Have you ever watched a food commercial on television and suddenly you felt hungry? Or heard someone sneeze and immediately you felt like sneezing? I have that effect when my little girl yawns and I immediately yawn with her. This is the power of suggestion and that is how temptation works. The enemy suggests something unnatural to you, and before you know it, you’re moved to focus your attention on it. The further you dwell on something, the more it grips and takes hold of you.
Temptation begins by occupying your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior, and then you act on what you felt. Eliminating a temptation is far more useful than struggling with it. The moment you have your mind on something else, the temptation loses its power.
The best way to over temptation is to run from it.
When it comes to temptation, there’s no easy way out. It’s either you’re in or you’re out. You can’t navigate your way out by staying put in front of it. You’ve got to get up and run away from it. I’ve realized that many people don’t know the difference between physical attractions, sexual arousal, and lust. Are they the same? No, they aren’t.
We are naturally sexual beings, attracted to one another one way or the other. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re sexually active or attracted to another. Many people crucify themselves for being sexually active or becoming attracted to someone. They gloat and feel they’ve committed the worst sin on earth; especially Christians. And that’s wrong. Lust on the other hand is a deliberate act of the will.
Lust is a choice. We often think temptation lies around us, but God says it begins within us. Lust begins in the mind. In your mind, you’ve already visualized what you will like to do with your body. So, you can be attracted, get sexually aroused without choosing to sin by lusting. I’m not encouraging premarital sex or engaging in sexual activity if you’re not married or matured enough to handle it’s consequences. Attraction isn’t lust until you begin to dwell so much on it. Remember that whatever captures your interest, will certainly get you.
The second step to overcoming temptation is to reveal your struggles to a trusted and godly friend:
The whole world doesn’t need to know you have problems. Find at least one friend you can talk to or better yet a support group with an outstanding support system to share your struggles with. Avoid friends with loud mouths and low mindsets. They will run you down before dusk. Find someone who supports you, prays for you, motivates you, and most importantly, teaches you to be accountable.
Don’t get discouraged by temptations. Most people including Christians get disheartened, frightened, by tempting thoughts, feel guilty when they get tempted. Understand that some temptations are ingrained, habitual, and way too big for willpower and personal resolutions to handle. We all fight temptations and we’ve all sinned. Thousands have felt what you’re feeling now and have faced the same struggles you’re facing right now.
The temptation is a sign that the enemy hates you and what you represent. It’s not always a sign of weakness or worldliness contrary to popular beliefs. It is part of being a human being and living in on earth. I encourage you to be realistic about the inevitability of it, rather than be shocked or intimidated.
Don’t beat yourself up when you get tempted:
It isn’t a sin when you get tempted, it becomes one when you give into it. Identify your patterns of temptation and prepare to avoid those situations as much as possible. Request for God’s help as you discover these patterns. Ask him for assistance in overcoming temptations. As much as we don’t always like to ask for help from him for reasons best known yo us, I encourage you today to seek him out when you’re faced with temptations.
He understands our weaknesses, he lived through them, yet he never sinned. Don’t get intimidated or embarrassed to go before him. He loves you just the way you are, otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken that long, exhausting walk to Calvary to die for sins he never committed.
God is love. His love is permanent, and his patience endures forever. Please don’t take his love and patience for granted. He’s eager to have compassion and help you out. You can’t do much on your own. Come boldly today and ask him for the power to overcome temptation and watch him do extraordinary things with and through you.
Blessings and Love.
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