Truth be told … You can’t avoid temptation.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion look for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
You can however, be prepared for it. Be ready.
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15
What’s your greatest temptation?
I have a few. I’m not proud to say this, but greed is one of mine. I grew up in a very low income family in a very wealthy community. I lived right on the border. The schools I went to were mostly middle class. I wasn’t. It was all my mom could do was keep clothes on my body let alone try to keep up with my middle class classmates. So consequently as I became a teen and made my own money I spent it on nice clothes. Now as an adult I like the more expensive brands. I like nice things in my home. I care what the outward appearance looks like. I have to keep this in mind and be careful not to be greedy. I pray daily against greed.
The great thing here is, we don’t have to be tempted to be greedy and meet our own needs. We have a great and mighty God that will meet our needs if we just ask.
“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. Matt. 7:7-8
Unfortunately, the same is true for my person. I sometimes care more about what my outside appearance looks like verses my heart. Another one of those things I am tempted by, Pride. Not pretty either, but I’m being Genuine here.
The other temptation I deal with daily is gluttony. I struggle with food. Food has always been a comfort to me. When I am sad or lonely, I like to eat ice cream. Ice cream is my go to for sure. Gluttony, ugh what an ugly temptation that is. Keeping track of my calories is one way I keep this in check. I also pray against gluttony daily.
God’s word has a bit to say about this temptation as well.
Listen, my son, and be wise,and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Pr. 23:19-21
How can we avoid temptation?
So now that I’ve identified my temptations and hopefully you’ve been able to name a few of your own, what do we do about them? How do we prepare for the enemy when he comes tempting us? Well, the answer is in Jesus. After He was baptized by John, the Spirit led Him to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matt 4:1-11
I think it’s interesting here that the enemy tempted Jesus with saving himself and with all the kingdoms of the earth. lol Hello! This is GOD you’re talking to. I can understand the food, Jesus was hungry. But he could save himself from a fall if he wanted. He has all the kingdoms of the earth already. I just find that interesting. I think the enemy knows that’s what he would want so maybe Jesus would too. But as you see He didn’t even give it a second thought.
Jesus shows us here, we can avoid temptation after all. He says to Satan, “Away from me!” And we can too. We can use the Word of God for protection against the enemy’s schemes and we can tell him to LEAVE in JESUS’ name. It works. I’ve done it.
When I was struggling with my relationship with Jesus this last 2 years after daddy died, I would get really angry. So angry that I would build walls around myself and shut down. I would have to allow Jeffrey in. Tell him I was angry and ask him to pray against the enemy. He would and I would immediately feel better. Sometimes we had to do this several times a day.
Finally, the enemy has left me alone in that area. Praise the Lord! Being angry is very tiring. Once after one of these episodes, I fell asleep for 20 minutes in the middle of the day.
One of the biggest things we need to remember when dealing with temptation and we must know the Word of God in order to use it against our enemy. Without some knowledge of the Word, you could be stuck in your struggles.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Eph. 6:10-18
So lets recap here. We can avoid temptation. Jesus did it. He came to show us the way and He did.
- Recognize you are being tempted
- Pray against the enemy and that temptation.
- Read and memorize the Word
- Put on the Full Armor of God
- Seek help from other believers
I hope this has helped you find Hope and Peace. In the reply link above, tell me how you plan to Avoid Temptation that next time the enemy strikes.