How Can We Resist Temptation?
- Thursday, May 01, 2008
Armor of God
These are our defensive weapons:
Belt of Truth – The belt of a warrior served as a foundation on the armor where weapons were attached. Jesus is our foundation, and God’s Word (the truth) is where we connect to him. To understand what it says about sin and temptation, we need to know and understand the Word.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
— Psalm 119:9
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
— Psalm 119:11
The truth shall set you free [from sin].
— John 8:32
It is one thing to read, study and memorize verses in the Bible, but it’s another thing to actually apply what we read to our everyday life. When we read the Bible, we are held accountable in God’s eyes for what we read. If we don’t apply what we read in our lives, we sin against God.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
— James 1:21-22
Breastplate of Righteousness – The breastplate of a warrior protected all of his vital organs from physical danger, while the breastplate of righteousness protects our heart and our soul from emotional and spiritual danger. In order to wear the breastplate, we must choose righteousness over what we may think or feel, or what our friends or society tell us to do. Our command is to follow the Lord in righteousness, but not through good works or actions on our part, but through our relationship with him. Oftentimes, God is thought of as one who wants to put restrictions on us and has us give up earthly pleasures. In reality, he is trying to protect us from making poor choices (giving in to premarital temptations) and refocus us on things that bring eternal pleasures.
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.
— James 4:8
For a relationship to grow, time must be invested and spent in conversation, in interaction, and in person. I cannot ask Jesus into my heart and then go on with my life expecting God to take care of it. I must take time to learn about him and his Word. I must spend time in prayer, talking to him. I must sit quietly to meditate on him and listen for his voice (not necessarily audibly, but through his Spirit).
Feet of Peace – Warriors often wore sandals with small nails, similar to spikes, for stability in fighting. Our stability and peace comes from the knowledge that Jesus overcame death in order for us to have life. That knowledge should encourage us to take measures in order to protect ourselves from situations that would jeopardize our relationship with the Lord.
- Protect your spirit by praying; alone and with your partner
- Protect your mind and thoughts with (images of) things of God, not of the world or lustful desires
- Protect yourselves by not spending time alone in situations that can lead to fulfilling your physical desires
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
— 1 Corinthians 6:20
Joseph chose to avoid being in the presence of Potiphar’s wife knowing that she was pressuring him for sex. When Joseph was finally caught alone and confronted by her, he ran. There is no honor lost for running away from a temptation that is wrong in God’s eyes.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
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