OVERCOMING TEMPTATIONS (2)

In the first part of this series, overcoming temptations (1), it was made clear that for as long as we are in human nature, we are bound to face temptations. Christianity is not immunisation against temptation, but empowerment for triumph. From 1 Cor 10:13, we saw these three truths:

  1. The temptation is common.
  2. God is faithful.
  3. Don’t waste your time focusing on whatever temptations you are facing. Search for the way to overcome.

Christians are not built to fight temptations. Rather we are made to overcome them. We are called overcomers, and we can overcome all things if we stay in sync with the One who established our victory at the Cross.

Practical Action Steps To Overcome Temptations
1. Do not dwell on the temptation. Think of the victory. Heb 12.2 instructs us to keep our eyes on Jesus who didn’t settle on the trials He faced; instead, His gaze was on the sweetness of the victory ahead. Every temptation has a trophy on the other side. Keep your gaze on the crown.

2. Tame your desires. James 1:14 makes us realise that temptations begin with our desires. Temptation has no strength where there is no desire to feed it. The devil will always present attractions in the line of our desires, passions and needs. The good news is we have been given the power to control our desires. James 3.7 tells us that man has tamed all kinds of animals. If that be so how much more can we who have the Spirit tame our passions, desires and fears?

3. Consider the other side of the temptation. Temptations are usually coated with sweetness while hiding the bitter taste within. King Solomon said the lips of an immoral woman drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end, she is as bitter as gall and sharper than a double-edged sword, Pr 5:3,4. For every sweet temptation, there is a sour consequence. Do yourself a favour by considering the effect of the bitter gall of the enticement on your life and whether you can handle it before you decide to give in.

4. Consciously search for the way out. Like was stated earlier, every temptation has a way out. As every examination question comes with its answers available in the hands of the examiner, so can we find the answers to the temptations we face in the hands of our loving GOD. Unlike the earthly examiners who hide the answers from us, He is ever willing to hand over to us the answers to the temptations we face if we willingly and consciously seek them, 1 Cor 10:13.

5. Look for many reasons why you should not give in to temptations. The more objectives you have to do a thing, the stronger your resolve will be. The more whys you have to not to succumb to the temptation, the fewer excuses you will have to give in and the less power it would have over you. So be like Joseph and give yourself as many reasons to overcome, Gen 39:6-10.

6. Keep your eyes on Jesus, Heb 12.2. We are urged to take a cue from Him who was tempted in every way, yet without sin, Heb 4.15. Whatever the temptations we face, we must remember that He faced them too, and overcame. Is it a financial test? He met it and overcame. Is it a sexual temptation you’re battling with? He faced it. He overcame it! Is it a test to abandon your faith? He overcame that too. If He did it, you could too, because He has given you the power. Never rely on your strength for the arm of flesh will always fail. Run to Him for Grace, Heb 4:16.

7. Use Scriptures. The most potent tool to overcome temptations is the Word of God. Where our reasoning and willpower fail to help us stand, the Word of God will see us through. The enemy presented Jesus with various temptations, and for each of them, He answered with the Word. The Psalmist said he had hidden the Word in His heart so he could avoid sinning against God, Ps 119.11. It is the Word in the heart that keeps us from sinning; therefore, we need to always, and continually load our spirits with the Word to withstand tests and trials when they come.

8. Remember that you are being watched. Heb 12.1 says a cloud of witnesses surrounds us. The Christian race is like an athlete on the tracks of a crowded stadium, being cheered on to success. Every step forward is to the delight of your cheerleaders. You aim to win. Your goal is to give your cheerleaders something more to cheer about. Therefore to give in to temptation is to dash the hopes of those looking up to you. Many unbelievers are watching your way of life, some with the desire to become like you. Other Christians are also observing your lifestyle to gain encouragement from you. Do not let them down.

Ultimately, overcoming temptations holds in store for us an eternity of high rewards. Revelation 3 spells out myriads of rewards that Jesus promises to those who overcome. Prep yourself to be one of them by overcoming your daily trials.

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