set to the music of the gospel.” So helpful to imagine myself held in the strong, gentle arms of a dance partner who will never steer me wrong and forgives me when I break the rhythm and have to get back on course. Keep dancing through life with Him! 🙂

    • Oh, thank you, Pearl, for entering into that truth with me. So often my play list for battling sin sounds more like Wagner or the Helms Deep Theme in the Lord of the Rings movies–lots of banging and crashing and grim determination. Our hearts know the music of the gospel when we hear it, right? And this Baptist girl could never have expressed this as beautifully as you did with this comment, Pearl. Blessings to you in the dance!

  8. I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed before that God will help my resolve … thanks for sharing this!
    Love the phrase, “intersection of our will and the siren call of temptation.” Good word-smithing!

    • Jerralea, when I read that Paul asked God to help them to “fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” my heart shouted “Hooray and Amen!” because so often my resolve is either weak OR I act as if it’s all there is between me and the “sin du jour.” If Paul knew that his baby churches would need help in the battle, I don’t want to make the mistake of going it alone!
      Thanks, Jerralea, for all the many ways you are an encouragement!

  9. Thanks Michelle! Needed this! I love the “partnership in obedience” phrase….action steps toward His good and loving hand.
    Intersection of tired and tempted….hmmmmm…..I’ve been justifying my munching…..instead of stepping back, resting in HIm,
    I “by the seat of my pants” and handfuls of snacks, keep going. Hmmmmm…..pondering that and praying about that. Your words help!

    • So glad my words help, and I hope you understand, too, that I’m writing from the depth of my own struggles with this, so we’re in this together, Paula. Blessings to you as we learn the grace of “stepping back.”

  10. So I just finish a written prayer asking the Lord to help me obey Him through the circumcised heart to love Him wholeheartedly which only He can give. Though I didn’t use the words “I resolve”, a list of resolves were part of my prayer. How I am blessed by this connection, Michele, and especially am encouraged of how you put it into the everyday temptations with which we are faced. My temptations when fatigued tend to be to scroll Facebook which in turns can draw my heart to self-pity as I look upon those who are able to be with family & friends, go to church and other activities regularly while I am homebound with a fairly severe case of environmental illness. I, too, am learning to turn these fatigue moments into times of worship, like Bev spoke of. But, I need more resolve and more empowerment of the Lord to be more consistent. I pray this for all of us, sisters!

    • I have a feeling you ‘re not alone in the FB scrolling temptation. And thanks for your transparency in admitting where that leads in terms of self-pity or discontentment. I’m so sorry to hear that this environmental illness is part of your story. That’s a challenge for sure, and it’s so wonderful that you are sensitive to bringing this request for empowerment before the Lord for all your sisters — because we sure need it, too! Thanks so much for this tiny glimpse of your own battle strategy!

  11. Wow, incredible post! What a powerful reminder to stand strong against temptation. God’s been teaching me a lot about both steadfastness and grace so your post came at just the perfect time. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

    • The right words coming at the right time has to be one of my favorite ways in which God puts His sovereign grace on display! So grateful, Rachel, to be part of that this weekend!
      Blessings to you as you stand strong!

  12. Crooning brownies? That must be what hear at times, well we all need a pick me up sometimes. Rest takes some effort but it really helps and still get things done.

    • Yes, and we’re so much more productive when we work rested. I’m grateful for the rest and the hope God extends to us in Christ! Thanks, Rebecca, for reading today!

    • So VERY important to make this distinction, because it makes for some pretty inspiring writing to recount all the ways in which God has given us success in the battle with temptation and mastery over our weaknesses, but the truth is that even the strong among us have seasons of defeat and weakness. And this is when the love and mercy of God are most beautifully put on display in our lives.
      And I also have seen some pretty amazing lessons learned through failure, because, as you say, Kathy, He helps us do better next time.
      What a gift!

  13. Wow , this is a powerful post. I love the paradox of engagement….the dance. It is helpful to know He is with me right in the midst of the temptation/potential sin and is dancing with me! Thank you for the clear words!

