Abounding Grace Fellowship

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Month: March 2013

How To Get Out of Temptation

How do I resist temptation?

Getting out of sin and temptation has more to do with understanding who you are than about looking at what you’ve done or what you are tempted to do.

As a follow-up to last-week’s post, let’s look again at some lies that people believe about temptation and turn the tables against the tempter…

1) LIE: You are a bad person if you are tempted (or keep being tempted with things you think you should not be thinking about)

As we said, Jesus Himself, the Son of God, was tempted when He walked this earth.

We, as children of God, can be tempted.  That’s normal.

Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m a child of God! It doesn’t matter how much I’ve been tempted or how much I’ve given in and sinned… I’m not a bad person.  I’m a child of God.  God is not condemning me.  Jesus paid the price for me to be free from this… and I’m going to be free!”

2) LIE: Nobody else deals with this temptation over and over again like you do…

The truth is that EVERYONE deals with temptation.  The devil is not creative, he’s just persistent.  he’ll spend years trying to make a person fail.

You are not a “uniquely bad” person.  There’s only so many categories of bad things in this world.  If you got tempted, or even sinned, don’t isolate yourself from God and others who care about you.  Show up in church and sit on the front row.  Smile at all the people who you think were too good to be tempted with the kinds of sin that you thought about.  Realize that they were tempted, and maybe did some things wrong… it doesn’t matter, God still loves them.  He still loves you.

3) LIE: The temptation is just too strong for me, so I keep giving in and sinning…

God has already made a way out for you!  Look for it!  Ask Him where it is!

As we said, The Lord goes with you everywhere. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5) That means Jesus is there when you are tempted.  Jesus is there when you are considering doing wrong. Jesus is there if you follow through with the temptation.

There’s no sense in playing games from the start.  Just say,

“Jesus! I’m being tempted to _______.”

“Help me to not do it.”

“Show me the way of escape!”

Just realizing that Jesus is really there puts a quick damper on temptation.  It’s like a person at work who is tempted to look at youtube videos on his computer instead of getting his work done.  While the boss is nearby, since he knows it’s wrong, he doesn’t open the player.  If he thinks no one will know, he goofs off and watches the videos.

Jesus is ALWAYS with you.  His Spirit is ALWAYS in you… and He’s there to help you before you mess up — so you don’t, not to make you feel bad after you mess up.

How do I stop if I’ve already given in before?

Just practice saying “No” to the temptation once.

Don’t make an extravagant promise to “NEVER” do that again.

Plan that the “NEXT” time you are faced with that temptation, you are going to resist it.  Don’t worry about the other times the enemy might tempt you with it — he will try again and again till he realizes it won’t work.  But start with the next time. Once you have resisted one time, then you can stand up and say, “I am able to resist!”

When the temptation comes back again, resist that one time again — but this time you have proof that you did resist it before.  If you mess up and do it, take it to the Lord, receive His prepayment of forgiveness, and start this all over again for the NEXT time the temptation comes — make a decision to resist the NEXT one.

Eventually, it will lose it’s grip on you.

3 Lies About Temptation

What is temptation?

Temptation is when you feel pulled away from doing the right thing.  Lots of times we would like to blame the devil, but the Bible tells us in James that people are drawn away by their own desires.

James 1:14 – But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    Note: “Lust” simply means a “longing” — not necessarily a sexual desire.

Temptation is the devil turning your own desires against you so that you feel pulled to do something you know is wrong or not do something you know you should.

Lies about temptation…

1) You are a bad person if you are tempted…  Answer: Wrong.

Even Jesus was tempted.

Hebrews 4:14,15 – Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  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.

Temptation just proves that you are human. Different people are more susceptible to different temptations depending on what they have been through in life — or possibly even the chemical balances (or imbalances) in their bodies.  It’s important not to judge people as being “bad” just because they are tempted by something that doesn’t tempt you right now.  An alcoholic has different cravings than a person who doesn’t ever drink alcohol.  Those cravings don’t make him an evil person.  They do make it harder to resist the temptation to get drunk again.

For example: There was a personal trainer that decided to eat all kinds of junk food and put on extra weight.  He did.  Then he worked hard to take it back off again.  His body returned to the way it was, but he found that he now had a craving for sweets that he didn’t have before.  He had never understood when people would tell him that they craved chocolate or other sweet things.  Once he gave in to eating lots of it, even after losing weight, the craving hung on.

Many, if not all, temptations are like that… the more you give in to them, the stronger they get.  However, the opposite is true too… the more you resist them, the weaker they get.

 

2) Nobody else deals with this temptation over and over again like you do…  Answer: Wrong.

The Bible tells us that there are no temptations except ones that are common to mankind.

Everyone deals with temptation.  This lie tries to isolate you so you think that you are unique — and therefore have a unique problem that can’t be fixed.  Maybe it’s not exactly presented to you that “no one else” deals with it, but that no one who is the kind of Christian you claim to be has to deal with it.

1 Cor 10:13a – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: …

There is nothing new under the sun.  People — including children of God — a thousand years ago were tempted to do the same kinds of sins that children of God are tempted to do today.

We may have more opportunities to sin, or easier access to certain types of ungodly things — right from your living room, but there are only so many types of bad things you can be tempted to do.

 

3) The temptation was just too strong for me, so I sinned…  Answer: Wrong.

The Bible also tells us that with every temptation The Lord has made a way of escape.  God wants us to overcome, so He made a way out.  Here’s the good news… if a temptation comes knocking on your door — whatever it may be — God has already made a way for you to escape.

1 Cor 10:13b – …but God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 

What do we do if we are tempted?

The next time temptation comes… and it will… try this…

When temptation comes, don’t think, “Oh no!  I’m going to sin again!”  Instead, start looking for the exit.  Ask The Lord for help… talk to Him like you would a trusted friend.  He knows you are being tempted.  “Lord! I’m being tempted to _____.”  Yeah, just say it and fill in the blank.  (Maybe even out loud if you are in private.)  He knows it’s there … and you are not “in sin” because the temptation came.  Say, “Lord! I’m being tempted to ______.  Where is the way of escape?  Show me how to get out!” … and He will.