Keys to Powerful Living: Overcoming
CBN.com -- A troubling addiction.
A betraying thought. A compromising situation. Temptation
comes in many forms, sparking a fierce "winner-takes-all"
battle for our souls that has one goal: to cause us to stray
off the path that leads to godly living.
Temptation is not sin. If temptation were indeed sin, then Jesus would
not have led a sinless life. But as the Bible says, Jesus was "tempted in all
things," yet without sin (
temptation should not be taken lightly. That's because it is the gateway to sin.
Temptation is often strongest when we are at our weakest. In fact, the longer
we allow it to brew in our thoughts the more dangerous temptation becomes. Therefore,
we must learn to recognize temptation and keep it in check.
WHAT'S SO TEMPTING?
Temptation is one of the enemy's most powerful "schemes" for misleading God's
Eph. 6:11, 16). It causes us to focus
on the "passing pleasures" (
Heb. 11:25) of sin
instead of the rich rewards of serving God with a pure heart.
The Bible says,
"Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then
when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished,
it brings forth death" (
James 1:14,15). Thus,
our own lusts give temptation its power over us.
Temptation says, "It's okay
to sin just a little bit." But nothing could be further from the truth (
Prov. 15:3). In God's eyes, there are no
"small" or "big" sins (
James 2:10). The wages
of sin is always death (
are tempted, we often convince ourselves that we can hide our sin. But as men
and women since the beginning of time have discovered, there is no hiding from
God. "Thou hast searched me and know me." David said. "Even before there is a
word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, thou dost know it all" (
Our tempting thoughts also try to undermine or twist the meaning
of the Scriptures. When Jesus was "led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to
be tempted" (
Matt. 4:1), the tempter twisted God's
Word in an attempt to lead Jesus astray.
Ultimately, temptation tries to silence
the voice of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to send to "guide you into all
John 16:13). By tuning out the Holy Spirit's
voice, we fool ourselves into thinking that we can make it on our own.
Temptation can be difficult to resist. But God has not left us
as helpless victims of temptation. He has promised a "way of escape" (
Cor. 10:13) to all who trust in Him.
The "way" is not a program, but a person:
Jesus Christ. Jesus not only cleanses us from sin, He also understands our temptations
Heb. 4:15-16). That's why we can come to Him
If you have not yet placed your trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior
of your life, no matter how "good" your life is, you will never be able to overcome
temptation and sin (
3:23). First, you need to find new life in Christ (
3:16-17). Simply believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and
confess with your mouth that "Jesus is Lord" and the Bible says you will be saved
temptation is a daily walk. Even the most loyal followers of Christ can be tempted
Heb. 12:1). That'' why the Lord's prayer instructs
us to ask God to "lead us not into temptation" (
The following principles can help you fight-and win-against temptation.
1.Be honest with God. At the time of temptation, don't debate the issue. The
longer we wrestle with tempting thoughts, the closer we get to committing the
sin. Flee from the temptation as soon as you recognize it (
2.Recognize your enemy. Understand that this is serious business!
You are engaged in a battle for your very soul. There is an enemy, the devil,
who "prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (
Peter 5:8). This enemy will use any temptation to draw you away from God.
through Jesus! Go to the Lord and receive mercy and grace in your time of need
(Heb. 4:15-16). Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. Satan tries to discourage
us through isolation, telling us our temptation is unique. This simply isn't true
1 Cor. 10:13).
4.Give Thanks. In the midst
of the struggle, thank God for the opportunity to experience the victory through
Rom. 5:1-5). Thank Him for providing a way
AS YOU PRAY
If you are facing a difficult temptation right
now, or if you have already fallen into temptation and its resulting sin, you
can find freedom and victory. Turn to the Lord right now and pray.
thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross, which paid the penalty for my sin.
Please keep me from this present temptation that wars against my soul. In Your
perfect love, provide the way of escape Your Word promises. And thank You for
the grace to walk with You every day. In Jesus' name. Amen."
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to
man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you
are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you
may be able to endure it" (
1 Cor. 10:13).
-- We grow as we overcome temptation
5:15-21 -- Keys to walking uprightly
12:1-13 -- Encouragement in Christ
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Scripture references are from the Contemporary
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