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Sermon #58: How to Resist Temptation - Sermon on Choices

Have you ever been tempted? If so, who do you think tempted you - God, Satan, or both?
Do you know how to effectively deal with temptation?

According to Wikipediatemptation is "the state of being attracted and enticed without anything to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation." [Emphasis added]. It is therefore clear that God will never tempt you; He may of course test you. I have come to this conclusion because temptation has nothing 'to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation.'

If it has nothing to do with moral, ethical or ideological valuation, then it has nothing to do with God. With reference to the temptation of Jesus, the Bible clearly states that Jesus was "tempted by Satan" (see Mark 1:13 NIV). 

So, "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone." - James 1:13 (NIV). How about that! "...but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." - James 1:14 (NIV). 

So temptation is triggered by the kind of desires that one has. What desires do you have? Are they ethical, moral, Christian? If not, then surely temptation is knocking at your door!

Below, I give four weapons that one may use to resist temptation.

No. 1: Audit your desires. Check to see that all are in line with the way of the Lord. "...brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." - Philippians 4:8 (NIV) [Emphasis added]You will never go wrong if you put this checklist to good use.
No. 2: Take a Stance. If during the audit you pick some evil desires, it is time for you to take a position. The position is like, "Although I have observed these evil desires in me, I hate them and will resist them until I come out the victor." Without taking such a passionate position, the evil desires will be with you till you die.

No. 3Meditate on the Word of God always. You can do the meditation anytime, anywhere, whatever else you may be engaged with. If the Word of God takes 100% of your heart 100% of the time you will have no capacity to yield to temptation

When tempted, you should be able to tell what the Word of God says about your situation, otherwise you will fall for anything. Jesus used the Word to counter Satan's temptations and to see right through the devil's deceit. "It is written..." Jesus would shoot back. You too should be in a position to do the same; but first you should know/understand that which is written about your situation.

No. 4Pray. "On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.'" - Luke 22:40 (NIV). When you pray, you activate the power of God in you, i.e. the power of the Holy Spirit. When He was being tempted, Jesus did not just use the Word to counter Satan; He also used prayer!

In justifying their weakness, some people say, "The temptation that I faced was greater than the temptation that anybody else has ever faced." That's not true at all!
Look at this: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." - 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV). It's common to man! It's not unique to you! So you should stand up to temptation, just like others have done under similar circumstances!

Now look at how our gracious God comes to our rescue: -

"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 (NIV)

"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." - Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)

I deliberately made this post a little longer; you know why.
God bless!