Three ways to defeat temptation
Discover the Bible's tips for fighting against sin and coming out victorious.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the temptation of the world? Want to know how you can fight back and overcome it? Today, we examine three ways you can take on temptation and come out victorious.
1. Stay away from every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
It’s probably the best advice we can get. If we stay away from evil, we won’t be tempted to pursue it. That’s easier said than done, though. In a world where evil is front and center on billboards, headlines on the internet, and even in the conversations and actions of those we interact with daily, it’s not so easy to stay away from it. However, by identifying something that conflicts with God’s plan for our lives, we can start to create fences that will help us create a barrier between evil and our walk with God.
What are some of those fences?
- Don’t go to a website that habitually has content that is provocative and makes us uncomfortable as a Christian.
- When someone starts doing or saying something that makes us uncomfortable, we either need to shut it down or walk away. By showing that we aren’t willing to participate in bad behavior, our peers will understand what we are willing to accept.
There is also another thing we can do beyond just staying away from evil. Come closer to God. By putting godly conversation and actions on display to our peers, we might be able to help push evil out of their lives as well. By viewing godly things, our minds will be fed with His thoughts rather than the world’s ways.
2. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
There are a lot of great studies on the armor of God and what it does for us, however, the proof of its purpose is right here in the scripture — it’s so we can stand firm against the strategies of the devil.
God tells us to stay away from evil, but He also knows that the devil will attack us regardless of how we position ourselves. Satan is no respecter of borders or fences. That is why God gave us equipment so we could stand firm when the enemy comes in like a flood (Isaiah 59:19).
What are the pieces of those equipment and how do they affect temptation?
- Truth: Understanding the Truth of God and His ways shows us the value of serving in His Kingdom. It also reveals the truth of the enemy. Satan is a liar and his ways lead to destruction.
- Righteousness: Having the right way of living imprinted on our hearts will protect us when the enemy tries to infiltrate our lives with temptation. It’s hard to fall into temptation when you follow the plan God has for your life.
- Peace: When we face a great trial, temptation seems to ramp up. The peace of God’s presence will shield us from that temptation and see us through the storms of life.
- Faith: Absolute belief in God and His ways gives us a boldness that the enemy cannot shatter. We can stand against any attack knowing that we will be victorious in the end.
- Salvation: to know we are separated out and destined for heaven is an advantage that the devil cannot overcome. What temptation down here is worth the glory that awaits us over there?
- God’s Word: Not only does this tool reinforce all of the others we just mentioned, it gives us the words we can say to the enemy when he attacks us. It gives us the mindset we should take when we feel overwhelmed. More importantly, it gives us the place we can go when temptation besets us.
3. Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
Our final how-to for beating the devil puts us on the offensive.
We’ve seen how to defend both by steering clear of evil and standing firm when it attacks us anyway. Now we look at how we can set the devil running from us. Notice that this scripture doesn’t talk about loading up on faith or getting our spiritual gifts charged up. No, we are told to humble ourselves before God.
To "humble yourself" means to submit and defer to a higher authority. We won’t beat the devil with our usual ways or thinking. We must get aligned with God and under his control. When we do, we are empowered by God to resist the devil when he tries to attack and send him fleeing back from where he came.
By using these three God-given techniques, we’ll find ourselves overcoming our enemy at every turn. Rather than trying to stop up holes in the wall as the flood of temptation pours in, we’ll stand firm and push back that enemy with the authority and power of God leading us to our deliverance as an overcomer. Once we do that, the plan and purpose of God will take precedence in our lives and we’ll get to actually do His Will rather than spending all our energy fighting the will of the devil in our lives.
To read Chris's full series on defeating temptation, visit his website at twtlministries.com