…there’s always a way of escape, it’s your choice to intentionally choose that way, or let the flesh have it’s way.
We all need this, even though we might not want to face it. Temptation knocks on our door daily: workplace gossip, the food we committed to quitting, the urge to want to give someone a piece of our mind, even the things we are faced with we gave up following Jesus, temptation will knock on our door sooner or later. As for me, I believe temptation comes to see if I am putting to work what I already know.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
God really knows we are mighty! We just don’t think we are! We are strong more than we think we are. God gives us so much credit!
We have to stop thinking the “woe is me” syndrome – that our test and trials are so much bigger compared to others! Believe it or not, others have been in our shoes and traveled the same road that we have been on, with much success! So let alone our feelings that we have to give in, we really don’t. It is up to our will to do so. Bluntly & honestly, we are just putting our needs before God. The verse says, if we trust God to not let us down, He will provide a way to help us overcome through that particular tempting situation. That’s a promise! (I love the promises of God!)
Moreover, I love Auntie Annie’s pretzels. Anytime I pass one, I normally stop to get the pretzel bites, even if I am not hungry! The temptation wins every time until I had to stop it! I had to stop letting the craving win! I had to think Am I not better than walking past this kiosk of pretzels? Can I not just walk past it, since I have been walking this far anyway? Can I just look straight ahead to my destination and not worry about that glowing pretzel sign? I have the ability to move my legs in a forward march and to keep on going… so I will keep on going! And I did that day. I really walked past the pretzel stand that day, which is a huge victory for me!
But the same goes for any other temptation we fight. We have to remember, we have the ability to keep our mouths shut. We have the ability to keep our bodies to ourselves. We have the ability to keep looking forward when we see something tempting that catches our eye… we have the ability to do so!
Hebrews 12:4 (TLB)
After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.
Something to think about, have we shed blood in our fight against temptation? Has our resistance been so unbearable that we are actually bleeding? Most of us can say no to that, including I. I have never shed blood trying to resist temptation, yet I think the temptation is so unbearable to me! As gossipers, we say “I am going to die if I don’t find out why so-and-so cheated on her husband!” We well know we are not going to die if we don’t find out the gossip … yet we are desperate for it.
“I love God more than my flesh and what it wants to do” we must say in the times of temptation. God gave me these exact words one morning driving. We must put these words on our very lips when face with the adversity of temptation. Do I love God more than my want for this fried chicken? Do I love God more than what I want to hear about someone’s personal life? Do I love God more than this man I want to have sex with? Do I love God more than this person I want to cuss out? In reality, that’s the question pose every time we are tempted to do something that is not of God.
We are human, we are fleshly, especially knowing we have been feeding our flesh it’s desires for most of our life. So of course, we will stumble around a bit before we are rooted in saying NO. So we shouldn’t get discouraged when we do fall. But we have to do better. In 1 Thessalonians 4: 4-5, clearly tells us that we, who know what’s right and what’s wrong, to control our body, flesh and it’s desires. I want to add, even those who understand why it’s right and wrong; we must be the ones to live holy. We must be the example setters in conduct and in speech, because we understand why.
How can we do our part to make sure we won’t fall into temptation?
- Make sure we read your Word to feed our Holy Spirit inside of you. We won’t know what’s wrong and right until we read about it. This way we can get conviction from the Holy Spirit, who is our helper in times of temptation.
- Make sure we stay away from an atmospheres that will enhance our enticement! (This is especially if we are very immature in handling our cravings.) If we are trying to stay away from BBQ, but yet we keep going to cook-outs, our desire will increase to have it’s food. It’s probably best that we stay away for a season.
- We have to think of temptation as ‘bad’ for us. Make it as an analogy of some sort. Whatever we think as ‘bad’ (to me, cigarettes are bad for me), we have to liken it to our temptation. It will make it a lot easier to handle.
- We mus be intentional and be mature about our temptation. We have to grow up and stop leaning on excuses forever! We are ‘big and bad’ in other areas of our lives, but we can’t fight off tempting things we can really control? Excuses are enablers when we lean on them forever! Just like a toddler who leans on a coffee table to help them walk, we shouldn’t be 6 years old still leaning on that coffee table!
Be encouraged and stay focused, knowing (and reciting) we love God more than ourselves! Tell the enemy to kick rocks!