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


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.