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


Great is thy Faithfulness

I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude. Col 2:7

A few years ago, I started a gratitude jar on New Year’s Day. It was similar to a gratitude journal. I had written one thing I was grateful for each day and penned my experience on a small piece of paper. Then, I dropped it in the jar.

Well, each day whether it was morning or night, I would add something to the jar I was grateful for. I didn’t exactly collect 365 pieces of paper by the end of the year but I did manage to fill up the jar at least three quarters of the way.

On New Year’s Eve, I dumped the jar and all the folded pieces of paper scattered across my bed. I began to read all the things that I did or went through the whole year. I had a flood of emotions of how faithful the Lord has been to me. I acknowledged the richness that life has to offer despite the challenges and difficulties. I even forgot some of the events and activities that took place such as the funny moments as well as the unexpected surprises. it gave me a fresh perspective on how to approach life and how to appreciate every moment given to us.

When you shift your perspective, it can transform your attitude. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things as much as the bigger things in my life. When you change your perspective on how you look at your life, you change your world. As the saying goes, “Gratitude is all about your attitude.”

I’m sure we all have something to be grateful for as we finish off the last quarter of this year. Hold onto your faith and keep trusting the Lord for whatever you need in this season. He is faithful.