May 12, 2015

Four Things That Trigger Temptation and How to Overcome Them



I've been in ministry since 1999, and am blessed to have caught the tail end of an era where critical and crucial Christian principles were taught. You don't hear these things as often, if at all anymore.

I was thumbing through my first book, which was published in 2002. While doing so, I came across a chapter that is just as relevant today as it was then. The chapter is simply titled, "Temptation".

You know what I'm talking about. We all are confronted with it. Some, more than others. Look around, it's everywhere. TV, radio, books, magazines, Internet and now social media.

Temptation is, and has always been, one of the obstacles to basic Christian living. But, what if you knew how it works? Could you better resist it, and even overcome this obstacle?

Temptation is one of the many things of this world we are distracted by. It is a spiritual weapon used to steal our joy, kill our spiritual influence, and destroy our relationship with our Lord.

Here are four things that trigger the enticements of temptation:
  1. Things we're familiar with
    Past associations and activities you once loved and enjoyed. 
    We live in a world of pleasures, and we tend to make plenty of provisions for them; creating an atmosphere to be tempted.

    "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind."
     1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

    Don't be surprised... That enemy we call the devil, knows our desires and weaknesses. He knows us, because before we served Jesus the Christ, our loyalty was to him, and he gave us what our flesh desired. He fed those desires daily, until they became a habit. We were slaves to him, available and willing to be used by him. We were, and some are still his servants, and he your master.

  2. Things we say
    Sometimes, what you say can create responses by you or someone else that could be counter-productive to spiritual growth.

    Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:3 KJV

  3. Things we see
    The master trigger of temptation is through the eye. What we set our eyes on becomes planted in our memories, and can tempt us in our weakest moments. It's like death from a thousand cuts to our spiritual growth.

    "Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light." 6:22 NLT

  4. Things we hear
    What we hear, just like what we see, can influence our thoughts and actions. The longer we listen, the more likely we will act out what we have heard.

Wow! Does it ever end? We are bombarded by it constantly. What is one to do?

Glad you asked.


Here's how you overcome temptation.

Every believer will be tempted at one time or another. So, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" James 1:2

The key is knowing how to endure it. To fight it. To beat it. One way to do this is to Run! I'm not kidding... Run! Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. 2 Timothy 2:22 NLT

Running involves endurance. Endurance is the ability to withstand. In other words, the more you resist temptation, the easier it is to endure it. However, the more you give in to temptation, the harder it becomes to resist. 

Enduring temptation will bring about deliverance. Seems impossible at first, however, endurance is a discipline that must be learned. Like any discipline, the more you practice, the better you become.

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