“Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
For many people, temptation is the number one reason they are hesitant to come to Christ. Either they fear that they will fall to temptation, have no will to resist it, or they really don’t believe that they can resist it! Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from Christ a moment longer because of such fears. Let’s discuss how to beat this.
The scripture says to “stay alert and be in prayer”. It is IMPOSSIBLE to win a real fight without preparation. You have to PREPARE to resist temptation. Preparation includes prayer – talking to God. Ask Him to help you fight temptation. It is important that we keep our eyes peeled for tempting traps. We can’t ignore the signs of temptation, neither can we fear the rejection that resisting temptation may bring. We have to decide what’s more important to us – bondage to our habit or freedom from our harmful ways.
You must be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Denial only prolongs the process of complete deliverance from a habit. For example, if I know deep down in my heart that I am really attracted to a guy friend, I have to consider this when “hanging out”. It is unwise to think that I can be around him all the time, be in close proximity, develop feelings, and NEVER be tempted. It’s unrealistic. So, how do I avoid falling? I PREPARE. Have an escape plan. Feeling vulnerable? Have a friend on speed dial to come get you or talk you out of it. Hang out in groups. Date in public. If you truly want to do right, it is not the time to make excuses, but to make a plan.
Like the scripture says, there is a part of you that is willing and ready to do as God wants, but we must fight against that part of us that doesn’t even want to fight temptation. You CAN beat it. Messed up, already? Try again. That's the power of God's grace! When we fall, we don't have to stay down. Prayer and preparation is the best way to fight temptation. So, FIGHT.
The thing about temptation is that when we are face to face with it, it does not seem to be of any concern initially. How many of us have said while fasting, “Oh, I don’t really care to eat,” when something unappealing is offered to us; however, if someone was to sit your favorite desert in front of you, your thought process may change just a tad bit. You may even start to compromise with your fast just so that you could indulge in your favorite sweet.
That is how temptation works. Some of us understand that temptation is not the same as sin, so then we feel that we can enjoy the enticements of temptation without any harm. This behavior becomes a type of game. We want to see how much titillation we can “enjoy” without falling into blatant sin. We fail to recognize that such an attitude is sinful in itself, for it fails to take seriously God's commands for holiness in attitude as well as in action.
Don’t think so highly of yourself that you feel as if that you can conquer temptation alone. The enemy has been tempting for over 2,000 years he knows what are weaknesses are just as well as we do. We have to avoid temptation on purpose. Do you think that he will set it up so that you have the choice to avoid it? Of course not! The enemy will package temptation into your favorite song lyric, your favorite reality TV show, or even that cute guy you’ve had your eye on for a while. That’s why we must be mindful at all time of what and who we surround ourselves with.
We cannot avoid temptation. On several occasions, Christ told His disciples to pray that they might not fall into temptation (Matthew 6:13; Luke 22:40). We are human true, but in knowing this we have to discipline our flesh daily with His word, fasting, and praying. Sisters, know the enemy’s schemes against you! As Peter puts it, "Be on the alert" (1 Peter 5:8). Know what temptations are used against you. It does no good to be watchful toward temptation if we are totally ignorant of the ways that we are most easily tempted.
I close with this. Even though something sinful in your life might sound good, take some time to reflect on this statement: If today was the last day of your life, what would you want to do? Would you fill your day with sinful experiences, or would you be close to the ones you love? Would you share your love and your compassion? I think we all know the answer to this. So every day, just remember what is TRULY important to you and to God.