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

How to Find Intimacy with God

Silent Mediation

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Mark 11:30

The Lord desires your communion and union with him. His deepest desire is for you to have a relationship which starts with learning about his character, his commandments, covenants, promises and laws and then learning how to apply practical instruction to your life.  

You cannot build a relationship if you do not spend quality time with the Lord. He wants your undivided attention to solely focus on Him for His good pleasure and to mold and build your faith. All of your trials, obstacles, challenges and struggles are designed for His purpose to develop your patience, endurance, strength and faith in Him.

There is value in submission and obedience in God. When you enter into the presence of the Lord, you gain peace, clarity, strength and direction. Everything you need is at the foot of the cross. He is the bread of life and the wellspring of life. In the secret place, there is rest even in the midst of chaos, uncertainty and distress. Finding intimacy with God in your daily routine should be a priority.

There is a difference between spiritual rest and physical rest. The Lord can provide you rest for your soul even when you’re tired, mentally exhausted or drained. There is a blanket of peace that comforts you despite the natural emotions that you experience when you tap into the reservoir of His spirit, the outpouring of His presence delivers and restores you.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Phil 4:8

Finding intimacy with the Lord is more than an action or physically doing something. It is being present within the moment. You can connect instantly with the Lord by doing absolutely nothing. When you learn the importance of stillness, as well as stillness of the mind, you can receive instruction, healing, restoration or whatever you may need at that time. There are no rules. There are no schedules, agendas or routines. Just be. The expression of His love will touch the inner and deeper parts of you. When you’re building a relationship with the Lord, you’ll develop a stronger desire to read the Bible and please Him. He will reveal the intimate details of Jesus’ life journey through His word.

Carving Out a Sacred Space

We all need time to be alone but you might find it challenging if you’re around family, roommates or friends on a regular basis. Finding a place where you can be in solitude where you can think out loud, pray, or reflect is so helpful to connect with the Lord. It’s also a healing place where you can release negative emotions. You may prefer to go to a park, the beach or the mountains to get away. You may resort to your bathroom, den or bedroom as a sacred place. Wherever you decide to go, be sure that it’s quiet and serene.

Step into the Silence

When you incorporate Bible study into your daily routine, you will develop a sense of guidance throughout the day. Not every day will be perfect, by any means, but you will gain wisdom, knowledge and understanding to key principles you encounter in life. You will lead with integrity. It will bring new life and perspective on how to handle problems and situations, as well as protection from the attacks of the enemy. It will also bring new insight and revelation based on what you’re going through or experiencing in your current situation. The word of God is a living word that is always active and mobile. It doesn’t matter how many times you read a passage, you will gain fresh revelation at every stage or season of life.

Spill the tea with Jesus. He is your comforter and your friend.

Tea Time with Jesus

Spending quality time in prayer is time never wasted. Whether you prefer mornings or nights, it’s your preference. Communication doesn’t have to be limited to a certain time of the day. You can seek him anytime and for anything within His will or purpose for your life. Just like a good friend, prayer is a two-way conversation so listening to the voice of God is important for direction, wisdom and discernment. Its’ not just about submitting requests or petitioning the Lord to move in your situation. Jesus wants you to desire His presence on a continuous basis. It should be based on a genuine and real connection with the Lord.

When you spend regular time in prayer, you gain clarity about your issues and direction on what to do. He also heals past wounds and restores strength, peace or whatever you need at the moment. You may not feel like your prayers are being answered right away but the Lord requires us to be patient. He is building your character, strength and resilience through the storms of life. He is also testing your faith. You may not always receive what you prayed, but you can trust that the Lord will provide exactly what you need within His timing.

During prayer, the Lord may share intimate details about your present or future. He reveals the secret things hidden in divine mysteries. Jer 33:3 The Lord provides the revelation of understanding, knowledge and discernment. Living a lifestyle of prayer provides protection in every area of your life.

Mindful Moments in Your Daily Life

Your daily tasks and routines can easily become moments of reflection and prayer.

Usually when I’m doing the dishes, I tend to drift away into day to day thoughts or just simply meditate as I watch the water and soap suds dance upon the plates and utensils before I load them into the dishwasher. Over the years, I’ve shifted my perspective on how I look at daily chores and find pleasure in folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom or organizing my bedroom.

The process of cleaning and organizing provides contentment and a sense of peace. It connects me to the Lord in solitude time so I can think, reflect, pray or worship as I complete my daily tasks. This is only one example, but you can connect with the Lord while driving in your car, waiting in line at the grocery store or in traffic.

When you take the limits off on how the Lord can move in your life, you will begin to experience His voice in a new profound way. He will show up when you least expect it, and when he does, don’t blow it off as a coincidence, serendipity or pure luck. The happenstance or occurrence is divine and orchestrated. Nothing is by chance. The Lord is a God of order, precise timing and intricate detail.

Worship and Obedience Pleases God

Your body is a temple which is made for worship. A healthy diet and eating habits reflect your intimacy with the Lord. Your social and personal relationships, attitudes and behavior should be in a posture of holiness and surrender. You should set apart time for worship or fasting to purify your thoughts and actions.

