Here are four ways you can resist temptation using my own experience and, more importantly, biblical principles.
Flee from Temptation
It’s like the old movie “Forest Gump”: When temptation comes, “Run, Forest, Run.” When we are tempted, we must run from it as fast as we can. We should think like Job did, who wrote, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin” (Job 31:1). This might mean turning off the TV or switching channels, putting on an Internet filer or rating your browser to “G” images (which I have done). In this way, any sexually explicit images are filtered out and you never see them in the first place. The eye gate is a broad path that can allow temptation to enter, and the temptation, if not resisted, bears the fleshly fruit of sin. When you are tempted to sin, flee from that source or person doing the tempting (which is often the case) and make a covenant with God to not even look at it. Some helpful Bible verses are found in 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; and 2 Timothy 2:22.
Pray Your Way Out
This might sound way too simple, but it’s biblical and was part of that which Jesus taught the disciples in their learning how to pray in Matthew 6:13 where He said, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Having a daily relationship with God in prayer is essential because you are fighting three things in resisting temptation: the world, the flesh, and Satan and his demons.
Hide His Word in Your Heart
Memorizing Scripture is a potent weapon in resisting temptation. When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, what did He do? He quoted Bible verses back to Satan. This is why Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). There is real power in the Word of God, so why not tap it?
Know Your Weaknesses
We all have an Achilles’ heel, meaning that every one of us has vulnerable spots. Many of these might be the same as others, but each of us has probably one area that we are most susceptible. For some it might be alcohol, for others perhaps drugs. Yet for others it could be pornography. We must learn our weakest areas and determine not to go there and to avoid going to places where that sin or substance might be more available. On one side of my family, they like to smoke pot, and on the other side, they drink alcohol, so during get-togethers, like family reunions, I have to be very careful. I bring my own bottled water or coffee so I can say, “No, thanks, I brought my own water/coffee. Thanks anyway.”
If we are in the Word every day and memorize Bible verses, this will really help us to avoid being tempted too often. Sin will keep you out of the Bible, but the Bible will keep you out of sin. The more we avoid being tempted, the more we avoid sinning. We are only as strong as our weakest link, so pray.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman[ssba]
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