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
Do you sometimes feel as though Satan is putting sinful thoughts in your mind? What can we do to destroy the sinful thought before we yield to the temptation? 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 6:2) God will provide an escape from the spiritual forces of evil, teaching us how to fight this spiritual war, where the battlefield is in the mind.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.(James 1:15) The first phase of the sinful temptation is when it is conceived in the mind, and as we continue to focus on the thought it leads to sin. When do you think would be the best time to attack the sinful temptation? We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) From scripture we learn the best time to demolish the sinful thought is when the thought first occurs, before it gains power in our mind.
When we have a sinful thought and we continue thinking on the thought, it will gain control of our mind and shut down our conscience. If we continue to choose Satan’s sinful lies, unhealthy neural circuits get fired and grow stronger. The more we yield to the temptation the more our brain can wire to support the temptation and the easier it becomes to yield to the temptation.
In view of this process it is critical that we capture the thought and plan our escape. The Spirit enables us to capture the thought before we verbalize it our mind, and capture it when the mind first starts to drift in the sinful direction. We know a temptation that consistently attacks us, therefore we can determine our escape and write it down. Everything in life works better when we are prepared, when we have a plan, and when we have practice drills. I have used this procedure, writing out a plan and having practice drills. I don’t force the sinful thought during the drill, but I practice the escape plan. Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
The best way to have victory is to avoid temptations. For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16) Recognize and avoid these things of the world. Keep your thoughts on the Lord with praise, thankfulness, and seek his guidance and wisdom. If our mind is connected to God we are on the offense, and have defeated Satan. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
Today experience the victory in Christ in all temptations. The satisfaction of victory can become more rewarding than the short-term pleasure of any sin. Have a plan for any known recurring temptation and go to war with it against Satan. 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) The Spirit gives you power over Satan.
Prayer: Lord, give me the escape for every temptation and help me to realize that I have your power to be victorious over any battle Satan tries to start. Guide me in the Spirit to avoid temptations by remaining connected to you. In Jesus name, Amen