In a fresh beginning we always make resolutions to do better. Have you not resolve before the Lord to conduct your Christian life more well pleasing to Him?
Have you made a committed action before the Lord that you'll not fall away, that you will keep away from sins, that you'll not yield to temptations - not to be tempted to procrastinate, never to lust, never to be lazy, never to seek your own, never to enjoy the self, on the planet, in sin, never to do that which you know you ought not to do, also to do that that you know you ought to do, not to be anxious.
Yes, these are extremely good moves and an excellent start for another year of closer walk with the Master. But we need to remember that having made the commitment, we need also to guard against falling into temptation, because although spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.
And temptation strikes often times not whenever we are in our strongest, but our weakest moments. When we are at the limit of your patience for example, we have been tempted to be unchristian. So we need to take note. Remember god, the father Jesus' temptation started after 40 days of fasting.
Many people are usually more impressed when they see us act under great pressure, eg your bosses, your envious colleagues, etc. But be ware, one weak act may spoil a complete lifetime of witness.
Temptations are normal to every believer, yes, even mature Chrisitans. The noblest souls tend to be the people most tempted (eg Job, Joseph, David, Peter). It seems that Satan assaults Christian positions of leadership along with his strongest weapons. Therefore, we must all be on our continuous spiritual guard.
But not merely the leadership, but Satan stalks the road of each believer, offering all types of enticements to lure the Christian from an obedient and faithful walk with Christ.
No is therefore exempt from Satan's attacks. Peter who had experienced being tempted, warned us in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he might devour. "
And the sad thing is that no one is completely successful in countering them, except god, the father Jesus Himself who "was in every points tempted like even as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15).
But let not this be a justification for anyone folks to not to learn to resist temptations.
There may be some Christians who succumb to temptation frequently that they see no hope for victory. They give up and give in with out a struggle. That is an unfortunate condition.
Should a believer maintain despair when he does get caught in temptation? Let it not be so. The devil's trick is to blind the believer to the marvelous provision God has made for overcoming temptation. "The steps of an good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for god, the father upholdeth him along with his hand. " (Psalms 37:23-24)
"If we say that we haven't any sin, we deceive ourselves, and the simple truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we havent sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. " (1 John 1:8-10)
But still, just how do we fight against temptations?
The first thing the Christian must learn is the fact God does not lead him to sin. The Apostle James clearly condemns the attitude of blaming God for tempting circumstances ["Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God can't be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:13-15)].
Well then, some may be thinking, what about the Lord's prayer that says, "Lead me not into temptation?" Does this mean that God does lead us into temptation?
Using the principle of biblical interpretation and Scripture interprets Scripture, this phrase, then, must has the sense of permitting.
That is we could to plead with god, the father, Usually do not suffer us, or permit us, to be tempted to sin. And when we pray this way, we live recognizing that God has such control over us and the tempter, as to save us from it if we call upon him.
Also the word temptation, can mean sometimes trial, affliction, anything that tests our virtue. If this be the application here, then the sense of the prayer is to plead with the Lord, "Usually do not afflict or try us. "
But still God may test His children, because He uses it as an activity made to purify and strengthen them, but He does not lead them into sin.
God does not tempt a believer, though He might allow him to experience it - like how He allowed Job to be tempted by the devil. It is Satan who enticed the believer. God is obviously there who gives the grace and strength to tap for help overcome.
And in case a believer fails to depend after God for help and falls into temptation, he has himself to blame.
It is he himself who have fallen into his own lust. For example regarding David - instead of finding out about to God, he viewed Bathsheba, enquired about her, took her, and laid with her.
Well, but let us not be harsh towards David, he is after all, a man after God's own heart, more than most of us do. He blamed himself for the sin when Nathan rebuked him. He promptly admitted, "I've sinned against god, the father. "
We have to blame ourselves, rather than anybody else, neither the temptation nor the tempter, and not at all God, if we are to be forgiven.
It is one sinful characteristic of fallen man to pass the blame to others (like Adam and Eve after their fall - we inherit this from them). We blame others, we blame society, we blame the media, we blame the pressures in lives, all things else except we ourselves.
