3 Ways to Fight Temptation - and Win!
Have you ever committed or been committing a sin and the guilt is so heavy that it feels as if it’s slowly eating away at your insides; eating away at your conscience? This guilt is so heavy that you can’t face your parents, spouse, teacher, brother or sister of the faith. Of course you’re afraid to face God and you feel completely disgusted with yourself.
James 1: 12 – 15
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Struggling with temptation? Here are a few tips to help you overcome it.
If we’re to be victorious in the battles that we fight we must first be prepared for them - with the necessary tools and information. Think about a soldier going to war. He is first trained, his mind is conditioned and he is fully equipped for battle. Ever heard of a training exercise called ‘Hot Potato’? The Army of China employs this very intense drill which includes six soldiers. They stand around a shallow hole passing around a live grenade. After all six of them have touched it they toss it in the hole and dive for cover. This is severe, intense, and even life threatening but it is how they prepare for war.
Do you recall when Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4: 1 – 11? The common principle in all of Jesus’ responses to combat Satan was “It is written”. Jesus fought the temptations of the Devil with the Scriptures. This is the key to overcoming the Devil. If we want to be prepared and conditioned for the wiles of the devil, then we must live in the word brethren. Simply knowing it is not enough; we must know it, know it!
Respect Your Relationship With God
Do you have that one person in your life you wouldn’t dare do anything bad in front of? Sometimes it's an older person, purely out of respect, of course at other times, it’s a grandparent purely because we don’t wanna get whooped. When we consider doing this bad thing, we are reminded that So-and-so won’t appreciate it, or that So-and-so has been too good to me for me to do this. This is the type of respect that we should have for our relationship with God.
Remember Joseph? Let’s take a quick look at his story, in Genesis 39: 1 – 9. God was present in Joseph’s struggle, blessing him with prosperity. When tempted by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph refused to give into temptation. His response - “How can I do this wickedness and sin against God?”
When we are faced with the adversity of sin, let’s have some respect for God! Let’s examine how good He has been to us and choose to honour our relationship with Him instead of sinning.
Run, Run, as Fast as You Can
Sometimes to overcome temptations you have to just run… literally! The only way out of a sticky situation may be to run as fast as you can. Forget everything and bolt. Genesis 39: 10 – 14 details what takes place after Joseph rejected Potiphar’s wife. Seems she wasn’t too pleased with the rejection after all, and still pursued Joseph while he was doing his job. Joseph literally had to run away, leaving behind a piece of his garment. That’s the kind of impulse we should have when faced with sin. We shouldn’t even harbour the thought of engaging in it, but should flee, even if it means leaving something behind.
Friends, sometimes doing the right thing is going to bring us some discomfort. Sometimes standing up for God means that you’re going to have to endure hardship. This is what Joseph faced. Yet he honoured God, rather than commit wickedness.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.