How Can We Resist Temptation?
- Thursday, May 01, 2008
— 2 Timothy 2:22
Shield of Faith – The shield in warfare was used to protect a warrior from arrows and swords. At times, a number of warriors would stand together overlapping their shields in order to provide protection for the entire group. Sometimes I act as if I can stand alone against the enemy, thinking that I can “do all things through me” instead of “through Christ.” I cannot protect myself in a spiritual battle, which is what physical temptation outside of marriage is. I must have a strong faith in God, and I must have someone to be accountable to.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12
At one time David and Jonathan were inseparable. They stood by each other’s side to battle physical enemies and spiritual enemies. When Jonathan died, David lost his closest friend and the one person to whom he was accountable. Things may have been different for David with Bathsheba had Jonathan been alive.
Helmet of Salvation – The helmet was constructed to protect all parts of the head of a warrior. Our head is the most vulnerable area to temptation as it enters in through our eyes, ears and mind. Jesus can deliver us from evil as our helmet, but we have to first receive him and be delivered by him. Our eyes and mind must always be on Him and not on those things around us that make us stumble.
Temptation and images enter our eyes through movies, television, and even video games. It enters our ears through the music we listen to. It enters our mind through the books and magazines we read and through the images we formulate.
Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
— Philippians 4:8
Don’t allow yourself to spend time thinking about temptations and plotting on how you may be able to “get away” with following through on one. Let the thoughts of the Lord cover your head and mind.
God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in the ignorance of God and his ways.
— 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
These are our offensive weapons:
Sword of the Spirit (Word of God)
Many of us spend time reading the Bible, memorizing verses, and remembering some stories, but like a sword, we need to know how to properly employ the Word of God in order for it to be the most effective. After Jesus’ forty days and nights of fasting (Luke 4:1-3), Satan continued to tempt him. Jesus responded by saying, “It is written … It is written … It is written. …” He was able to overcome each temptation that Satan offered up by reciting the Word of God in the face of temptation. Strength to withstand temptation comes from the Word of God.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
— Matthew 6:13
Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
— Matthew 26:41
On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
— Luke 22:40
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13
Prayer is often forgotten as a vital part of the armor of God, but it is our second offensive weapon. We cannot go into battle without letting the Lord know where our heart is and what our needs are. The battle of temptation will be won on our knees.
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