But if one is to be forgiven, he must firstly humbly admit, "I've sinned, " like what David did. So long as one looks for someone or another thing to blame, he'll be totally helpless in combating temptation. He'll never learn the lesson.
Well, David learned the hard way. If you want to be spared from learning the hard way, then follow the positive exemplory case of Joseph fleeing from Mrs Potiphar. He never to the woman much longer, rather he looked up to God for he said "how then can I do that great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9)].
Illustration: Once we think of how Joseph escaped, we also think of one great church historian by the name of Augustine. He had great weakness as it pertains to woman. But that was before his conversion. A testimony is told that some time after his conversion, Augustine came face to face with the girl who had dragged him deeper and deeper in to the slavishness of sin and lust for most months until after he had been free of the bondage of sin by the regenerating power of the cross. Now, being a new creation, Augustine would just pass her with only a formal nod. However the woman stopped him and said, "Augustine, can you not know me any more? See, it is I. " Looking at her an instant, Augustine replied, "But it is not I. " Indeed he had become a new creation in Christ Jesus, and this is the power to help us overcome temptation.
God does not lead us into temptation. He is always helping us that we may not succumb and sin against Him. And just how He helps us may be by strengthening us.
So realized that when you are confronted with temptation, you might be being put under a test, not to sin against God, but that you may learn to depend upon the Lord for grace and strength to overcome, and come out of it a better and better Christian (eg, Job who says, "But he knoweth just how that we take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. " (Job 23:10)]
The second thing, the Christian must recognize the role of Scripture in overcoming temptation.
When God's Word becomes an integral part of the believer's life, it effectively functions to fortify see your face against temptation's power.
The gospel or Word of God is the energy of God unto salvation or deliverance - even from all temptations.
Christ Himself demonstrated the Word's power and utitlity when He submitted to Satan's temptations. The Lord's 40 day temptation in he wilderness considerably instructs us how to overcome Satan's attacks. In each temptation, Jesus answered the devil with Scripture. It does mean therefore the importance of believers to be well-acquainted with Holy Scriptures. The psalmist states, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I would not sin against thee. " (Psalms 119:11).
A systematic, prayerful study of Scripture can be an absolute prerequisite to defeating temptation. Even as we study the term of God, were also prepared not to take Satan lightly. The term warns us of Satan's methods ["Lest Satan should get an benefit of us: for we aren't ignorant of his devices. " (2 Corinthians 2:11)]. So we need to know our enemy in order to have a strong and effective defence - like the army has technique to know the opposing forces, lest they be caught unprepared and become ambushed.
But the term will not only warn us of Satan's tricks, it also gives us how exactly we should and empowers us against Satan's attacks ("Put on the whole armour of God, with the sword of the Spirit, which is the term of God, that ye may be able to stand resistant to the wiles of the devil. " (Ephesians 6:11)].
Dear brethren, please do not take the devil lightly. Manage to survive overcome him from your flesh. You need the written Word and the living Word as well.
Illustration: Martin Luther was often very graphic in his description of the activities of the devil. Once when he was asked how he overcame the devil, he replied, "Well, when he comes knocking upon the door of my heart, and asks "Who lives here?" the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door and say, "Martin Luther used to live on here but he has moved out. Now I live here. " The devil seeing the nail-prints in the hands, and the pierced side, takes flight immediately.
How do you really overcome temptation and the tempter when they come knocking on the door of your heart? Is Jesus the new permanent resident who answer the entranceway on your behalf?
Thirdly, another necessary to victory over temptation is to avoid temptation. On several occasions, Christ told His disciples to watch and pray that they could not fall under temptation. [And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13)]. This how exactly we should pray, the Lord says, to ask the Lord not to allow us to be tempted to sin against Him. In Luke 22:40, god, the father taught the disciples to pray that they enter or yield not into temptation.
Yes, it is correct that though whenever we are tempted but have not yielded to it, we've not sinned. Nonetheless it is not right to want to take pleasure from the enticements of temptation without getting harmed. Will there be anyone who takes it as a casino game, to observe how much he is able to resist the tricks of the devil without falling into terrible sin?
