The word temptation may have been invented recently but the phenomenon has been in existence from the days of man in the Garden of Eden.
It was man’s failure to overcome temptation in Eden that resulted in his demotion from the position of glory God put him.
Painfully, many of us still live below God’s plan for us because we fall in to temptation. That’s why this week on Scriptural Sense; we want to learn how to overcome temptation.
This Is Temptation
A Lure to Disobey God
Temptation is a lure to disobey God. Whenever you are presented with something to make you go against God’s word, you are being tempted. When a benefit is presented to you at the end of a disobedient lifestyle, you are being tempted. The lure is just a bait; not really a benefit!
When they tell you to sleep with that sugar daddy to get your school fees, or get money for your family, it’s not help for you. It’s a bait to ruin your life.
Pressure to Break Godly Values
When you come under pressure to break godly values, you are tempted. By virtue of learning and growth in the knowledge of God’s word, you must have acquired godly values and learnt biblical principles on how to run your business, pursue your academics and run your relationship. When you come under pressure to break the any of the values, you are tempted.
The pressure may come as a way of a solving a problem or dealing with a challenge, but don’t fall for it. If it at all, it solves the problem, the solution is very temporary. In fact, it leads you to more regrets that the solution provided.
That’s if you come under pressure to give a bribe or whatever name it’s called, to get a contract, its temptation. When you come under pressure to go and give your lecturer or supervisor Christmas gift to get mark or favourable appraisal, you are tempted.
It’s not enough to know how and when we get tempted. Let’s look at how to overcome temptation.
How to Overcome Temptation
Be full of God’s word
When Satan tempted Eve, he distorted the word of God. When he also came to Jesus Christ, he twisted the word of God to make him disobey God. Eve felled because she was deficient of the word of God. Jesus over came because he was full of God’s word. That’s why if you and I want to overcome temptation, we have to be full of God’s word so much that we are not tossed to and fro by any philosophy.
Personally, I have encountered people who distorted the word of God, picked phrases in the scripture to convince me to disobey God. ‘If you go to Rome, act like the Roman’ is a saying to lure you to change your lifestyle to suit any environment, not minding your Godly values.
There are many lies and philosophy everywhere, if you are not full of God’s word, you will be lured away from the word of God.
Surround Yourself with Right Influences
To overcome temptation, you have to surround yourself with right influences. People who don’t give a damn to the word of God won’t encourage you to obey Him; they will tempt and lure you away from obey God. When you hang out with adulterous men, they will lure you into fornication or their adulterous lifestyle. If you surround yourself with sinners, they will facilitate your falling into the temptation you are fighting to resist.
Sometimes, the way to overcome any temptation that comes your way is to run as fast as you can. Paul told Timothy to flee youthful lust. When you catch yourself desiring to go to bed with someone that is not your spouse, don’t remain there saying nothing will happen. Excuse yourself from the environment. Joseph didn’t remain in the house saying ‘I won’t sleep with this woman’. He ran away!
Maybe you are so spiritual to sleep in the same room with someone you love and not do it but I am not! That’s why I have opted to sleep in classroom instead of passing the night in the same room with a lady. She may feel offended; but that’s her wahala. It’s better that she remains offended than offending God in a bid to please her or leaking my spiritual energy. No apologies whatsoever!
Grow Strength to Overcome Temptation
There is strength to resist temptation. I believe that this strength is built before the time of temptation. We build it by learning and imbibing God’s word on the issues we are tempted on. One of the major ways of building strength is accepting that a sin is a sin. Don’t rationalize it. God hates divorce, if you convince yourself that it’s not a sin and can serve as an escape route; you will fall for the temptation when it comes.
From my personal experiences, I have found that when you regularly engage exercises like praying, studying of the word of God and listening to pure teaching of the world you will increase your strength to resist temptation. Regular interaction with people who have overcome the temptation you are facing will strengthen you to stand firm and resist the temptation.
Don’t Weaken Your Strength for Victory
Like I said earlier, you need strength to resist temptation. It’s crucial that we take relevant steps to ensure that don’t weaken our strength to face temptation and resist it.
Anything you do that reduces our ability to stand firm and refuse to be lured into disobeying God, breaking our godly values and doing what we know is wrong, is a strength leaker.
If you watch pornography, lust after someone and allow indiscriminate body contact with the opposite sex, hang out with sexually immoral, you are weakling your ability to resist sexual temptation.
If you lust after what people have, fail to be content with what you have and refuse to imbibe the word of God for your prosperity, you are weakening your ability to resist temptation.
If you fail to study hard for your exams, you are tempting yourself to either cheat in exam hall or sleep with a lecturer for marks.
Why Many Fall for Temptation
Many times, true Christians fall into temptation; despite that they desire to live about temptation. Many factors are responsible but let me highlight these.
Many times, we fall into temptation because we are careless of what we expose ourselves to – the people, materials and music – that weakens our strength to obey God. Carefulness is not a guarantee to overcoming temptation but
When the drive to make money and becomes famous supersedes your drive to obey God, you are very likely to fall into temptation of using unscriptural practices as ways of making progress.
We Tempt Ourselves
We pray to God not to lead us into temptation but lead ourselves by our manner of lives. When you break the road use laws in your country, you are tempting yourself to give the road safety officer bribes to let you go. When you fail to stay close to your spouse for a long time, you are tempting yourself to sleep with someone else. When you look down on God’s power to elevate you, you tempt yourself to kill and cheat to rise to the top.
As leave you this week on Scriptural Sense, I like to let you know that every human faces temptation; but you have to resolve to stand firm and not fall for it. Every time you fall into a temptation of the devil, you decrease the glory of God – His abilities and nature – in that area of your life. If you fall into any temptation, rise up and resolve not to fall into it again. No matter how many times, you fall, continue to identify why you fall and arm yourself to stand firm when next you face temptation.
May God strengthen us to obey God and stand firm whenever we are faced with temptation.
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