Everyone has, at one point or another, been faced with temptation. Temptation is unavoidable as long as we remain in this world. We need to understand that even when we face temptations, they are not sins; they only become sins when we fall into them.
Falling into temptation will either cause us to lose something good or cause something bad to happen to us. That is the devil’s plan for us Christians and that is why the devil will bring temptations our way because he doesn’t want God’s plan for us to be fulfilled.
Do you remember how Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden? They lost a great treasure because they couldn’t overcome temptation. No wonder the Bible tells us in James1:13-18 that ‘when tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil,nor does he tempt anyone.’
This shows that temptation itself comes from the devil and it is because the devil’s plan for Christians is to draw us away from God. The devil knows that God frowns at sin, which is why he brings temptation to us so that when we fall into it, we sin against God and he (the devil) can be at liberty to take charge of our lives.
Jesus has admonished us as Christians that it is not that temptation will not come our way but it will not be more than what we can bear. That is why the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
In essence, God is not saying that we will not be tempted but it will not be more than we can bear and God, in His mercy, has promised to give us the grace to endure whatever temptation crosses our path in life.
Even Jesus was tempted by the tempter after He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and Jesus overcame the devil’s temptation. Jesus and others in the Bible like Job, Joseph, the Apostle Paul and Daniel become models to us as christains too that it is possible for us as well to overcome temptation.
This article will consider 10 ways to overcome temptations as Christians and put the devil to shame.
10 Ways To Overcome Temptation
The following 10 points listed below are steps you can take to overcome temptation
1. Know the word of God
The first of the 10 ways to overcome temptation is by knowing the truth. The truth here, is in the Bible, the word of God. Knowing the word of God will guide you in your spiritual journey toward overcoming every temptation that comes your way. When you are about to do things against the will of God, these words will come to you and minister to you on how best to address or respond to it. As Christians who want to overcome temptation, you can not rely on your own judgment to defeat the devil.
The temptation of the devil is spiritual and to overcome this temptation, you need a spiritual weapon. The word of God says in Ephesians 6:11 “ Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
In Luke 4:1-13 when Jesus was tempted three different times by the serpent, Jesus responded to him by quoting the word of God because Jesus knows the power of the word of God.
The second way we will examine out of the 10 ways to overcome temptation is to stay away from temptation.
In 2 Timothy2:22 the bible says, ‘Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the lord out of a pure heart.’
A lot of times, as Christians, we have to be careful about the kinds of decisions we make. Something is better avoided than to be sorry, which is why, as Christians, we should always think about the implication of our actions. We can already differentiate what God wants from what He detests and God has given us free will as humans to make our own choices.
It is not when we enter into temptation that we should flee but the moment we sense anything that appears to look like sin or evil, we should stay away from it. For example, you know drinking is bad and you do not want to do it but you keep visiting friends in a bar or clubhouse. Even if you have no intention of joining them to do these things, it is better to avoid it if you know it is not something you want to do.
In 1Thessalonians 5:22, it says, ‘abstain from all appearance of evil.’ Did you see that? You are not only to stay away from evil but from all appearances of evil.
Let us quickly remind ourselves of the story of someone in the Bible.
In Genesis 39, we all know the story of Joseph and how he was tempted by his master’s wife. Joseph wasted no time arguing with her; he fled. He ran away from the temptation so that he would not fall into it because he is human and the flesh is weak.
3. Pray to God
Another way to overcome temptation out of the 10 ways to overcome temptation is through prayer. Prayer is very important to us as Christians. Prayer is a way of communicating with God.
Temptations can sometimes be so exhausting for us that it may look like we are losing our faith in God, that is what the devil wants anyway, which is why we need prayer to overcome them. If you must overcome temptation, you must not play with your prayer life as a Christian.
Jesus says to His disciples in Matthew 26:41 ‘Watch and pray, that ye not enter into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ This is Jesus telling us as Christians that we need to pray so that we will not fall into temptation.
4. Think of the consequences
Another way to overcome a temptation is to think of the aftermath. Temptation has never presented any good results after one falls into it. The devil might make you see the few minutes of fun you will get from it but think about the loss.
A minute of fun or enjoyment may cost you a lifetime. That is what falling into temptation does. If you commit that fornication, you may end up having a child out of wedlock, you may contract a disease, and other ugly things might happen. In Proverbs 5: 3-5 this verse shows us the aftermath of such an act.
5. Share with a fellow christian
As Christians, it is good that we have someone to whom we can be accountable in the fellowship of God. This will help you overcome any temptation that may bother you. Sharing it with a fellow Christian who can encourage you to boost your faith in God, intercede in prayer for you and also share their own personal experience and how they were able to overcome it will be of great help to you.
6. Choose the desire of the spirit
What makes us fall into temptation as humans is the desire of the flesh. We allow ourselves to fall into temptation because of worldly things or earthly desires.
In 1 John 2:16 the bible says: ‘ For all that is in the world,the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world.’
The flesh’s desire and the spirit’s desire are two contradictory things and one desire has to be subdued for the other.
The desire of the flesh is what causes disobedience to God and brings about falling into temptation . Galatians 5:17 says, ‘For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’
In Choosing the desire of God over the body’s, you have to love God with all your heart and also pray for God’s spirit to abide in you.
7. Be watchful
The devil is constantly on the lookout for any opportunity he gets to make you do his bidding. Temptations can come at the least expected time and place. This is why, as christians, it is important for us to be watchful Just as the devil does not relent, we as Christians must also be alert.
Even after praying and studying the word, pay attention to things before making decisions, listen to what God is telling you and ask for God’s wisdom and guidance.
Peter 5: 8 says, ‘be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’
8. Be patient.
Patience is a virtue we need to have as Christians if we are to overcome temptation. After you have prayed and read your Bible over something you may be encountering in your life, give it time.
Do not give up on God because you refuse to see results on time. Let God do his work in your life Remember Job and Joseph in the Bible? Even after they prayed to God, they were patient. They waited and kept praying until God answered them.
9. Have Faith
Hebrews 11:1 says, ‘Faith is the evidence of things not seen…’ Our faith is one of the things we need to overcome temptation as Christians. Have faith in God that he will help you overcome that temptation.
10. Remember God’s Promises
There is nothing that God promises us that He doesn’t fulfill; He will always do everything that He says He will do. On this note, God’s promises to you concerning temptation are in 1 Corinthians 10:13 ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’
In Conclusion, all the points listed above are helpful and scriptural 10 ways to overcome temptation. Temptation is not a sin, falling into it is a sin and God hates sin. Sin is the only way that the devil has over Christians to draw us away from God. And you know what that means? It means that you are now of the world and not of God. However, If there is guilt in your heart because you have sinned,there is good news. The good news is that Jesus is ready to forgive you if you repent. His mercies and love are enough to save you.