Such an attitude is sinful in itself - spiritual pride, perhaps. For one thing, it does not take seriously God's commands for positive holiness in attitude as well as action. Why play with fire? [Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that ask god, the father out of an pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22); "Enter not in to the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not because of it, turn from it, and pass away. " (Proverbs 4:14-15)].
Now, of course, we all know that it is impossible to isolate ourselves from all life's temptations. The allurements of modern living are ever near. The person must go to remote places for army training, and usually they'll be time for worldly pleasures. Children nowadays get to mix around more easily and freely. The sales representatives are using the media with many various attractive ways to win customers - and these exact things are just right before our eyes. We do proceed through such struggles. But we aren't alone in this struggle, and God hasn't left us with no way of escape.
The Lord Himself was tempted like even as we are, yet without sin. And also "he himself hath suffered being tempted, the guy can succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18)
Regardless of the temptation, our Lord understands what we should are facing and stands ready to supply the strength to resist also to emerge victorious.
One of the very most crucial passages concerning temptations is 1 Corinthians 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer anyone to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it. "
This verse is God's guarantee that He will never allow Satan to travel too much. The temptation's intensity and the escape route will be uniquely tailored to the individual, and can not exceed his capacity.
Nevertheless, knowing there's a way of escape and using because of this of escape may be quite a different. If ignorant of God's Word, one likely won't recognize the escape when he sees it, for he will not know God works.
Just like atlanta divorce attorneys building, there are escape routes when a fire does break out. Along with the management must get the people to familiarize themselves with the escape route by having fire drills.
Do we drill ourselves with the escape route in the Word of God? We have to know the word of God, we have to pray, we have to walk close with god, the father, if we want to know about the ways of God how to resist, to avoid, to flee, to defend or to fight against temptations.
So have an idea set up for resisting temptation. To flee temptation, ask God in earnest prayer to help you stay away from people, places, and situations which may tempt you; memorise and meditate on portions of Scripture that combat you specific weaknesses; find another believer with whom you can openly share your struggles, and call this person for help when temptation strikes.
But back to the promise in 1 Cor 10:13, if one uses the escape route, the believer can't ever truthfully claim that the temptation was so strong that he previously to succumb to it.
Another promise is the fact using one in this universe is uniquely tempted. While no two people are exactly alike, the temptations confronting each individual are simply the same as have confronted others.
And since no-one is uniquely tempted, Christians can help from one another. We can therefore help one another, and seek help in one another. It is therefore so essential for believers never to neglect the assembling of ourselves together.
When our company is together often enough, we are in a position to share our struggles and help each other to recognize and overcome whatever weaknesses. For instance, merely knowing that another Christian has overcome greed, for instance, may be just the assurance that someone must make another try to overcome it in his own life.
The Christian who is continuing to grow and being strengthened when he has overcome some temptation is responsible for helping other Christians who've not grown for the reason that area.
Above all the Lord Jesus is obviously there to help us. [For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like even as are, yet without sin. Why don't we therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that people may obtain mercy, and discover grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)]. He's a sympathetic Saviour, knowing from His own incarnate experience the pressure that temptation can exert.
Be always focus upon Him and you could rest assured of not saying yes to temptation.
Illustration: A guy said this is how he learned from his pet dog how to prevent temptation. He father used to place a bit of meat or biscuit on the floor close to the dog and say, "No!" and the dog knew he must not touch it. But he never looked at the meat. He appeared to feel that if he did so, the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he looked steadily at the master. Yes, the lesson for all of us all here's always look up to the Master's face and you'll not disobey to fall into temptation.
So let ask God to cause you to a victor over all temptations that may come the right path. Depend upon Him. He might be putting you by using a test, and awaits to see you calling after Him for help.
Depend upon the power and wisdom of the term, rely upon God's grace, and you will therefore have victory, even over Satan's most subtle and compelling temptations.
Do not yield to temptation. Flee, avoid, enter not, keep away. Remember the devil is waiting whom he might devour.
Keep close with good Christian company. Shun evil companions. Help each other to overcome, most probably and share you struggles. Most importantly ask the Saviour to help you, comfort, strengthen, and keep you. He is willing to aid you, and He will carry you through.
May God help us never to yield to temptation.