Sexual lusts and desires, promiscuity and adultery has no place in the lives of a believer. You must surrender your desires to the Lord and wash away the iniquity that keeps you bound. You cannot escape these desires in your own flesh, however the Holy Spirit can purge these desires from your heart, mind and body. It’s only by the Blood of Jesus that you can walk in purity and righteousness.

But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. John 8:6-7

Finding the Beauty in Forgiveness

Surrender your pain to the Lord and release anger. Whoever you need to forgive, FORGIVE and let it go! Pray for your enemies. God is your contender. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to stay in a relationship once someone has shown you their true colors. You can move on without bitterness, pain or anger. Of course, it takes time to heal. Do not allow unforgiveness to steal your peace and joy. Once you learn to forgive others, you are set free from past pain. Remember mistakes can often be the best teacher so learn from them and move on.

Do not be entangled with a yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1

God is the redeemer and will make your crooked path straight. Isaiah 45:2

Seek the Lord for all things. His intentions are well-pleasing to your soul.


Prayer

Thank you, Lord for showering me with your presence. I give you all the praise and glory in my life. My heart is open to your everlasting love. I surrender my own will so you can work through me to heal and mold me according to your will. Forgive me for ________. Purge anything that is not pleasing in your sight. I’m available to be a vessel of your goodness. Help me when I’m weak and strengthen me in every encounter that I face. I pray for a hedge of protection as I come and go from my destination each day. I am blessed from the top of my head to the souls of my feet. I walk with peace under the shadow of your wings. I’m covered by the precious Blood of Jesus. Amen.

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Seek the Lord with All Your Heart

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Isaiah 55:6

When I was a child, one game I loved to play was hide and seek. I believe every child enjoyed playing that game at one time or another.

There was such enthusiasm and excitement while your friends or classmates scattered to find a place to hide while you counted and waited in anticipation to search for each friend which brought so much joy and laughter when you found them.

The Lord is often hidden in our lives until we come to a place where we decide to seek him with our own heart. Although, the Lord is always working behind the scenes, we often do not know what He is doing or planning in our lives. The Lord makes it very clear to “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-12

Many of us, wonder through life, randomly, without acknowledging or asking the Lord for direction. As believers, we may allow Him into some areas of our lives but not fully allow Him to control every aspect of our lives.

The Lord wants to be a part of every area of your life. The deeper relationship you nurture with Him; the more He reveals himself to you. You begin to see life in new ways. Your choices begin to change and how you deal with challenges and obstacles shift.

Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.

1 Chron 16:11

Life has its difficulties, but you will not allow life circumstances to grab a hold of you in fear, doubt and despair. Even when you feel discouraged, you can speak the word of God or listen to worship music and the weight of burdens and frustration will lift off of you.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6

You will become sensitive to the spirit as you continue your walk with Christ. He will nudge you in certain directions. He will cover you with a blanket of protection. He will open your eyes to his truth and reveal to you the mysteries of the Kingdom. You will begin to experience things that you know only the Lord could do. You will have a deep desire to please the Lord fully and not jeopardize your relationship by displeasing Him. You will be obedient to His laws and commandments and do His will without resistance. It’s not by the flesh but by His spirit.

Zech 4:6

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.”

Having a zeal for Christ is within reach for every believer.

For the Bible forewarns us….

Revelation 3:15-17

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

You cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in the church. A double-minded man is unstable in all His ways. James 1:8

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt 6:24

We are moving into a shifting world where believers must have a solid foundation in Christ to be able to withstand the wiles of deception coming upon the earth. [Click link here]: 2 Chron 20:1-34

1 Peter 5:7-9

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

He can only devour those who do not know the Lord and live a righteous, holy lifestyle. Once you’ve accepted the Lord as your Savior by faith, you are a daughter and son of the Most High. His hand of protection is upon your life to guide you into all truth, wisdom and knowledge.

The Lord is a consuming fire. Let us run under the shelter of the Almighty King. Let us seek Jesus with all passion and dedication. Seek the Lord while He can be found. The Lord is available and waiting. He does not wish anyone should perish. [Click the link here for reference]: 2 Chron 20:1-34

2 Peter 3:8-10

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

The Lord is a just God and will meet you right where you are. So come with your wounds and brokenness. Come with your anxieties, doubts and fears. Come with your mistakes and confusion. Come with your pain and despair. Come with your anger and frustration. Just come!

Prayer

Lord, Father,

I pray for those who are entering into your presence at this very moment. May you comfort their heart and mind.  Please take away all their confusion, doubt, pain and toil in this life. Reveal to them your glory for the sacrifice you gave to each person as a gift of love. Help them to draw near to you and keep a hedge of protection over their families, loves ones, households, communities, finances, health and relationships. May a fresh wind of vitality, strength and peace be upon them as they seek you and rest in your presence for the revelation of Jesus Christ. Amen

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Corth 13:14

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RELATED SCRIPTURES

Psalm 119:32-33

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Psalm 119:133

Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Psalm 63:1

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Matt 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Deut 4:29

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Col 3:1

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Theo 3:5

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Lam 3:25

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

Psalm 27:8

When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.

John 16:13-14

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Jer 33:3

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, I will show you great and mighty things that you do not know of.

Jer 29:13

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Psalm 121:1

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

1 Chron 16:10

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.