    • Kim, I’m so grateful to know that this post has struck a chord in your own following life. I continue to be amazed at how the paradoxes in Scripture, the times in which we are asked to hold two seemingly contradictory truths in our heads and call them both TRUE, are so important in our understanding of this journey of faith.
      So glad that you were here and reading today, and that you took time to engage in the conversation.

  14. Michele,
    Thank you for this. I am preparing to lead Lysa Terkeurst’s study, “Made to Crave”, and that word “indulge” that you use is such a struggle. We somehow can be tricked into thinking that we deserve to indulge the flesh. But the strength that comes from rising above and choosing to indulge the Spirit instead leaves no regret. <3

    • I’ve gotten to the point where I cringe just a tiny bit when I hear the word “deserve,” because, left to ourselves, we’d make everything into a transaction when, truly, all is of grace. Thanks for mentioning that resource. I’ve heard it’s terrific!

  15. They are familiar battles, aren’t they? The battle between giving in to temptation and choosing to say no. The battle between doing (or trying to do) things in our own strength and recognizing our need to depend on God. The battle between giving up and staying on the field. The flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh … but one day our battles will be over. Won’t it be grand!

  16. Ah, Michele, you have written a good word for us all in this post. It can be far to easy to cave in or to expect God to do everything for us without ever tiptoeing into the resolve that is our part to play. May we all grow to understand that once we “resolve”, He meets us there in ways we cannot conceive unless we do. It is not unlike how Peter learned by stepping out of the boat onto the water. He would not have known God’s power unless he first stepped out and he failed to stay above the waves when his resolve wavered.

    Blessings on your intimacy with the Lord that breathes through what you write, my friend. Well done!

    • I love this point, Pam, that we really do not experience the full measure of God’s grace until we “set our faces like a flint,” and then throw ourselves upon the mercy of God. Of course, we know that only Jesus successfully rode the bucking bronco of temptation to its mastery, but the more we trust for grace to be like Him, the more we can enter into the fellowship of His sufferings. (I love Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of suffering, because it applies here: “Having what you don’t want, or wanting what you don’t have.”)

      Thanks so much for showing up here with words of encouragement and affirmation. I’m grateful.

  17. Michelle,

    So great to read your writing here at In Courage. I look forward to reading your comments. You post such wisdom here. This world gives us many choices-temptations. It is so easy to succumb to any one of them big or small. We need God’s help & our own will power to fight these battles. We must resolve to do His will in our lives-it means saying no to sin. We are blessed to have a forgiving & loving God who will give us another chance if we fail. Some ways to fight temptation that I use are to listen to upbeat Christian music & praise God, go for a walk/exercise. I have also prayed down to the devil telling him that He isn’t winning this battle. He must leave now I will not give in. God wins & that is all he needs to know.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Keeping that focus on God is so crucial. I’ve been exercising lately to Christian music (not a pretty sight, I assure you!), and it’s been helpful to me even after the fact as the lyrics stay with me. It’s great that we have this meeting place for mutual encouragement. As we read and write about the Word of God, the truth of it becomes part of our day, and changes the way we respond going forward. We need that anchor!

  18. Michele,

    Our freedom is a gift, but you put it so perfectly:
    “At the boundary line between will power and God’s power, I see what a courageous risk it was for God to give us freedom, for Him to release His beloved into the threatening territory of our own poor choices.”

    Most days I don’t appreciate the freedom and wish I could simply follow the rules and get life right.

    Praise God for His mercies!

    Thanks, Michele!

    • Well, it would certainly make life a lot easier for us, wouldn’t it? And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head that it was the mercy of God that we are free to make bad choices and to start over the next day with a clean slate. If we had been pre-programmed to do only good and to follow the rules without His help, we’d never be desperate for Him. How sad to live a paint-by-numbers righteousness!

  19. I have been at that intersection many times, and too often failure comes by minimizing the temptation. “One – or two – cookies are not going to hurt in the grand scheme of things.” But it’s in those little skirmishes where the bigger battle is lost (for me, anyway, most often) rather than major confrontations of taking in too much all at once.

