Here are four ways you can overcome temptation in your life today.
Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, and each of the three times, He resisted temptation by quoting Scripture back to the devil. You might notice that Satan took Scripture out of context, but Jesus put all three of the Scriptures in proper context. Do what David said he did: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). Notice the way David worded it–he hid God’s Word in his heart (memorized it) so that he might not sin against God. No wonder we are told to “treasure up [His] commandments” in our hearts or minds (Proverbs 2:1).
Take Drastic Action
Jesus used extreme hyperbole to make a point when He said “if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:30a) and “if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away” (Matthew 5:29). Now if anyone actually did gouge his eye out, he still has the other eye to lust with. Or if he did cut off his hand, he still has the other hand with which to sin. Therefore, we see that Jesus is simply telling us to take as drastic of an action as is necessary. For those who are addicted to pornography, either get rid of the Internet or find a friend to put on a password-protected filter. You must be proactive in resisting temptation. As Jesus shows, it takes drastic steps to avoid such temptation that can lead to sin.
Make a Covenant With Your Eyes
Every one of us battles with lust, but I remember reading Job 31:1, which says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” I took the same covenant that Job made with his eyes and made it my own. I don’t watch very much TV, but when I am watching, the instant something comes on that is inappropriate, I either turn off the TV or change the channel. Even on TV you’ll frequently find soft porn in commercials or on programs, which can lead to lusting in the heart, and it will if you don’t resist it at that very moment. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
Keep Watch and Pray
Jesus gave us great advice for avoiding temptation when He said in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Watching means being careful with where you go and what you see and being diligent to avoid areas where temptation is a greater risk. Praying means asking God for supernatural help in avoiding and then overcoming temptation. Just like you, my spirit is willing, but, wow, my flesh sure is weak.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
Orig. image by Lali Masriera
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