Overcoming Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:12-13(NIV): 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 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.

We all face many different kinds of temptations. For the Christian, it can be very discouraging when we attempt to overcome our temptations, usually through our own power, and then give into those temptations. We must understand that all believers struggle with temptations of some type. Holy Scripture reminds us that in times of testing we must turn away from the evil one and turn to the Lord. Being overconfident in our own power is something that we should constantly be on guard against. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

When faced with temptation, the believer must stand firm and look to God for help in overcoming the temptation, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Look for the way out of your temptation and actively pray for God to deliver you from away from the influence of the evil one, who is only seeking to destroy. When you call upon and invoke God’s name, the power and influence of the evil one will greatly diminish and he will flee when you seek God’s power over your own.

1 Peter 5:8-10 (NIV): 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This passage form 1 Peter should get the attention of every believer. Our enemy – the devil – is actively looking to “devour” you as a follower of Christ. Peter wants us to understand that we must be always be alert and cautious, because the evil one is just waiting to wreak havoc in the lives of believers. We are called upon to “resist” him and to stand “firm in the faith.” Our responsibility as Christians is to always be on guard against the schemes of the evil one and to actively resist all types of temptations that we encounter.

For those of us in ministry, we are often faced with the temptation to become overconfident in our own power, instead of giving all of the glory back to God for what we are able to accomplish. Over the past month, I have been given praise for teaching or for a service that I conducted, and each time I always say to that person, that apart from God, I can do nothing. It is the power of God resting on me and working through me that enables me to accomplish anything in ministry. I am always very careful to give all of the glory back to God. God’s power and glory is always shown to be greater when he accomplishes his will through unexceptional and ordinary people.

James 4:7-8a: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

It is impossible to defeat Satan while relying on our own power. Only by turning to and invoking the name of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, can we defeat the enemy. Satan is powerless when we declare ourselves under the protection of God and our Lord and Savior. The next time you are faced with a temptation, follow the advice of scripture: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Heaven rejoices each time we say no to evil and turn to God and allow His incredible and unsurpassed power to lead us into the light of life eternal. Live not as children of the dark, but as children of light. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Thank you God for your awesome power over evil and the darkness of this world. Give us your grace to be a light to this fallen world.

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