How to Avoid Temptation

The devil often tempts us at our weakest point. He will use our emotions when we are vulnerable. When he sees that we are tired, hungry, sad, angry, or afraid, he will strategically plan his attack. However, the devil is not creative. He will use the same tactics, plots or schemes over and over again.

The Lord is the creator of all things and by His power and authority He has all the ability to create, form, shape, mold, and design according to His plan and purpose for our lives.

In the Wilderness

When Jesus was fasting in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him “Five” times. The devil came to Him when He was weak and hungry. It’s often when we lack a physical or emotional need that the devil tempts us. Our strongest defense is to reflect on the reaction of Jesus in the wilderness. He used the Word of God to confront the attack of Satan. He spoke with authority every time Satan tried to persuade Him.

In the passage in Matt 4:7-9, it states, “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God. Again, the devil takes Him up to an exceedingly high mountain and showery Him all Kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them and he says to thee, all these things will I give to thee if thou will fall down and worship me.

Satan will distort or magnify a specific target to make his proposal so appealing so you will fall into the snare or trap of his devices.

We must stay on guard and be mindful at all times because we will be constantly tested. As the passage states in Matt 26:41 “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So, we must constantly build up our spiritual nature to combat the attacks of the enemy.

The devil is a con artist. He will manipulate or persuade his target to get his way. When you are aware of his plans or schemes, you’re able to confront the attack by speaking the scriptures over your situation to dismantle every dart the enemy throws your way.

When you’re aware of the temptation, you may have to physically remove yourself from the situation. If you find yourself in a constant battle with the flesh, having self-control of your thoughts and your desires, you trick yourself into thinking that you will defeat the enemy in your own strength. However, we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus to walk in victory and to overcome the slick moves of the devil.

Be sober and viligent; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may devour. 1Peter 5:8

In the Garden of Eden

The devil used sly, cunning tactics to convince Eve to eat from the Tree of Life. In the Book of Genesis, the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.

“Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

In both cases, the devil promised that they would be more like God with either power or wisdom. The devil twisted his words to convince Eve otherwise and enticed her to disobey. Let your eyes be open to the sneak attacks of the enemy.

In the Womb of Infertility

Sometimes, the Lord uses a crises to teach us about patience, obedience, belief, faith and trust. In the story of Abraham and Sarah, enticement was also used to lure her husband.

By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Heb 11:17

Abraham, to produce a child from Hagar. This was out of compromise of faith and out of the will of God for their lives. When you’re bound to fleshy desires and human passions, it will cause disastrous results. When you allow your emotions to override the divine will of God, it will cause division or conflict in your body, mind or spirit.

In the Heat of the Moment

David lusted over a beautiful woman after watching her bath while he walked on the roof of the king’s house. He requested for the woman named Bathsheba who was wife of Uriah, and slept with her. She became pregnant. Due to his sin of adultery, David plotted to murder Uriah by ordering him to the frontlines of war to deliberately kill him to hide his affair.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corth 10:13

In the Fiery Furnace

Another attempt of temptation was when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worshipped only the one true God. They lived amongst a city where there was idol worship. They refused to bow down to any false idol.They were subject to great peer pressure from their community and suffered great temptation to follow the tradition ordered by King Nebachadnezzar to worship a golden statue symbolized of his power and glory. Unfortunately, they were thrown into a fiery furnace. The King even turned the heat up seven times hotter but they weren’t burned.

King Nebuchadnezzar was shocked when he saw four men walking amongst the flames. He immediately called the guards to release them from the furnace.

Through the deliverance, he granted them freedom to worship as they desired and was given a royal promotion in honor,

In the Test of Faith

In the story of Job, the devil requested authorization from the Lord to test the faithfulness of Job. Job was harshly tested and faced many temptations, sickness, and loss, however Job never lost his faith and received complete restoration of all that was lost.

In the Belly of a Whale

Jonah was given a specific assignment to go to Nineveh to address the sin in the land. It was a city full of evil and wickedness. Instead, Jonah ran from his assignment of the Lord. He jumped on a boat and sailed the opposite direction to a place called Tarshish.

