Defending Against Temptation
1) Self-respect – when Nehemiah was tempted by Shemiah to hide in the temple in order to save his life, Nehemiah said: Neh 6:11 “But I said, ‘Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life ? I will not go !’” We know ourselves and we have to live with the consequences of our actions.
2) Our Christian identity – we are children of the King, children of God, chosen people (Col 3:12) We have a responsibility and a reputation to uphold, not just for ourselves, but as the representatives of God.
3) Consider the effects of sin – what will this do to the relationship with my family, friends, or with God? What physical effects will this have on me and others – diseases, suffering, financial difficulties, and the spiritual consequences of an eternity in hell.
4) Prayer – Jesus told his disciples to pray to overcome their temptation (Mark 4:38)
5) The presence of Jesus – He is always with us; the Holy Spirit dwells in us – how can we sin against the one who died for us ?
Although God permits Satan to tempt us, He has placed limits on the temptation and always provides a way for us to escape – 1Cor 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Have you sought the ‘way out’ when faced with the pressure of temptation ? Do you feel the presence of God with you at all times? Have you prayed for His help in times of testing? (Ps 107:1-6)
Satan is no match for the Lord. Hide yourself in Him and you will find the armor you need to win the fight. Eph 6:13-18 “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, with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish 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 withal kinds of prayers and requests.”
Use the defenses the Lord provides.