After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
#9 How Do I Deal with Temptations in My Life?
Answer: We must rely on the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which assures us that God provides a way to resist any temptation.
The words in the Bible that are translated into English as “temptation” can carry two different meanings. In some cases, it can be a test, as in a challenge which God might bring our way to prove the strength of our faith. This is what happened when God asked Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice. God was proving the sincerity of Abraham’s trust in Him.
The other use of temptation is that of an enticement to do evil or whatever is contradictory to God’s will. Such temptations do not come from God, but rather originate from within ourselves or from Satan (1 Thessalonians 3:5).
A very important scripture passage about temptation is found in James 1:13-15 which says…
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
The temptation itself is not sin, rather it becomes sin when we yield to that temptation. A temptation, however, can become sin without committing the actual act if we allow the desire to do wrong to control our thoughts. Jesus said when one looks upon a woman lustfully he has committed adultery in his heart. It is necessary, therefore, that when we are tempted we cleanse our minds of the sinful desires immediately.
Another vital passage of scripture that teaches about temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13.
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.
Based on the promise of this verse we can be assured that God will not allow any temptation to come our way that we cannot resist. There are two important examples in the Bible to show us how to resist temptation.
The first is that of the Lord Jesus when he was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). In each case, when the devil tempted him to sin the Lord responded with an appropriate scripture passage to refute what Satan was encouraging him to do. This demonstrates the power the Word of God has to overcome evil. The scriptures are the tool which the Holy Spirit uses to empower us to do the will of God.
The second example of how to resist sin is that of Joseph (Genesis 39:11-12). He was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to have sex with her. He knew this would be a sin and he resisted the temptation by fleeing the situation. This is another valuable strategy the Lord has given us to keep from disobeying Him. We should avoid any situation in which we might be tempted to sin, or if we find ourselves in such a situation we should try to get out of it.
Therefore, we control temptation by cleansing our hearts with the Word of God and by avoiding or fleeing situations in which we might be tempted to sin.
Please read the following verses: 2 Timothy 2:22; Romans 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
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God bless you!
Pastor Dwight Anderson