    I used to shy away from resolutions, thinking they were resolves made in my own strength, until I noticed and then did a study on “I will” in the Bible. Quite eye-opening. I’ve often pondered how my responsibility to exercise my will in the right direction and God’s grace to help in time of need work together. Thanks for shedding more light on it.

    • That must have been a fascinating (and convicting) study, Barbara. When I encountered that Pauline prayer, I had the same kind of A-ha moment, and I really appreciate the opportunity to think these things through together here. We have so much to learn about the ways of God, and, too, I believe we only just barely understand our own motives at times.

  20. Wonderful post as always, Michele. Congrats on being chosen for the (in)courage blog. I didn’t realize you struggle with food temptations, just like me. Now we have yet another connection–sisters in Christ, gardeners, and writers. I love knowing I have a kindred spirit up in Maine!

    • When it comes to temptation, the thought that keeps recurring these days is a quote from Elisabeth Elliot. (She didn’t mess around!) Her definition of a “struggle” was “delayed obedience.” And that’s what it comes down to for me, I’m afraid. When we want something (anything!) more than we want the will of God, we make it into an idol, even if it’s something that would, otherwise, be good–or at least morally neutral.
      And . . . on a much lighter and happier note: My family was all home visiting today and they helped me with the garden, so we got the WHOLE thing planted this afternoon. That’s a job that takes me two whole days when I do it myself! What a great blessing that was!

  21. I Corinthians 10: 13
    God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can stand, and will provide a way for you to escape and endure.

  22. Thank you beyond measure. I have been struggling on this same journey. When your post came I turned away, afraid for the conviction, and continued where I was with empty excuses.

    This morning, with a contrite heart, sitting in a quiet space, I came to your post again. With heart and mind open, I heard God’s wisdom in your voice. Yes, giving in IS the easy route, even when it feels the most comforting. I love the suggestions shared to help me refocus.

    I can do ALL things, great and smal, through Christ who strengthens me!

    From a member of the Jesus Movement,
    Michelle

    • Michelle, I’m so thankful that you persevered in this battle of looking at your struggle and calling it by name.
      The particular power of Paul’s promise that you quoted is the meeting place of our determination to obey, and God’s enablement to walk the daily application of that resolve. I think it would be true to say that while the Christian life begins with an over-arching decision to follow Christ, it is only lived through the minute-by-minute decisions we make to choose righteousness in the present moment.

  23. You had me at “the brownies on top of the fridge,” Michele! I absolutely love these words from your heart today. I’m in that place where two o’clock nap time feels like an invitation to unwind and indulge, and time and time again, I find that will-power just isn’t enough. Your illustration of this process being a divine dance really resonated with me. Our conviction to stand firm dances with God’s grace, and together we walk through these moments. This was absolutely wonderful today!

    • It’s wonderful to know that the challenge of obedience is something we all face. Sometimes, I think we feel as if we’ve invented a new sin tendency that no one else is battling. Of course this isolation is just what our enemy desires for us, keeping us wrapped up in a suffocating blanket of private shame.
      Thanks so much for letting me know that you’ve been reading.

  24. “When I indulge my craving for chips and salsa or my inordinate longing for human affirmation and acceptance, I reveal my misplaced values and expose a heart so easily satisfied by pale substitutes, so easily distracted from the smile and approval of God.” This statement spoke to me, Michele. I love salsa and chips and human affirmation. Both of these things are pale substitutes for God’s approval. My hardest time of day to resist temptation are after dinner when I’ve done all I can do for the day. That’s when I let my guard down, and am too tired to resist the siren call of the Klondike bar. Or a second glass of wine. And ruminate on why I don’t have more followers for my blog, or didn’t win any of the three writing contests I entered this year. All the stuff of disatisfaction. Thank you for reminding me of the truth about these ‘pale substitutes.’ -Molly

    • For me, this morning after a long weekend of family visits and delightful chaos, the pale substitute is a clean and organized house–which will have to wait until after the homeschooling is done. Our hearts can manufacture an idol out of just about anything, which is sad, considering that the Real Thing is closer to us than our next breath.
      Thanks, Molly, for all the good words you release into the world, but especially for the gift of these words today.

