There is one thing for sure you are either coming out of a bout of temptation, being tempted right now, or soon to be tempted. Paul says the temptation is common to man and John taught that the same things have been the Devil’s tools since Creation, 1. Lust of the flesh, Lust of the eye, and the Pride of life. Sounds miserable doesn’t it. Every day will probably hold some kind of pull away from God and into the world. But, there is good news! With every temptation comes a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Let me give you a few tried and true tools that will help you withstand the “wiles of the devil.”
- Remember the devil isn’t as powerful as God. He isn’t all knowing, everywhere at all times, and is limited by God. James reminded us that if we “resist the devil he will flee” from us (James 4:7). With the “whole armor of God” a Christian can stand against all the devil’s devices and schemes (Ephesians 6:11).
- Remember that you are created with reasoning ability, ability to choose to do what is right. Men are not created corrupt or “hell bent” to be overcome by the wicked one. Notice Ecclesiastes 7:29 says God made us “upright.” John’s letter teaches that we don’t have sin, but there is provision for forgiveness if we do (1 John 2:1). Paul taught us that we can stop continuing in sin (1 Corinthians 15:34).
- Doing God’s will is not out of reach for us. We can know and understand what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 3:4; 5:17). John reminds us that obeying God’s commands is not too hard or burdensome (1 John 5:3). Ask the Father of mercies to help you make His will your will!
- The Bible gives us hope by revealing examples of people who successfully overcame temptation. Look to Jesus, Joseph, Daniel and so many others who would not bow to the wicked one. Look for the tools these examples used to be successful. Jesus and Daniel were always men of prayer. They knew the Word of God and used it against the devil.
- Be careful little feet where you go! Often where we are holds a lot of sway on our strength. Are you somewhere you should not be? David never would have been tempted by Bathsheba had he been with his army on the battle field that day (2 Samuel 11:2). A great exercise for you is look in the Bible at how often people are told to “flee” evil. Joseph fled, Timothy was told to flee (2 Timothy 2:22). The Corinthian church was admonished to flee (1 Cor 6:18). The Roman saints were told to flee (Romans 13:14).
- Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on to success. Just like evil companions corrupt good morals, holy ones encourage them. Have friends who challenge you when they see you slipping.
Yes, temptation is hard to overcome, but certainly not impossible. God wants you to cast your burdens upon Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). God gave us an Advocate divine who ever lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). He listens to our pleadings and urges us through the ever powerful Holy Spirit by the Word.
“Take courage my friend your redemption is near, the battle belongs to the Lord!”