There is not a day that goes by that we are not tempted with something. We are tempted with sweets,we are tempted to buy things we really don’t need and this time of year tempted to cheat on our taxes. I bet if you look back over your day you used the words ” I was tempted to..” you fill in the blank. I never realized how much I use that phrase until recently. There is nothing wrong with temptation, until you give in to it, you haven’t done anything wrong. You still have the option of doing what is right.Resisting temptation for some people isn’t a problem because they don’t try to. These people simply do what they want, when they want and how they want. This is what the people in the porn industry, the swingers the sex addicts want you to believe. That they can do all this things with no consequences.
Temptation starts with a harmless thought or desire that entices us to do something that we are not supposed to do. Then next the initial thought is then entertained and explored. We contemplate committing the sin. After entertaining the thought, we commit the act of sin to fulfill our cravings and desires. In the early chapters of Genesis Eve was tempted to eat the fruit that had been forbidden to eat by God. Eve then entertained the thought, if I eat the fruit I will gain the knowledge of God. She justified the sin. How often do we do that? We say to ourselves “no one is perfect” “I didn’t know it was wrong” or “God will forgive me, so I might as well do it”. Then after Eve spent time thinking about it she committed the sin. Right after committing the sin Adam and Eve both hid from God. After committing sin Satan wants us to feel so guilty that we alienate ourselves from God.
If we are going to defeat temptation we must stop temptation from going past the first stage. We are all going to have tempting thoughts and desires, however, we must not entertain those thoughts. If we do, then chances are we will commit the sin.To resist temptation we must predetermine in our minds that we will not give in to the temptation. No matter how desirable, alluring,appealing,tantalizing, or inviting the sin maybe, we must not commit it.
Fortunately we have examples of those who responded correctly to temptation in the Bible. Abraham refused to accept a reward for service to King Of Sodom after a battle in Genesis 14:22-24, “But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, “I made Abram rich.” I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” The best and most important biblical character to study in response to temptation is Jesus Christ. Three of the four gospels talk about Jesus’ experiences with Satan in the desert. Luke 4:5-8 describes it this way: “The devil led him [Jesus] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”‘”
Jesus became man and lived as a perfect example to us. Hebrews 2:18 says, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
If you are going to attempt to live a life that is pleasing to God, you need to learn how to handle temptation. If you try under your own power to resist temptation you will fail.We are told time and time again in scripture to rely on the strength of God. Eph 6:10-11 says * “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” When we are tempted, we need to go immediately to God in prayer and ask Him to help us resist the urge to commit the sin. Everyday we battle temptation, and at times we lose the battle. But we must keep fighting and fighting to defeat it.
Lets review, To resist temptation…
A. We must understand what temptation is.
B. We must predetermine in our minds that we will not give into the temptation and sin against God.
C. We must rely upon the strength of God to help us overcome temptation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you cant stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give into it.