The Lord created a massive storm upon the waters and the men threw Jonah overboard because they felt he caused the turbulence. After being thrown overboard, the storm suddenly stopped. The Lord sent a large whale to swallow Jonah.The Lord was shielding and protecting him from drowning and from the other animals in the ocean.

Jonah repented, prayed and praised God. The Lord answered his prayer by allowing the whale to throw him up which was near the city of Nineveh. Jonah preached in the city and warned them to repent. The people listened in obedience despite the corruption and chaos and the Lord had mercy on them.

Unfortunately, Jonah struggled with his heart condition and became bitter because he felt the people didn’t deserve God’s grace and mercy however the Lord was more concerned about the hearts of the people and restoring the land. Jonah was disciplined due to his disposition.

Even the people of Israel, suffered great temptations. They had several cases of doubt, fear and unbelief on their journey to the promised land. They fell into temptation when Moses did not return from Mount Sinai when they expected. They created a golden calf to worship and challenged Moses with every decision or move he made along the way.

So he called the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not.” Exodus 17:7

These are great examples of how to avoid temptation. Not all temptation is related to fornication or promiscuity. the devil comes in many ways to attack us at our weakest points. We must understand the tactics, schemes and devices to override the plans he uses.

Here are seven ways to overcome temptation.

1. Speak the Word of God in the area of attack

2. Be obedient to God’s voice

3. Learn how to be patient and wait on God

4. Run from temptation

5. Stand strong in faith and your convictions

6. Walk in faith no matter the circumstances or situation

7. Listen to the Lord’s instructions and face opposition with courage and boldness

We will not always be perfect but we must turn away from temptation at all cost. We have a loving Father who desires our whole heart. He is a forgiving Father that supplies us with His grace and mercy.

Prayer

Lord, help us to walk with you through the valley of temptation. Strengthen our heart and mind to focus and lean on you at all times. Continue the new work in us by transforming us to be molded and shaped in the potter’s hands, so we can be representatives for your Kingdom to bring glory to your name. In Jesus name, Amen.

Additional Bible References:

James 1:12-16

I Peter 5-8

2 Sam 22:2-3

2 Sam 22:7, 17, 31

Psalm 32

Psalm 38

Psalm 3

Psalm 63

Dan 3:25, 28

Num 14:22-24

Defying the Odds | Pick up Your Stones

And David spake to the men that stood by him saying what shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and take away the reproach from Israel for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that should defy the armies of the living God? 1 Sam 17:26

In the climate we live in today, we are facing giants on every side. We are unsure of our present situation and wonder about our future. If we perceive the environment with our natural eyes, the giants we face seem insurmountable and overwhelming to fight. We cannot fight these giants in our own strength, but we have all the tools and resources through the Spirit of the Most High. We are more than able to defeat and conquer the enemies, tactics, schemes, strategies, and plots that are destroying the fabric of our country, our region and our family.

David said, “Moreover, the Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, go and the Lord be with thee. 1 Sam 17:38

And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head, also he armed him with a coat of mail, And David girded up His sword upon his armor, and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said unto Saul, I cannot walk with these; for I have not tested them. And David put them off him. 1 Sam 17:39-40

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherds’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 1 Sam 17:40

The equipment and weapons Saul provided was the standard protection made for war. Saul believed he was equipping David with the best gear for the job, but David felt otherwise. He had to use what he felt was comfortable for him. Something so simple as a handful of rocks seemed so unpredictable to slay a giant, but David had to fight according to the way he was accustomed to.

What is in your hand? How do you fight your spiritual battles? Is it the battle cry of praise and worship? Fasting? Prayer? Speaking the Word? Or a combination of all of the above? We must understand how to war in the Spirit in these difficult times ahead. We must be able to stand in opposition in unfamiliar territories and uncomfortable spaces. Our eyes must be fixed and focused canceling out all distractions and turbulence from the enemy’s camp.

We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Rom 8:37

What are you facing today? Are you facing fear or anxiety? Do you need to shift your perspective or mindset? Are you confused or disoriented? Are you frustrated or angry? Do you need healing in your body? Pick up your stones.

