How to Avoid Temptation

(Don’t forget to visit me over on Good Morning Girls today to continue our study in Luke! I’m talking about Luke 11 over at GMG and here on my blog! To see the Good Morning Girls post, click here.)

Feeling tempted?

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We can’t live on this earth without temptation. We can’t go through a day without temptation. I’m thankful for the many sermons over the years that have reminded me, “Having temptation come is not a sin, it’s what you do with that temptation.” Knowing that has helped me turn to God instead of guilt when temptation comes.

Yet is it possible not to be tempted in the first place? I think it is.

This morning I was reading the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2-4, and the last verse stopped me:

“Forgive us as we forgive everyone else. Don’t allow us to be tempted,” Luke 11:4 (God’s Word).

Now I know I’ve read this verse dozens, if not hundred of times, but today God’s Spirit said, “It’s for you, today.” I love how God’s Word does that. It’s active and living, and can minister to us every day we we open it.

According to James 1:13, God does not tempt any man, but according to Luke 11:4, temptation is also something we can pray against. The enemy of our souls will tempt us, but I picture God putting up a forcefield around us, keeping those temptations from coming close.

The thing is too often we forget to pray for this forcefield of protection. More than that, too often we’re the ones bringing temptation close. We buy the cookies, we entertain the thoughts, we play with the emotions, thinking we have it all under control. Until it comes to the moment we are weak, and we fail. It’s then the temptation does come, and instead of turning to God, we turn to sin.

How to Keep from Getting Tempted:

Limit Access:
It’s important to keep what we crave far away. I have a choice not to buy Cinnamon Poptarts, Reeces cups, or bake chocolate chip cookies. I have a choice not to accept a friend request from an old boyfriend on Facebook (or any of his friends, who will continually resurrect memories).

The 15-Minute Rule:
You can deny yourself that cookie or that TV show for fifteen minutes. Once those fifteen minutes go by, continue to walk away. Continue to pray.

Be Realistic:
If you finding yourself primping a little bit more than normal because there is a guy at church who is “oh, so nice,” then you better steer clear of him. If you find yourself justifying a television show you feel guilty about watching, be realistic about it. The guilt is there for a reason.

Talk to Someone When the Temptation Comes:
Does your spouse know your struggles? Then turn to him when you need help. Have a best friend who’s willing to pray? Shoot an email or a text.

Recognize your Tendency to Sin:
James 1:14 says we are tempted when we are enticed by our own natural desires. You wanna not do everything right all the time. We all do. But because you’re human, that’s why God sticks around, ready to help.

Read God’s Word and Pray:
The more you fill yourself up with the good stuff, the more the bad stuff gets pushed out of your mind and heart. When you fill yourself up with God’s Word, it goes to work for you, battling temptation. Check out Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Repent When You Mess Up:
I’ve failed many times, and I always find myself turning to God. I’m also learning to seek forgiveness from those I hurt—like my spouse, my kids, and my friends. There are times when I’ll stand at the crossroads, considering a temptation, and knowing I’ll have to confess if I follow through stops me in my tracks. And I’m thankful! Repentance is wonderful, but choosing purity—not to sin—is even better.

Practice Making Right Choices:
The more you choose rightly, the more you get into a habit to do so. Temptation doesn’t have a fighting chance if you refuse to even consider it.

How about you? How do you keep temptation far away?



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Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    I love this post. The 15 min idea is brilliant. Food has become a struggle lately that keeps coming and going.

  2. This is amazing! I have just repented and is walking back towards the presence of God. This article inspires me on living a pure life once more.

  3. WOW!!! I really needed to read this post today and God lead me straight to it. I have been struggling with getting my Christian walk back in line. I know that temptation and anger are two things I struggle with very much. I thank you so much for sharing this. I am now following and look forward to reading more of what you right in the future.

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