You can learn how to overcome ALL temptations by the Word of God and learning from Jesus… He was tempted in every area and never fell. So if we study HOW He lead His life we can learn some key ways to apply in our own lives.
You CAN NOT fight temptations on a flesh level because you will always loose. You must first fill yourself with God’s Word in that area of temptation and learn what God said and build your spiritual muscles, during that time you will probably fall again until your spirit becomes strong enough in that area to rule over your flesh. Then you have to keep your spirit strong to stay there otherwise you will fall again… I have been through it many, many times. You will never win if you are just trying to use your flesh to say “no”. You must build your spiritual muscles in that area.
Think of it like a body builder, when they first start lifting physical weights they can’t lift very much, but over time by consistent workouts, eating right, taking supplements and training they become stronger. If you approach your spiritual development in a similar way you will get stronger, except your workouts are reading and meditating on the Word of God to get it into you, to let Holy Spirit reveal the Truth about that temptation. Normally when you fall to temptation there is “a lie” you have or are believing in that situation. It might be something from your past that happened, it might be you don’t think you are “good enough” or “strong enough“. It could be you don’t think “you are loved“, or “people don’t care about you“, but normally there is “a lie” somewhere in there that you are believing. Once that lie is exposed and the truth of God’s Word is revealed you can start to become stronger. Rarely do you overcome temptation overnight, though sometimes people are delivered from it instantly, I have found this is not the normal process.
Understand our job is NOT to fight the devil and demons, ours is to “RESIST” them Jam 4:7. When you read about Jesus when the Holy Spirit took Him in the desert to be TEMPTED, Jesus always said “it is written” and I believe after He spoke He simply walked away from satan after that. He didn’t stand and debate or argue, He didn’t even have a theological discussion with him, He didn’t even rebuke him. He just said “it is written” and ignored satan! This is one of the key verses I stand on, it is a process… Submit to God first, then RESIST the devil (or temptation), and he will flee. It is when you don’t give temptation any thought by thinking about it that it will start to go away. The more you think and ponder about that temptation the more it will keep it’s stronghold over you, when you STOP giving thought to the temptation you are loosing the hold it has on you. This is not easy, it is a training process of your thought pattern and actions. I’ll be honest, at first it can be very difficult but if you don’t do it you will stay a slave to that temptation.
Next, don’t put yourself in a place that you can fall… hence if it is watching movies or tv then don’t watch any movies or tv until you can be strong enough to make the right decisions of ones you watch. If you sin late at night, don’t stay up late and go to bed early, if it is eating sweats then simply refuse to buy them or have them in your house, if it is shopping or debt then stay home and stop going to stores. The first thing is to figure out where, when, and why you are falling and just don’t put yourself in that position anymore. This will probably be a life long decision, if you are weak in an area you will probably never be able to be around that area again the rest of your life unless you develop strong disciple and spiritual muscles.
God does NOT temp us, we live in a cursed and fallen world and you will deal with temptations the rest of your life in many different forms. As a Christian you need to develop your spiritual muscles on HOW to overcome temptation… not just temptations! Once you learn the process of how to overcome ALL temptations then you will start to have victory. Learning how to control your flesh is much like a 16 yr. old driver trying to drive a Ferrari on a race track. You can ONLY do it with Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Give yourself time to learn the process and become strong.
You can do this, every Christian has the Holy Spirit as a Comforter and Helper, now we just need to get your spirit stronger to tell your flesh what it will and won’t do! It is possible, but it is a hard battle that you will feel like giving up many times. The flesh DOES NOT like to be trained… it likes to have it’s own way, but this battle is worth winning and paying the price to get there. It’s never over, but once you start to see the devils tactics at some point you will learn to laugh and say… not today! You have to learn how and when he will deceive you… it is when you are the weakest and not the strongest. Understand satan is NOT a lion… he impersonates a lion and he is SEEKING someone to devour! Lions always go after the weakest, youngest, or the one in the heard that has strayed back. They NEVER go after the strongest in the heard! Find some strong friends or mentors to surround you and encourage you, don’t hang around friends that keep sinning or they will keep you in that bondage. Sometimes the first thing you need to do is change your friends and the people you hang around!
Temptation is COMMON to man, and will never go away. It is your job to learn how to resist and say no! Jesus already OVERCAME the devil and defeated him, our job now is to bridle our thought patterns and direct them towards the Word of God. Over my life the faster I have learned to say “NO” the faster the thought has left me. I get weird thoughts like anyone else that are not mine or God’s and I refuse to ponder or think about them. I simply change my focus on what God’s Word said about that situation and start to meditate on that instead of the temptation thought. Whatever you focus on long enough in life is where you will end up, if it is God’s Word you will end up victorious, if it the temptation you will end up in sin and possibly death every time. That death could be your marriage, a relationship, your job, your family, or even your own life or that of a loved one! All sin leads to some kind of death in our life.
No human is strong enough to overcome sin and temptation in there own life without the Holy Spirit. You may be able to do it for a short time, but you will weaken and fall. Remember the very first thing to do is SUBMIT yourself to God, then RESIST the temptation and don’t think about it or put yourself in a place that you will fall, and you will overcome it. Please understand God is NOT beating you up over failing, He is there with OPEN arms calling you back saying “you can do this, I have already paved the way for you, come and follow Me.”
Satan’s number one tactic is to lead and trick you into sin, then after you follow him and do it then he starts beating you up and accusing you because you did it. He will even lie to you and tell you that God (or someone else) can not love you now because you did this. He does this to keep you in condemnation and guilt. The Holy Spirit never does that, the Word says God IS Love! No matter how many time you may fall, God is there calling you back. Never let a sin keep you from God, that is a lie from satan and not the truth!
Pray this prayer out loud after reading it first.
Holy Spirit I want delivered from ______, I am asking you in faith to reveal the lie I have believed about this temptation and sin and to reveal the Truth of God’s Word in this situation. I surrender and submit myself you Lord Jesus because You are my Deliverer and Savior. I choose now to renounce this sin in my life and change my thought patterns, friends, words, and actions to conform to the Word of God and not the world anymore. I want to be FREE and am asking you Jesus to lead me, to be a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path to show me the way to salvation. In Jesus Mighty and Power Name I Thank You for delivering me and setting me free! Amen
1 Cor 10:12-13 AMPTherefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. 13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His ompassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always]
also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
Jas 4:7 AMPSo be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
1 Pet 5:8 AMPBe well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.