09 Nov Dealing Wisely with Temptation
Bible Text: Matthew 4:1-11 |
(1) Temptation will be with us as long as we live, although the areas of enticement and their power over us will change with time. We will never be so matured or spiritually minded that we can totally relax our vigilance against them. Satan is always ready to capitalize on our weaknesses and selfish desires to draw us away from God. (James 1:13-15)
(2) We are tempted when we are carried away by our own lusts or fantasies, therefore the problem begins within us when we feel the pull of our flesh to think, speak or do what is contrary to God’s standard. Although being tempted is not a sin in itself, but yielding to it is. Do not dwell on a tempting thought but flee – Luke 22:40.
(3) Holding on to sinful desires is not fine as long as we do not actually do anything, Jesus debunked this idea in the Sermon on the Mount when He enlarged the Law’s commandments to include not just actions but also attitudes of heart (Matt. 5:48; Luke 11:4) Anything less than God’s standard of holiness is not His will for us.
(4) Temptations start small and yielding to them may seem inconsequential at first but once we give in, that sin gains strength in our life and our ability to resist grows weaker and becomes accepted life-style. It may seem as if there is no way out of this downward behavior, but God has given us a way of escape if we choose to seek out His help (1 Corinthians 10:13)
(5) Some practical ways to overcome temptations: (a) Identify areas of weakness in your life, recognize which aspects of your life are easy targets for Satan’s attacks. (b) Stop and flee like Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife, never let yourself too hungry, angry, lonely, or tied. (c) Make yourself accountable to a friend, find someone you trust and then contact that person when you are feeling tempted. (d) Read the Bible and Pray always because you won’t be able to defend yourself against the enemy’s attacks.