God Gives Victory Over Temptation


          The person is truly happy and blessed who is patient under trials and stands up under temptation. Temptations are difficult to deal with but they can be resisted and overcome. God will not allow you to be tried beyond the strength that He gives you to overcome. He will provide you with sufficient power to resist the temptation. When trials come God will make a way out. God will, "with the temptation, make the deliverance, or way out." God, through His providence, does not allow Satan to block our way spiritually. The trial shall never be above the strength that God gives to bear it. God does not remove temptation but He does provide Christians with a way of escape. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:12-13) There can be victory for the Christian over temptation.


          Every person faces temptation but very few of us deal with it effectively.  You know temptation is coming so be prepared and stand strong. In 2 Chronicles 12:14 we read of Rehoboam, "And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD." Rehoboam and many like him are not prepared in heart to face temptation. Selfishness is the root of all temptation. Satan uses our own selfishness to destroy us. James wrote, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14) We are accustomed to things being packaged nicely so they will sell. Satan packages temptation in the form of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. We are told, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:15-17) Bring your thoughts into captivity to Christ and you can overcome temptation. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) Do not wait until the temptation comes. Takes time now to prepare for temptation.


          Christians have victory over temptation through prayer: As a child of God you are encouraged to come boldly before God's throne in prayer to ask for strength in dealing with the Devil. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) Let us keep ourselves awake, giving strict attention as we watch and pray to avoid temptation. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation..." (Matthew 26:41) There is a way to overcome temptation. Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to recognize that way of escape and the courage to walk in it.


         Christians have victory over temptation through humbleness of heart: Self-righteousness should never find place in our lives. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18) Those who are so full of pride, who feels they will never fall, must beware. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." (I Corinthians 10:12) God sets himself against the proud and haughty heart which says, "I will never do that."


          Christians have victory over temptation through watching: The warning word of the Bible is -- "watch." "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) Peter warns Christians to be alert and ever watchful for attacks by Satan. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) With sober-minded determination Christians must be on guard against the one who, in fierce hunger, is set on their destruction.


                    Christians have victory over temptation through resisting: Christians should put on the whole armor of God and give the Devil a fight. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Ephesians 6:10-18) God explains that Christians are to resist the Devil steadfastly. "Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." (1 Peter 5:9) The Devil is real. Withstand him. Get yourself rooted in the faith so Satan will not shake you.


          Each of us is challenged to become a Christian and to overcome temptation. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of all sins (2 Peter 3:9), confess Jesus as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to wash away sins. (Acts 22:16) After becoming a Christian it is then time to -- "Stand." This is accomplished through God's help. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA