Fighting Temptations

Since the beginning various forms of temptation have existed.  Temptation is the act of enticing to do wrong by promise of gain or pleasure. In the beginning, God made Adam and his wife Eve. He told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The devil tempted the woman to eat of this tree, she tempted her husband, and they fell by transgression (Genesis 2 & 3, King James Version). Certain components of temptation have not changed with time. We have seen the fall of executives in business, NBA stars, politicians, and marriages; due to temptation. For this cause, we should fight temptation. In order to fight temptation we must identify the sources of temptation, understand why we should fight it, and know how to get the victory over our temptation.

The consequence for yielding

In the fight against temptation, we should consider the various sources of temptation such as the devil, family, peers, and media.  The devil is the chief source of temptation and is called the tempter in the scriptures (Matt 4:1-5). The devil may use family members, peers, TV, and the internet; to do his bidding. He will stir up desires to commit fornication, use drugs, become homosexual, and use profane language.  Just as the tempter did in the beginning, he got to Adam through his wife.  The devil still uses an indirect approach today, by motivating a peer to say, it’s OK to have sex before marriage or just try this drug one time. The devil used Peter to try to discourage Jesus from fulfilling his mission on earth. Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him Satan for trying to get him off of his mission (Matt 16:18). It does not matter whether the devil tries to tempt you directly or indirectly, ultimately you should fight the temptation.

A component in fighting temptation is to understand why we should fight it. The consequence for yielding to temptation is the chief reason for fighting it. Consider Adams consequence for listening to his wife above God. As a result of his action, he was kicked out of the Garden of Eden, forced to raise food with trouble, and separated from the tree of life; to face death. When you are tempted to commit fornication, use drugs, become homosexual, and use profane language; think of the consequence of giving into ungodly desires. The results of fornication could be the beginning of the end of your life with HIV or an untimely pregnancy. The result of trying drugs one time could be a lifetime addiction that leaves you jobless and homeless. Yielding to the homosexual life style conflicts with the way you were designed and disease may result; due to the abuse related to this life style. The use of profane language could cause fights and loss of a good reputation. The ultimate consequence for all of these sinful actions is death (Rom 6:23 & I Corinth 6:9). With the consequence of hell fire and eternal damnation in mind, we understand why we should fight temptation and win.

The way to escape

Finally, to get the victory over our temptation, we must have what aged people call, “know how”. To gain “know how”, we must look to an example of someone who has been successful in dealing with temptation. Jesus Christ is the example we should look to, for he was in all points tempted like we are; but did not sin (Heb 4:15). The tempter came to Jesus Christ with various temptations, but each time Jesus used the scriptures on the devil and eventually sent the tempter away (Matt 4:1-11). Prayer is another tool Jesus used against temptation. Part of the prayer he taught his disciples to pray stated , lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (Matt 6:9). We should come boldly to the throne of grace and find grace to help; in our time of need (Heb 4:16). When we are tempted there is a way to escape the temptation. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Corinth 10:13). Our temptations can be overcome through Jesus Christ, who overcame his temptations.

In summary, we have seen the down fall of the human race through one man who didn’t fight his temptation. Adam was one who yielded to an indirect approach of the tempter and caused death to pass upon all men (Rom 5:12). On the other hand, we find a champion in Jesus Christ. When Jesus was tempted of the devil, he never ceased to resist the temptation (Matt 4:1-11). The result of His persistent fight is life eternal; not only for himself, but all that believe and follow his steps (Rom 5:21 & I Peter 2:21).With the examples of Adam and Jesus Christ we see the results of not fighting temptation verses always fighting temptation. In order to fight temptation we must identify the sources of temptation, understand why we should fight it, and know how to get the victory over our temptation.  Regardless of the source of temptation, fight it. Consider the consequences for yielding to temptations and fight it. Use the tools and knowledge that Jesus Christ gives us such as; the scriptures, prayer and the way of escape, to get the victory over temptation.