Actively involved in ministry for close to three years, I am often approached by individuals who are dealing with difficult issues. At the top of the list is temptation.
I strongly believe every temptation provides us with an opportunity to do good or, to fail our Lord and do wrong. Since all of God’s children are likely to be tempted, the question is not IF we will be tempted by the devil but WHEN it will happen.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!” (Luke 17:1)
Always remember that temptation is allowed by God yet not caused by Him. The bible reads “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13)
So why does God allow temptation? He allows it to refine our souls and uses our responses help us develop a godly character. Since temptation is indeed an opportunity to obey God’s commands, the path our lives take is virtually the sum of all decisions; and the Lord pays close attention. “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
It is also clear that God will not allow anyone to be tempted beyond their own strength. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
One important factor involving temptation is that it often originates from within. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:14)
“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23)
Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
How can I defeat temptation? Look to God’s word for instructions how to achieve this incredible feat because defeating temptation is not only possible, it is critical to one’s salvation.
Obey God’s word which commands us to “Shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
Read and accept Paul’s recommendation, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Finally, a great step in defeating temptation involves other members of God’s body. By holding each other accountable, we can more effectively resist the devil making the right decisions when faced with temptation. “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” (James 5:16)
Who can help me in fighting temptation? Christian friends who not only talk the talk but also walk the walk, church elders, ministry leaders or, us. Whatever you do, don’t try and fight temptation on your own, it just doesn’t work!
The bible instructs us that two are always better than one when it comes to temptation. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
We will be tempted by the devil and all temptations are common to man. However, a clean mind is less easily tempted. When we are tempted we are commanded to run from the source of the problem.
Acting according to God’s will and holding each other accountable for our sins is also essential in a successful walk with Jesus. Therefore, be sure to surround yourself with believers who can help you when you fall and vice versa. This is how you will grow to resist temptation and solidify your relationship with your father in heaven. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your unconditional love
For your forgiveness and your strength,
We thank you for looking after us, our families and friends
And for answering the prayers of those in need.
Lord we pray you will inspire us to spend more time with you
Through prayer and through your Word the bible,
Surrounding ourselves with your wisdom
And believers in your son Jesus Christ.
God please put us to work for you in the days ahead
And fill our hearts with love for one and all,
Lead us to those in need
So we can serve you through them.
Father we pray you will continue to shine your light bright
Upon us and all those around us,
And that you will strengthen us when tempted
So that we may overcome temptation and obey your commands.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre