Each and everyone of us faces temptations in one or more areas of our lives. I do not know what tempts you to pull away from or hide from God, but there is something, and you know what that something is. So does our enemy the devil! He knows my weaknesses as well as yours, and he will find a way to get you thinking about that something. Temptation may be a terrible subject for a Thursday morning, yet on the other hand this may be a good subject as we near the weekend.
There is good news; whatever temptations you face, you can win the battle to resist. Here are five (5) things that will help you and I win the battle against temptation if we will remember them.
- Remember that we are part of a SPIRITUAL Kingdom. Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 10:3-6 that our weapons are not physical because we battle in a spiritual arena. God gives us the armor we need to do this battle if we will but take it up and put it on (Eph 6:10-18). When I face physical temptations, remembering I am a citizen of a spiritual kingdom, will help me keep focus.
- Remember TEMPTATION is NOT SIN. Our Savior faced temptations (Matt 4:1ff) yet he faced them without giving in and did not sin (Heb 4:15). We cannot let tempting thoughts take root or make safe harbor in our minds / heart. When such thoughts enter, we must push them out and not act on those thoughts.
- Remember that sin is NOT REALLY PLEASURABLE. Advertisements, movies, and magazines all make sinful behavior appealing; Satan knows how to deceive. But whatever pleasure sin produces is temporary, transient, or passing. The Hebrew writer reminds us that Moses chose rather to suffer mistreatment with God’s people that to enjoy the “fleeting pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25).
- Remember that God does NOT tempt. Take a look at Jas 1:13-15. Our own desires pull us into sin, the things that John calls “all that is in the world” (1 Jn 2:15-17).
- Remember that Temptation is Powerful. Some will fall as we learn from David with Bathsheba, Solomon and all his wives, Adam and Eve, and so many others in recorded Biblical history. One way to avoid falling into a sinful behavior is to avoid situations that tempt us. If David had been where he should have, he would not have seen Bathsheba, if Eve had walked away, well you get the point.
Just a few more quick observations for you when you face temptation:
- Look for the escape route (1 Cor 10:13).
- Be courageous to resist (Jas 4:7).
- Use God’s word (2 Tim 2:15).
- Keep close to and lean on God (Heb 4:16).
- Associate with godly people (Heb 10:24-25).
I pray this helps you.