As you go about your day and temptation follows, do you find it hard to get away? Do you find it hard to just stop thinking about the temptation?
Recently, I stopped at a food establishment near my office. As I was waiting for the cashier to complete my order, I noticed the fresh baked cookies next to the register. The smell and thought of how wonderful the cookies would taste filled my mind. Trying to lose weight, the cookies would make it hard for me to achieve my ultimate goal. One cookie would not hurt, but they are cheaper if you buy three. So, why I shouldn’t eat all three when they are hot and fresh was continually running through my mind.
I could not flee the cookies, they tempted me as I was begging the cashier (in my mind) to hurry with my change. Finally, the transaction was completed and I was able to leave the temptation.
As with the cookies, do you have times when you find temptation filling your thoughts and you have no place to escape? Is there an attractive co-worker that you have to see every day or someone sitting near you in church that is dressed in a way that distracts you from worshiping?
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Temptations are everywhere and there are times when we are unable to flee. So how do you resist the temptations?
You fall back on Christ.
If you are heading out on a trip, you prepare. It is the same with temptations, Jesus tells us to prepare. Would you go on a trip without packing clothes for the following day? Would you leave your razor and toothbrush at home? So, why would you go about your day without preparing?
There are many things you can do to prepare. First and most important is seeking time with God. God will prepare you for the battle, but He needs you to listen to His instruction. Seeking Him through prayer and meditation is the start to hearing His voice. If this is not a part of your daily routine, it may be hard to distinguish His voice from the busyness of your life.
But don’t give up, He is speaking.
To help find His voice, find out what He has said to generations before in the Bible. There are stories of people who struggled with the same temptations as you. Many failed and many found grace. But all found their strength was not enough to make it through. Only when they let go of themselves and relied on God did they find grace. God will share His love and desire to walk with you through the temptation.
After you take time to seek God, find a godly accountability partner(s). Honesty with them will give you a place to admit the struggles and give encouragement to fight on. They will be able to pray for you when temptations are strong. These men may be able to give you suggestions on how they have fought similar struggles. It never hurts to have extra sets of ears to hear God talking and help provide guidance.
Don’t give up hope when you are tempted. We are not promised the temptations will stop, but we are promised we are provided a way out. Ultimately, you must be willing to allow God to show you His way out. Will you stop and prepare before the next temptation? He is ready to love you through the training and beyond.