Winning over Temptation
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."1
Temptation! A very common problem for all mankind and is something we all struggle with at one time or another—and perhaps will always struggle with it in this life. As God's Word reminds us, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it."2 Furthermore, "But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."3
So the question we ask today is, "How can we win over temptation?"
First, at the beginning of every day pray this prayer with sincerity: "Dear God, again today I commit and trust my life and way to you, please help me to become the person you want me to be, and help me live today to glorify you in everything I do."
Second, avoid going to places where you know very well you will most likely face temptation.
Third, temptation gets ahold of us in our thoughts. Realize that what the mind dwells on the body acts on, so guard your thinking. My number one defense for changing my thinking, when facing temptation, is to keep repeating the following statement: "Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and is Lord of my life." As long as I concentrate my thoughts on Jesus Christ as being Lord of my life, shortly my thinking changes and the temptation dissipates.
Furthermore, Satan and his demons hate hearing the statement that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he is the Son of the Living God.
As God's Word advises, "Finally, brothers and sisters, 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."4
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I confess that my flesh is weak so please help me to remember when I face temptation, that no matter what the temptation is, you always provide a way of escape so that I won't be overcome. Help me to remember at such times to confirm in my thoughts and words that 'Jesus Christ is Lord and is Lord of my life,' and in so doing, with your help, overcome any and all temptations. Thank you for providing this way of escape and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 26:41 (NIV).
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV).
3. James 1:13-15 (NIV).
4. Philippians 4:8 (NIV).