How To Overcome Temptation
Hello my friends. Today I would like us to consider the question "How Can We Overcome Temptation?" First we need to recognize the source of our temptation. There are really just three sources of temptation. Now I understand that temptation can come to us in an infinite variety of ways. But when we can see past the instrument of our temptation we will find that it has only three possible sources - the world, the flesh, or the devil. And sometimes it can be a combination of any of these three elements that we are fighting against. So, let's consider these three possible sources.
The first source of temptation is the world. We must realize that the world is trying to tempt you to buy into its values and its definitions of right and wrong. The world is trying to redefine truth for you and me. It operates in a way that is so inconsistent with the ways of God that James tells us in his epistle, "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" (James 4:4 NIV).
The second source of temptation is the flesh. When I say "the flesh" I'm not talking about the skin that covers our bones and internal organs. I'm talking about the sinful nature that all of us were born with. Galatians 5:17 (NIV) tells us that "The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."
The third source of our temptation is probably the one that you thought of first. And that is the devil. Just as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness he will tempt each one of us. His desire is to get you to act in a way that is contrary to the will of God.
So, how do we overcome temptation. First recognize the potential within you to sin. Seeing others fall, we might be tempted to say that "I would never do that." But we must recognize that given the right set of circumstances we are all capable of committing the most horrible of sins. Secondly, know whose responsibility it is to overcome. It is your responsibility and mine. Thirdly, we must stand on the power of God's Word. That's what Jesus did when he was tempted. The fourth thing we can do is to simply flee from it. Just get as far away from it as you can. And the fifth thing we can do is to know what to look for. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) Paul wrote, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” God has provided a way of escape. You simply have to look for it. Remember - you are an overcomer in Jesus' name.