Everyone struggles with temptations. People have been tempted to go against what they know to be right since the Garden of Eden. From Adam, to Jesus, to you, everyone has to deal with temptations. How do you deal with temptations and not sin?
What is a Temptation?
It is important to know that a temptation is NOT a sin. Remember, Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil after 40 days and he did not sin. When we are drawn away from what is right with the alluring promise of better, we are being tempted.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that the ways of temptation are common. They generally stem from one of three areas, craving of physical pleasure, coveting the things we see, or pride from our accomplishments or achievements (1 John 2:16).
When we deal with temptations in our relationships, we should be aware of these three truths.
Temptations Are Lies
The source of all forms of temptation is the devil. He is a liar (John 8:44)! He is a roaring lion stalking around looking for someone to completely destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Satan does this by distorting the truth and telling lies. We need to recognize that the temptation that he is offering is a lie and will lead us to destruction.
There Is A Way Out . . . Always
With all temptations, there is always a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Remember, you have a mighty warrior who has won the battle. He has declared victory and provided his spirit to dwell in the believers life. The means to escape is always grounded in Scripture. When Jesus was tempted, how did he escape? By quoting the scripture to the devil (Matthew 4:4-10). When you are faced with temptation, use the sword of the spirit to attack the flaming arrows being hurled at you (Ephesians 6:17).
This requires us to know the scriptures. If we are not hiding the word of God in our hearts, we are incapable of escaping.
Pray to Avoid Temptations
In the model prayer, Jesus encourages us to pray to not be led into temptation (Luke 11:4). The spiritual discipline of prayer is a powerful part of the Christian life. Our ability to respond to temptation often correlates to the intensity of our prayer life. Think of Jesus’ temptation. He had just finished 40 days of fasting and praying when he was confronted by the devil. Spending time in prayer prepares our heart and soul to resist and respond to the schemes of the devil.