Overcoming Temptation

Temptation is a fact of life. Not if but when. Some come from the devil, some are the mess we get ourselves into. Our greatest temptation is to be self-centered. The devil knows the areas where we are weak, we better be prepared. Fisherman with a lure knows just what to use to get the fish excited, just how to jiggle it to get the fish’s attention. The devil baits us with circumstances, with people to push our buttons. I choose to work with God to do whatever it takes to overcome.

How will you win over temptation:

1. Believe that you can resist temptation. “When that happens, I always fall apart.” My words are important. Start believing. 1Cor 10:13 God gives a way of escape. The greater one lives in me. James 4:7 Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.

2. Be prepared. I must spend time with God to strengthen me against the world chewing me up. Know Him personally for yourself. In Matt 4 Jesus is in the desert being tempted by Satan. What is Jesus’ weapon? The Word. “It is written.” But be careful. The devil knows Scripture too, better than we do.  What does the devil use to steal your joy, your peace? Determine that you are not going to live like this anymore. You don’t change because you listen to preaching. You change when you apply the Word to your life. Mat 25:1-13 Wise virgins were prepared so their lamps would not go out. The foolish didn’t want to do anything extra. Their attitude was, “You do it for me”.

3. Be careful who you spend time with. Who do you hang out with? Who do you listen to? What do you watch on TV? It’s not that I am too good to be around unbelievers, but I must make sure that I am affecting them and they are not infecting me. You know the dangers of hanging out with your old friends. Would you keep a snake to not hurt its feelings? Psalm 1:1-3 Don’t sit there and soak it in. Is my life different? Am I a light? Prov. 5:8 Avoid the places of temptation. Am I trying to see how close I can push the limits or am I drawing close to God? Flee from temptation. Run! Play with a snake and don’t be surprised when you get bit. I can’t sit with sinners and think it’s not going to affect me.

4. Don’t trust yourself. Prov 3:5-8 Lean on God. I want to do it myself so I can get the credit. That is pride. Psalm 138:6 The humble get God’s help; the proud He ignores. Gal 3:3 Perfection doesn’t come from the flesh. Gal 6:9 In due time you will reap if you faint not. 2Cor 1:8-10 Trials are given to keep us from trusting in ourselves. The time we are most vulnerable is not when we are weak but when we are strong, when we think we can handle temptation on our own. 1John 4:4 Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world, but I’m not greater. James 1:12-15 I will receive the crown of life if I endure. My own flesh draws me into temptation. Sin leads to death. Prov 14:12 A path that seems right but leads to death. John 15:4 Stay connected to the vine. Prov 4:23 Guard your heart.

Summary: 1. Believe. 2. Prepare. 3. What company? 4. Reject pride.

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