Have you ever found yourself dating the wrong person, investing your money in a get-rich-quick scheme, or eating too much and then getting sick? These are just a few of many ways temptation can lure you in, then harm you.

You're not powerless when you encounter temptation. God will give you the power to say "no" instead of "yes" when you should.

Here are some ways you can overcome temptation:

  • Ask God to show you how you are inviting temptation into your life. Realize that poor choices will make you vulnerable to evil influences. When God reveals ways you are opening doors for temptation to come through, renounce those attitudes and behaviors and seek God's grace to help you make healthy choices.

  • Pursue a love relationship with God. Seek to develop greater intimacy with Him every day. When you passionately love God, you'll want to do what He asks. Resisting temptation will no longer be an obligation; it will become a joy. The bottom line is loving God more than the temptations you encounter.

  • Consider the cost of giving into temptation. Stop to think about the potential consequences in your own life and the lives of others you care about.

  • Decide to simply obey God rather than trying to impress Him with good deeds. Remember that God designed the rules to keep people from harm. Consider God's great wisdom and love, and pray for help to trust God in every aspect of your life.

  • Stay focused on God's purposes for your life. Then when you encounter temptation, you'll see it clearly as a distraction from more important ways you can spend your time.

  • Ask a friend or several friends to support you and hold you accountable in your efforts to conquer temptation. Talk with them regularly and honestly about how you're doing. Confess times you've given into temptation and ask them to pray for you when you know you'll be encountering temptation in the future.

  • Separate your needs from your desires. Ask God to help you recognize what you truly need and what is merely something that you want. Don't let "wants" become so urgent that you lose your perspective on them, paving the way for you to try to obtain your desires in wrong ways.

  • Be humble. God will meet you in your humility and give you grace to overcome temptation.

  • Remember that all temptations on earth are temporary. Focus on what is eternal - your relationship with God.

Adapted from Why Do I Say "Yes" When I Need to Say "No"?, copyright 2002 by Michelle McKinney Hammond. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Look for this book in your local Christian bookstore, or click on the link below to buy it online.

Michelle McKinney Hammond has written numerous popular books, including How to Be Blessed and Highly Favored, What to Do Until Love Finds You, and Prayer Guide for the Broken Hearted.

What temptations do you struggle with, and why? How has God helped you overcome those temptations? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.