San Diego, California
Temptation does not come from God, but comes from our own sinful desires. It’s in the Bible, James 1:13-15, NKJV. “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.
Related Article: The full armor of God
You cannot have both God and your sinful desire. It's in the Bible, Matthew 6:24, NKJV. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
When you are faced with temptation, run the other direction! It’s in the Bible, 2 Timothy 2:22, NKJV. “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
It's in the Bible, James 4:7, NKJV. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Joseph is an example of someone who successfully resisted temptation. It’s in the Bible, Genesis 39:6-20, NIV. “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
Prayer strengthens us against temptation. It’s in the Bible, Mark 14:38, NKJV. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Meet temptation with God’s Word. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 4:1, 3, 4, NIV. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. . . . The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’ ”
God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV. “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."
Don't be discouraged when you are faced with temptations, God is doing His work in you. It's in the Bible, James 1:2-3, NKJV. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."
Avoid all things that might lead to compromising situations and sin. It's in the Bible, Romans 13:13-14, NKJV. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
The spiritual battle begins in the mind. It's in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NKJV. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"
My thoughts are flooded with temptations! What can I do? When temptations come to mind, think to heavenly things. It's in the Bible, Philippians 4:8, NKJV. "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
It is our love for God that holds us back from sin and pushes us to do what is right. It's in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:14, NKJV. "For the love of Christ constraineth us..."
Come to Jesus; He knows what you are going through. It's in the Bible, Hebrews 4:15-16, NKJV. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Jesus is your strength in weakness. It's in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV. "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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."
Keep God's Word close to your heart. It's in the Bible, Psalm 119:11, NKJV. "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
Be vigilant in the last days, as the temptations and snares will only increase nearer to the end. It's in the Bible, Luke 21:34-36, NKJV. “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Those who do not yield to temptation will be rewarded. It’s in the Bible, James 1:12, 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.