Simply put, temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term goals. In Christendom, it is the inclination to sin.
Truth is that no one is immune to sin because as living beings, we face temptations at one point or the other of our existence, unfortunately, very few people deal with it effectively. Not dealing with temptations well shouldn’t be the case especially because we are believers. There are some simple and effective ways of dealing with temptation that you should know, and if you will put them into practice, we dare say, you’ll come out the winner.
As Christians, the enemy knows us. He has watched us. He knows our struggles and tries to exploit them. So, what can we do against so formidable a foe?
It is pertinent to note that temptation will be an ongoing problem for believers and non-believers alike until Jesus’ second coming. Be informed that temptation is not a sin nor is temptation a sign of weakness but it becomes a sin when we do not deal with it properly. It is how we deal with temptation that will determine whether we fall into sin or not. So, until Jesus returns, the Bible has highlighted 3 strategies for dealing with temptation to us – Praying, reading & fleeing.
It has been said, “Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail,” this statement could not be truer when it is applied to temptation. No one gets up in the morning and prays to fail when faced with temptation, but there are many people who get up each morning and fail to plan for what the Bible says we will all certainly face. So, importantly, you must always be prepared.
Our Lord Jesus prepared Himself. He spent 30 years getting ready for His encounter with the devil, and He started preparing early. At the age of twelve, He was asking questions of the doctors of the Law and astounding them with His answers. He had obviously spent many hours reading and studying the Scriptures. He was first anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John in the Jordan River before his temptation by Satan. While in the wilderness, the devil came to tempt Him, He was unperturbed because He was full of the power of the Holy Spirit.
We can deal with temptation by consciously doing the following:
1. Avoid and/or flee from Temptation. Discretion is the better part of valour.
2. Offer your mind and thoughts to God.
3. Identify areas of weakness in your life.
4. Expect and be ready for temptation. We need to be prepared for Spiritual battle.
5. Remind yourself of the consequences of sin.
6. Read and memorize the Word of God.
7. Cultivate a sense of God’s presence in prayer.
8. Take responsibility. You are responsible for what you do with temptations.
9. Understand who your true enemy is and his tactics.
10. Think of your heavenly reward and not just of this life.
No matter how strong our enemy’s offense, we have a defense in Christ that can defeat Satan every time. Satan is not limitless; deception is his only weapon. All he can do is try to deceive us into thinking that God really can’t or won’t fulfill our lives. Every single temptation of the enemy is packaged in the form of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. But they’re all designed to entice us and cause us to doubt that God will meet our needs.
Temptation will come, but it’s hard for the devil to deceive you when your mind is stayed on those things. The enemy can only work with what you give him, so don’t give him any space in your mind. You’ll be able to avoid many of the temptations you face if you will put this into practice.