The Lord will contend with our enemies that every attack is null and void. The fear that we carry is false evidence appearing real.

David said to the Philistine, thou comes to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defiled . 1 Sam 17:45

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand, and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee, and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines, this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And, all this assembly shall know that the Lord save thee not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hands. 1 Sam 17:46-47

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth. 1 Sam 17:49

So David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him but there was no sword in the hand of David. 1 Sam 17:50


Keys to the Kingdom

Let your Kingdom come and let your will be done as it is done on earth as it is done in heaven.”

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesare a Phillipi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do you say that I the son of man am? And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus said unto him, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.”

The Lord desires for us to know Him by His Spirit and by faith. He wants us to learn his true nature, character and identity. We can only learn of him through reading the scriptures and developing a relationship with Him through prayer and worship. We cannot afford to be misled by false doctrines.

The Body of Christ is positioned to be a witness for Christ and to build, edify, and lead others to Christ. We have no more time to waste. This world is moving fast and things are rapidly changing and shifting.

The Lord will administer and appoint the servants who truly know and understand Kingdom principles and walk according to His commandments and laws. If you are walking in His authority, He will release divine instructions, blueprints, and visions of His plans and purposes.

The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 1 Corth 3:20

We can rest assured that no plot, scheme or plan of the devil will stop or block the power of God.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The access to the Kingdom will be given to the faithful servants with additional responsibilities and position with due diligence, discernment and wisdom.

Power and authority comes from the Lord and not from the works of our hands. Within each day, we should reference the Lord with Thanksgiving and praise.

Intercession of the Saints

In the Book of Nehemiah, the remnant were greatly afflicted and the walls of Jerusalem was broken down and was on fire. Neh 1:3 It was similar to the world we live in today.

Nehemiah’s position, as a cup bearer, served the King. Nehemiah was very sorrowful after he heard what had happened in Jerusalem. He prayed for the children of Israel thy servants, repented and interceded for their sins.

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Neh 1:6-7

He submitted a request to the King to go into Judah to build the city. Nehemiah received favor and the King granted his request.

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now power, and these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great by thy strong hand.

Neh 1:9-10

15 Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth. 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. Psalm 115:15-16

The Kingdom Mandate

All the tools and resources lie within you. The Kingdom mindset operates according to the Spirit. You can’t fake it till you make it. You will not be able to copy or duplicate it. It is divine. It is Holy. It is sacred. It is consecrated unto the Lord. There is no competition, jealousy, envy or striving. There is no such thing as a hustle mindset in the Kingdom.

Having clean hands and a pure heart grants access to dominion and authority in the Kingdom of God.

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph 5:3-5

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  Gal 2:20

Kingdom Over Culture

In the last days, false prophets and doctrines will be prevalent. We should be selective of what we choose to watch or listen to. We should choose Kingdom over culture. The church is emulating the world and there’s a fine line between the two. People are compromising to fit into the world to be accepted instead of shining the light of Christ. If Christ wasn’t accepted, you know that you won’t be either. It will take a tough skin, a surrendered heart and a made-up mind to follow Christ throughout life’s high’s and low’s.

There are some Biblical movies and TV shows that are altering or changing the story line of the scriptures all for the sake of entertainment and revenue.

This type of entertainment is only leading people into confusion and false doctrine, especially if they are new to the faith or possibly interested in learning more about the Bible. It’s best to go directly to the source, “The Bible” and also find a spirit-filled church where you can fellowship with other believers.

When you are led by the Spirit, you have the ability to discern the environment. Unfortunately, not every church is teaching sound doctrine. If the teachings are watered-down gospel or half-truth, it’s not the real deal. A half-truth is a lie, so don’t be deceived.

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you will continue to grow in understanding. The more you learn of Jesus and develop in the faith you will gain strength and endurance so don’t be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and comforter and will lead, protect and guide you into all truth. God’s love and infinite wisdom is everlasting.


Bible Reference

2 Corth 4:4-7

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10

Neh 2:17-20

17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Zech 13:2-4

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

Mark 11:11-20

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

Matt 5 – The Whole Chapter