How to Fight Temptation
James 2:12-15 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God;” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when itis full-grown, brings forth death.
Romans 6:11-14 (NIV) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master because you are not under the Law, but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14 (NKJV) Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our LORD. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
Romans 12:1,2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
2 Peter 2:9 then the LORD knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.
Galatians 5:16-17 I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish. (such as giving into fleshly desires)
Are you like most people and frequently fighting the temptation to do something you want to do that is not in your best interest, something that Jesus would rather you didn’t do? I have several things I battle—overeating, sweets, imbibing in alcohol, and having some impatient thoughts when things are not going smoothly or interrupt my day. I could probably in all truth create a gargantuan list.
I have overcome some of the detrimental habits I used to indulge in; the most negative in my book was my heavy smoking. I could smoke 1-2 packs a day for several years. Finally, I did not want to smoke any longer, so I reached out and asked Him for help. And He gave it.
For a while it was difficult. I liked smoking. I did not like the negative effects it was doing to my body, the secondhand smoke that surrounded my family, the expense, and the stench, and the negative public opinion.
As each time to indulge “in just one” smoke, I prayed and within moments the urge was released. I did some crazy breathing exercises that made sense to me. I brushed my teeth often, practiced holding my breath and counting slowly, and all sorts of tricks I thought help me beat this nasty habit. After several days, it all became easier.
Were there times initially within the first couple of years when smelling cigarette smoke had me wishing for a quick puff? Yes, at times. But I had a cigarette after a couple months of non-smoking and immediately I was dizzy, slightly nauseous, and disgusted with myself. What and where was the great attraction I had felt for years?
Now, if I smell cigarette smoke, I either raise my car window or hold my breath as I travel away. I find it disgusting. I’m just thankful that my friends and family tolerated me until I quit.
I have more difficulty with over-eating and sweets. I love a good meal and will eat until I am overstuffed. I know that unpleasant sensation—FULL and UGH! I love the taste of the foods, but to overeat and be horrifically overstuffed is SO unpleasant. And after doing it for years, at least on Thanksgiving, I would know to moderate and NOT do it. Alas, maybe this year.
And sweets. . .man, I love sweets. Do I know they are some of the worst things to intake? Yes, does that stop me? Hmm, not often. I can tell myself, ‘just this one, have one for tomorrow, then throw the rest out.’ That doesn’t happen often.
Anyway, bottom line is I deal with temptations and fail to fight them as often as I would like. So, although I have many verses I have copied over the years, the above list I have written and now have taped to my bathroom mirror as well as the refrigerator, and near my chair and computer. Handy. Read, and re-read, and imprint in your brain, and ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus for help in beating this temptation back. And I am working on remembering to shove Satan out of my brain, and away from what I am being tempted to sin with. I have to be diligent, and I am relieved to say and acknowledge that the Holy Spirit has put some of these verses into my brain as I am reaching for a cookie, brownie, or ice cream—and I am stopped, well at least hesitate. I will admit that I have walked away from the temptation most times, well, 75% of the time. At times, I have gone back after saying, “If I still want it after 15 minutes then I’ll have a SMALL piece.” But most of the time, remembering the verses, remembering it is NOT that good for me, I am able to resist. I am not as successful as I would like to be, so the Holy Spirit and I are still working on this, but with each time I am successful, I feel He is pleased with me; and I am pleased with my success.
I am a work in progress. I hope to look over these writings in a few months pleased that my desire to do the right and healthy thing, working with the Holy Spirit and knowing God has given me the tools to beat any temptation, that the success of no more sweets is behind us, and I am doing nothing except thanking God daily for this.
Thank You for my previous successes, continue to be with me while I try to continue to please you with me and ‘mybellaviews.’
Quips: To master temptation, let Christ master you. Every temptation is an opportunity to flee to God. Don’t keep your eye on temptation while praying not to be led into it.