Learn ways to avoid temptation.
There are several precautions you can take when facing temptation.
The first one is the most obvious: avoid sinful behavior. Certain places and actions stir up tempting thoughts. Know your limitations and refuse to yield to your weaknesses. The apostle Peter tells us to resist the enemy but adds the words "firm in your faith." We are to stand firmly against the enemy by placing our faith in Christ. If you try to resist Satan in your own strength, you will fail. He is a strong enemy. Only Christ has the power to overcome him.
Next, the apostle Paul tells us to flee immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18) In Ephesians he writes: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things that are done . . . in secret" (5:11-12). Though all sin is wrong in the eyes of God, there are some sins that have a greater impact on us as believers. For example, immorality has a far reaching effect. Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we become temples of the Holy Spirit. When we sin, we sin against the temple of God.
The third way you can avoid temptation is by asking God to reprogram your thinking. Before you were saved, you lived in darkness. But through the miracle of the new birth, you became a new creature in Christ. However, some of the old "tapes" that once played within your mind remain. By studying and memorizing God's Word, you can break old sinful thought patterns and actions. You can be set free from dark, debilitating thoughts. As you ask God to remove the old, He immediately brings new thoughts to your mind. Old urges disappear under His protective care.
Temptation is something we all face.
The key to overcoming it is to recognize it when it comes. Say no to its pull and then trust God to protect you. Sometimes temptations are taken care of quickly. Other times they seem to linger, buffeting our hearts and minds. This is when it is extremely important to walk closely with Christ. Tell Him all that you are feeling and trust Him for the victory.
Eating well, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep reduces your drive to sin. Avoid pridefulness and lustful thoughts. David sinned because he became lazy and idle. As a youth he trusted God for every detail; as a grown man he became self-sufficient. This is when he met with failure. (2 Sam. 11) The final thing to remember is that God can and will forgive you. This is not meant to be a license to sin, but a call of love to those who do fall. Christ is the only One who can meet all your needs. Hand Him your greatest temptation, and He will bring you freedom.
IN TOUCH MINISTRIES®, ITM, Inc.
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