“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. “ Matthew 4:1
In life we are all going to face the temptation to do something that will lead us away from God or our goals for our life. Jesus the son of God faced temptation in Matthew chapter 4, when he was at his weakest point. Instead of Jesus relying on his own strength to fight off the temptation he fought back with the word of God. Even though his body was weak his spirit was strong. We can learn so much from how Jesus overcame temptation to apply to our own lives. Here are some things you can do to avoid falling into temptation:
Pray for revelation. Why is what you are trying to avoid that temptation in the first place? Is it because you were always told not to do it? Or do you actually believe it is bad for your life? Understanding the pitfall that you battle with is the first step in avoiding it. How is your temptation or sin pulling you away from God? And do you fully understand why? I remember as a teenager in church we we were always told that premarital sex was bad and that we shouldn’t do it. I really didn’t know why I shouldn’t do it, I just knew that it was unacceptable in church. So instead of no having sex, I just kept it a secret. Through those years my relationship with God was lack luster but I didn’t attribute that to my premarital sex life. It wasn’t until I actually read the word of God myself and prayed for revelation from God that I understood why this sin was pulling me apart from God. For me I had put sex and love in the God position in my life, I was worshiping those things. Those things always left me empty and seeking more because they were not God, and only God could complete me. The more I worshipped sex the more heartbroken and dark my life was. God had to show me the hard way why this sin was destroying my life. So through revelation I understood why it was not good for me. Understanding this, helped me avoid tempting situations because I knew how they would crush me.
Set Boundaries. If your weakness is gluttony and over eating then you should not suggest going out to the buffet. If you battle with gossiping about people then it is probably not a good idea to google the latest celebrity gossip or follow gossip brands on social media. Being aware of your temptation allows you to actively manage your life and set boundaries. Trust God will always give you a way out. He loves us, and he doesn’t want to see us fall short in our relationship with him.
Surround yourself with accountability partners. The people in our lives should be pushing us toward Christ and not away from him.If you battle with alcoholism then having someone you can call when times get tempting helps. Making sure you are not placing yourself around people that are going to make you fall into temptation is important as well. God places people in our lives to help us along the way. So identify that person in your life and allow them to help you with temptation.
Keep your eyes on the prize. What goal in your life are you trying to attain that temptation is holding you back from? Stay focused on the person you want to be, and little by little the more victories you have the more you will become that person. The more test you pass the stronger you will become in spirit and the better able you will be at handling temptation in the natural. So wether you want to stop cursing so you can have more joy; you want to stop smoking weed so you can achieve your career goals or you want to stop gossiping so you can have more peace; keep your eyes focused on that prize.
Fill your life with goodness. Once you have overcome temptation and been delivered from sin it is important to fill your life with substance and goodness or it will be easy to fall back into your old ways. Start getting involved in the community and practice giving back, serving the poor or helping those in need. Rediscover your God given gifts and how you can use them for his glory. It is important that you fill your life with goodness and things of God.
What are some ways you have overcome temptation in your own life? How have you set boundaries or identified accountability partners? Share your thoughts and stories below in the comments.