Overcoming Temptations

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No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)  

Satan tempts everyone – especially Christians – but the Lord promises that we can endure and be victorious. However, we have to search for an escape. The problem is that Satan will tempt us to choose our will without our realizing that we are being tempted, and he does this because he knows the power of self-will. Our self-will is dangerous because it sometimes requires deep insight to choose our will or the Lord’s will.

Live for Christ

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)  

The verse above reveals that Paul surrendered to the Lord, and his mind and heart had been renewed to that of Christ, changing his will to the will of God.  

When our minds are filled with the Word and our heart is filled with love, then our will changes to God’s will. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19) Just as Jesus always did what the Father revealed to him, we strive to always do what Christ reveals through the Spirit. This is surrender, and without surrendering to the Lord we have left a door open in our heart for Satan to tempt our self-will.

Spiritual Battle 

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. (Psalms 28:7) 

We become spiritual warriors through the power of our Lord, if we call on him in the time of battle. Every time we are tempted we are in a spiritual battle, and we consider the temptation coming directly from Satan. 

Consider that every time we give in to temptation we are worshipping Satan, because realizing this can give us power to overcome. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) By seeing the temptation from Satan, we are not fighting self to overcome, but we are fighting Satan to overcome.

Armor of God

Let’s take a look at Ephesians 6:

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. (Ephesians 6:10-11)  We have to be strong in the Lord if we desire to be spiritual warriors and have victory over the flesh. 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)  We are strong in the Lord when we are ready for spiritual battle, which requires that we have spiritual armor. 

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist: We must know the Lord’s Truth and his promises to overcome the temptation of Satan’s lies.

with the breastplate of righteousness in place: Being righteous reminds us that we must do what is right and pleasing to the Lord. 

‘and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: The gospel of peace means our minds and hearts are always ready for battle, and our feet are fitted with readiness, meaning we are ready to go into battle. Therefore whenever we are tempted by Satan, we are ready for the spiritual battle, because we are armed with the power of God.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one:  How can we fight this spiritual attack by Satan through the power of God if we don’t have faith? God never loses and if we trust and depend on him he will deliver us from temptation, adding his power through the Word. 

Take the helmet of salvation: In our minds and hearts we remember when we are tempted, we are displeasing to the Lord, and our salvation comes from him. Satan’s goal is to destroy our eternal salvation.

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Our offensive weapon is the power of the Word. Pray in times of temptation and quote scripture with the power of the Lord behind each scripture.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)  Do we love our fleshly desires more than God? When we yield to temptation are we giving Satan priority over God in our life? The more love we have in our hearts the more power we have to overcome temptation, because love gives power to the armor of God.

Self Control

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32) 

When tempted, be patient and immediately call on the Lord and ask for self-control.  It takes self-control because our emotions give temptation power. Our emotion is fueled by our memories, and we remember the enjoyment of the sin, and we forget how low and sinful we felt afterwards. Practice controlling your emotions and ask the Lord to change your emotions to overcome temptation instead of Satan using your emotions to yield to temptation.

Remember, Satan tempts us through the flesh which activates our feelings. We can get control of our emotions by quoting scripture with determination, calling the Lord for strength, and doing something physical to kill the emotion.  I have done pushups, gone for a run, gone to YMCA for a workout, or on the lighter side, called a friend or read the Bible.  

Victory in Christ

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) 

We have power over Satan because we have the Holy Spirit. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20) There is never a better time to experience the power of God than having victory over Satan’s temptations. Every victory calls for celebration, so rejoice!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)  Call on the Lord’s strength to overcome temptations! He is faithful to do so, so that you can overcome!