  25. This hit home……. A true season of struggle in this area right now. I fail daily but His mercies are new every day, along with His saving grace. Thanks for touching at the heart of something that is rarely talked about. God Bless You!

    • So good to know, Tonya, that we are walking a similar path, but the “way is hard that leads to life,” so the fact that we are engaged in struggle proves that there is LIFE! So, blessings to you as you reach every day for those new mercies!

  26. What a unique perspective! I’m glad you pointed this out, Michele. You always bring wisdom and humility. “I see what a courageous risk it was for God to give us freedom.” He’s more courageous I am; I wouldn’t entrust us with all this freedom. lol. Grateful for his grace.

    • We’ll never fathom the mind of God and why He worked out the plan of salvation as He did, but we know that His ways are best, and the fact that He didn’t just send Jesus 5 minutes after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden proves that He takes the long view with us, His much-loved creation.

  27. Michele,
    I too am encouraged and “No” you are not alone in this. How grateful am I that each day we walk in His grace.

    Blessings.

    • So glad to know that phrase is helpful! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and it helps me as well.
      Blessings to you, Debby!

  28. Why do I think I can do things on my own? And why do I think God isn’t listening? When I draw near to Him and call on the power of the Holy Spirit instead of myself, then there is peace and self-control. #surrender2018

    • You are not alone, Debbie. It’s so easy to get sucked into the oldest lie in The Book: “God doesn’t have your best interest at heart.”
      Thanks for describing your process of drawing near. We do need to call on His power so that we can engage effectively in this following life.
      Thanks, Debbie, for reading!

  29. Dear Michele,
    Thank you for your vulnerability & honesty. These lines really spoke to me: “Standing at the intersection of tired and tempted, there’s a collision that dissolves all my pious parsing of doctrine into a howl of dismay: God, don’t You see me struggling here? Why don’t You do something?
    At the boundary line between will power and God’s power, I see what a courageous risk it was for God to give us freedom, for Him to release His beloved into the threatening territory of our own poor choices.
    Every day, we trust for grace in our battle against a custom-made constellation of sin tendencies.”
    And especially this:” The power of God is at work within my will, but it does not take the place of it.”
    It’s so good to hear from others who are walking close with the Lord but struggle with this daily sin battle. It’s easy to feel alone in this battle. I’m in recovery from an eating disorder & it’s a daily choice of surrender to His plan & desire for me. I loved what you said in the post before mine “. It’s so easy to get sucked into the oldest lie in The Book: “God doesn’t have your best interest at heart.” Wow, you nailed that one! Thank you again for sharing your heart & gift of writing to encourage me and so many other Jesus followers in this journey of faith & life. Blessings to you!

    • TC, I honor you and your commitment of faith alongside hard work in this battle of recovery. You may know the truth of this daily choice of surrender better than anyone who hasn’t walked in your shoes. And your words of encouragement and affirmation are a gift to me. I’m always amazed when God uses my weakest and most flawed moments to inspire words that speak to others in their struggles with a faithful following.
      Praying for you right now, TC, that God would continue to carry you in this process of recovery, and that He would strengthen you to “fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.” May you experience the miracle of His will working within your will–and enhancing its staying power!

    • That’s a really good point, Brittany. Unlike friends or even family, God does not leave us in a huff when we fail. I’m working at leaning into those failures as an affirmation of the first Beatitude: Blessed are the poor in spirit. My poverty of spirit is a powerful claim on the enabling power of God!

  30. Oh Oh OH! So good and so fun to see you here today! <3 Such a powerful truth that when we are actively doing God's will, it is harder to succumb to temptations. Blessings!

    • Liz, that’s a great point, and one that really needs reinforcing because I don’t think I hit it hard enough in my post. There’s a great reason why God prepared in advance good works for us to do: they give us powerful momentum in the right direction! Thanks for your encouragement in so many ways!