"And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Psalm 50:15 (NIV)
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
"But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." James 1:14-15 (NIV)
To win the battle over temptation:
1. Predetermine Your Pattern of Temptation (identify)
2. Protect the Condition of Your Heart
3. Pray for God’s Help!
Prayer gives you an inner strength to overcome. We’re told in Matthew 26:41 that the consequence of not praying is that temptation will overpower us!
Prayer is the strongest defense you have against temptation. It’s your ammunition in the battle! Throughout the Bible, we’re shown time after time how God definitely answers prayer: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace; Daniel in the lions’ den; Jonah in the whale. God provides help when you call on him. So when you’re tempted, PRAY!
Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us that He not only understands your temptation, He’s already been through your temptation!
Repeat: HE knows and understands what you’re going through! Hebrews 4:15 says HE was tempted “in every way, just as we are". HE was tempted to hold a grudge. HE was tempted sexually. HE was tempted to disobey. HE was tempted to take the easy way out. HE was tempted to get ahead and exert his power and gossip and get angry for the wrong reasons. But HE overcame temptation . . . and so can we!
Sometimes we don’t pray because we’re not sure we want to end the battle! If you talk to Him about your anger, you can’t continue to be angry. He’ll ask you to release it. He’s going to tell you to forgive. He’ll want to bring healing to your heart.
4. Point Your Attention Elsewhere
Temptation always begins in the mind, with a thought. It never begins with an action. The very moment a tempting thought enters your mind, give it to God. Pray. Read Scripture. Doing this automatically points your attention in the opposite direction of temptation (focus on the positive outcome desired, not the temptation).
Realize that whatever gets your attention gets you!
The more you think about something, the stronger a grip it has on your life. When you’re upset, you think about it. And the longer you turn it over in your mind, the more upset you become. Next thing you know, you’re not simply upset, you’re angry! So instead of focusing on the temptation, switch your concentration to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). And what would Jesus do? He’d pray. It’s hard to hold a grudge against someone when you’re praying for him!
Know It! You’ll never be the person God wants you to be by holding on to sin in your life. So go ahead. Release it. Give up that grudge. Give HIM your anger. Be willing to walk away from your hurt. Quit living in the past. Let go of your failures. Allow HIM to help you become all He wants you to be! Enjoy Real Fulfilling Life.
Psalm 50:15; Matthew 26:41;
Pray It! Tell God that you’re realizing your area of weakness is not giving Him your temptations immediately. When something enters your mind that shouldn’t be there, seek His help to surrender it quickly!
Based on a Zondervan Devotional