3 Ways We Can Overcome Temptation
James 1:12-15 NKJV
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 it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Temptation is an interesting concept. First off, temptations isn’t sin. What we do after the temptation occurs determines everything. When we are tempted it doesn’t mean we have sinned. Temptation leads to sin. Where does temptation come from? Some people think it comes from the big bad devil and it very well may but the scripture says clearly in verse 13 & 14 that we enticed by our own evil desires. It comes from the inside and the outside. Here’s a simple formula for temptation, at least from my experience…
Our own desires + selfishness + demonic influence working with your flesh = TEMPTATION
Temptation doesn’t just mean lust or perversion. There’s a temptation to not forgive, to be angry, to get revenge. Temptation to be arrogant, greedy, or prideful. Temptation to be religious or self-righteous and pious. Temptation will draw on our desires to feel valued. What tempts me won’t tempt you. I won’t be tempted to eat a whole cheesecake or rob a bank because that isn’t an area of weakness in my life. The devil is smart and stupid at the same time. He’s smart because he tempts us in the same area every time, he’s stupid because he tempts us in the same area!
So we must overcome temptation because there is a great reward! The scripture says we will receive a crown of life when we overcome temptation. It’s not a literal crown but more of an honor God bestows on you. It’s an emblem of life, joy, reward and glory. When we overcome temptation we get to live life joyful and for the glory of God!
3 Ways We Can Overcome Temptation…
1. Trust and rely
Our courage and strength isn’t enough. We are wired to be incomplete and weak. In order for us to be dependent on God in every are of life including the area of temptation. We must have a reliance on God alone. I’ve been accused of having Jesus as much crutch. Well, honestly, He’s not my crutch He actually carries me!
2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2. Reframe and refrain
Reframe the temptation in a way that makes sense. Put it in the context of your life. Play the whole tape out to the end. If you go through with this what will the result be. What are the consequences of your actions? When we reframe the temptation in the light of what will happen then we usually will refrain from giving into the temptation.
3. Avert and eliminate
Avert means to turn away one’s eyes or thoughts. Keep your mind on God, how do we avert? Perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee… Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:8 whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable excellent praiseworthy… Think on these things…. This is where renewing our mind comes in and why it’s so important. It’s more than just distracting your mind it’s about renewing it! Then we must eliminate it from our life. If your weakness is buying stuff…. then don’t go to the mall! Removing the temptation is one of the wisest ways we can overcome it.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
This whole passage of scripture is about the love of God, our Heavenly Father who gives us good gifts.
What we need to understand is that God is pure light. Darkness can’t exist where there is light. Jesus calls us lights in this world.
It’s important we overcome temptation in order for us to shine for Jesus. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve failed many times at doing this but Jesus calls us to endure so I will keep shining on and so will you!
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Please leave your thoughts if you feel led and let’s continue the conversation! May God bless you!