Happy Thursday, y’all. Have you read my devotion today, “God’s Love Changes Everything.” It’s sure to encourage you! Love is what every one of us need. And guess what? No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, God LOVES you and there’s nothing you can do about it! No sin and no temptation can separated you and me from God’s love. All we can do is stand in awe of it, bow to it, and receive it. Doing so will change you’re life. But don’t stop there. Draw a line in the sand today and decided to end that struggle with temptation too! Read on…
After preaching a strong sermon on withstanding temptation, a woman approached the pastor with a request.
“Will you pray for me to stop smoking.” She whispered in his ear.
To her surprise, the pastor answered, “No.” “When you decide you love God more than smoking and rely on His power instead of your own, you’ll stop.” He added.
My pastor told that story many years ago. It influenced my life greatly. Every time I was tempted to do something, say something or neglect something I should do because of temptation, I’d ask myself this question. “Who do I love more God or the thing that tempts me?”
I asked that question because I was unsure about the answer. I believed that I loved God. Yes! Yes, I do love God. So why couldn’t I conquer the temptation? I was trying to defeat the lure in my own strength. Every time I’d fail, I would pray something like this: I’m sorry God. I promise to do better next time.
You and I can’t do better—not next time, not the time after that—not any time. We can only conquer the impossible in God’s strength. How do we do that? We do it just like Jesus did—with the Word of God.
First, let me assure you that temptation isn’t a sin until we give into the lure. Since we don’t want to give in, we must stop the process the moment we feel tempted to do the unthinkable. Jesus used the Word of God when Satan tempted Him on the mountain. Following His example is a sure way to success for us.
Here are some verses to memorize and use when facing temptation:
- Hiding God’s Word in our hearts equips up to stand firm. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11, NIV).
- Christ understands our struggle and teaches us to call out for mercy in our time of need. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb 4:14-16, NIV).
- We have power over sin! “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14, NIV).
- Resist the tempter. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NIV).
- Daily dress in God’s protective armour. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph 6:10, 11, 16, NIV).
- You’ve got the power! So use it! “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1John 4:4, NIV).
That’s good news! You and I have the power in us to overcome ANY temptation!
Add your favorite verse for overcoming temptation in the comment section and enter to win a copy of “Confessions of Good Christian Girl” and my book, “An Untroubled Heart.” I’ll announce the winner on Friday!