Peace family, we all struggle with temptation, even if we aren’t all tempted by the same things. Over the weekend, a close friend and I had a long conversation about temptation and different ways to fight it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by temptation today, I want to encourage you; you are not alone! You are also not destined for a lifetime of always being at the mercy of Satan. There is victory in Christ!
There are several verses that I find encouraging. I Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (NIV) Peace family, do you recognize that this implies that the devil can’t just devour anyone, willy-nilly? He is actively seeking people that he can devour, people who are not alert and not of sober mind.
Another verse is James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NIV) Giving into temptation will only make you less able to resist it the next time it comes up, but Satan eventually will give up, if you resist him and submit to God! Isn’t that a relief?
Something else I find interesting is in Luke 4, when Jesus is tested in the wilderness. After Jesus rejects each of Satan’s proposals, it says in verse 13, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” This stood out to me, that Satan makes use of advantageous situations, not just tempting at any old time. For example, maybe you’d never dream of becoming an alcoholic or going home with a stranger, but it’s after you’re tired, someone you love has died, you’ve gotten in a huge fight with a friend or family member and you feel rejected, and a friend takes you out for a drink… that’s the kind of vulnerable situation where you begin to consider doing things you would never have done before. If you know that you are in a vulnerable place emotionally, mentally, or physically, press in to God and find your comfort and completion in him. On the other side of the coin, when it’s not an opportune moment for Satan to tempt you, perhaps he will give you a break!
It’s also important to remember that God and Satan are not equal in power! We are so used to balancing things like light and dark, day and night, but God created the angel who chose to become Satan. God is the superior being, and Satan can not over power him!
Finally, remember that, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)
There are many ways to fight temptation. Keeping yourself as much as possible out of the circumstances that are ripe for temptation is only one of them. Keep trusting God. Keep reading your Bible. Keep staying accountable to people who love you. Keep praying and communicating your heart with God and safe people. Keep obeying God, even when it’s hard, and keep accepting his grace and mercy, even when you mess up! Keep going, and don’t give up! I am praying for you, peace family.