Temptation. We all face it. And, we’ve all lost the battle many times.
Here are some ways, though, to fight this battle and win:
- Run to God in prayer. Literally, stop everything. Find a quiet place in your heart. Plead for God’s help. Ask Him to help you see Him as more significant to you than anything you get from the sin. Ask Him to deliver you from the evil one. He’s the one who told us to pray this way (Matt. 6:13), so He’ll hear you.
- Remember His Word. Today, my devotional reading includes this text from Ecclesiastes 12:13-14—“When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” When I read and believe these words, it’s much easier for me to say “no” to temptation.
- Remember your guilt. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We knew that if we crossed the sin line, guilt and conviction would set in. It would be a pounding, painful ache of the heart, knowing we had displeased God. We sinned anyway, though – and what we thought would happen did happen. We hurt. We cringed. We wept. We felt shame. We learned again that the temporary pleasure of sin is not worth the agony of Holy Spirit conviction and breaking. It’s really not.
- Delight in God’s grace. In your mind, meditate on the love of God evidenced in the cross. See the Savior dying there, asking God to forgive even those who were gambling away His clothing (Luke 23:34). Hear Him say, “It is finished” (John19:30) as He fulfilled the Father’s plan to bring redemption. See Him dying there for you. Somehow, the lure of sin loses its appeal in the shadow of the cross.
- Remember your joy. I doubt that you’ve lost every temptation you’ve faced. I assume you’ve experienced victory sometime, and you know the incredible joy that comes when you don’t give in. You know it – the peace, the excitement, the happiness, the glee. We get almost giddy when the devil doesn’t win. If the conviction from sin is deeper than the pleasure of sin, the joy of victory is much, much, much greater. Remember that truth.
May God give you victory today.