Winning The Battle
A temptation comes upon you, and you are faced with a spiritual battle. The temptation could be many things, such as to lie, be overcome by fear, gossip, lust, drink alcohol, complain, or spiral in discouragement. We all find ourselves in the crosshairs of temptation, and Satan intentionally targets us in times of weakness.
I think about biblical stories such as Adam & Eve, Cain, David & Bathsheba, & Judas. If only they would have seen the temptation for what it was, and where it would lead them. They could have avoided so much pain and heartache, and all the consequences that sin brings. Satan is a powerful deceiver; he desires for us to minimize, justify, or even think sin is good. The apostle Paul expressed a concern for the Corinthians that is very applicable for us: “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:3
If we are not focused and ready for battle, then Satan will have the upper hand. But if our mind is sharpened on the principles of God’s word, we can resist and stand firm in the Lord and in His strength.
Here are some principles based upon the scriptures that can help us resist and to see temptation for what it is:
I belong to Christ
1 Cor. 6:20, “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
God is faithful and always provides a way of escape
1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Be an instrument of righteousness and not of sin
Romans 6:13, “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
Sin affects my relationship with God
Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
I will reap what I sow
Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap."
Resist the devil and he will go away
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Only God will truly satisfy
Psalm 107:9, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”
Walk in The light
1 John 1:5-7, "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin."
I am in a dangerous place, when I forget that I belong to Jesus Christ, and all of my motivations and actions should reflect that. If I think a temptation is too powerful for me, then I have accepted defeat, instead of looking for the way of escape. When I start minimizing sin and think it is no big deal, then I am not grasping the consequences of sin, and how Satan desires to use me as his instrument. God is my strength and my trust, and I do not want sin to be a wedge in my relationship with Him. It is comforting to know that God is more powerful, and Satan will flee when I resist him. As enticing as sin can be, if I really think the process through from the start to finish, then I will clearly see that it will not lead me in the direction I want to go. Sin will not satisfy in the end, but only God can provide for the deepest needs for my soul! I don't want to hide in the darkness with feelings of guilt & shame; instead I want to enjoy the peace and fellowship that comes when I walk in the light.
Time and experience have shown, that when I try to live by my own strength and willpower, then I am weak and an easy target for Satan. But when I meditate and consider the words of God, then I am strengthened and equipped. Let us all be alert, to recognize the temptations that come our way and to put the truth of God's word in our heart for the power to overcome.
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
- Derek Anderson