This week I want to talk about temptations. It’s a very common word that we hear and most of us know what it means. However, something I’ve learned is that it isn’t always super obvious what a temptation is in our lives. Most of the time, we aren’t very self-aware about what types of things might be leading us down a path that isn’t good.
So, when Jesus came to earth, He was faced with pretty much every temptation you can have in this world. Just so we’re on the same page, temptations are things that the enemy, and our flesh, wants us to do that might bring us momentary pleasure but will result in more problems (or complications). Temptations, if not brought to Jesus in prayer or to Godly people we love, lead to sin.
To clarify the word sin – I understand that we can sometimes have this weird feeling about it and, if you’re like me when I was younger, kind of cringe at it because it can sound scary or intimidating. Really though, it just means a separation from God. It’s like, if you lie to your parents and never come clean, they know you lied to the. It makes things distant and the relationship won’t return to normal until you come clean. If your parents are being Christ-like, they will want to forgive you and have your relationship return to a place of closeness (like you had before) – this is the same with God. He just wants to be close with us and to allow for Him to be our Father.
Back to temptations, like I said, if they are not dealt with can lead to a lot of mistakes. Temptations can bring you down a rabbit hole of decisions you might never make normally or into a lot of trouble that Jesus wanted to save you from in the fist place.
So, how can you recognize temptations and avoid leading yourself into them? It’s pretty simple! It just takes some work, and wisdom from the Lord, to be more self-aware about what’s a temptation is/isn’t to you. The first thing to do is ask yourself if you are willing to change, eliminate, and lessen the contact with things in your life that are tempting you. You might not be wanting to do that yet because it is hard! Especially if you didn’t know it really was something leading you away from God (making it harder in the long run) until now. I totally understand but I can tell you that it is worth the difficulty now so you don’t feel the guilt and problems later on.
Sit down with Jesus and ask yourself:
- What in my life has caused me and/or is still leading me to sin? Is it a person, a thing, an app on your phone?
- Ask God: Should you eliminate contact with it/them or do you need to set boundaries for yourself? Ask Him to help you make some of those boundaries.
- If whatever it is has been a big secret in your life, and you want freedom from it, ask Jesus for courage to tell another believer. This can be scary but telling someone who also loves the Lord is powerful because it brings it to light to the situation. The enemy loves to keep things in the dark and he loses power when we work together and work with God. Plus, that person will want nothing but to see you thrive, feel better, and be happier (I promise).
- Communicate the boundaries you’ve set to someone and/or write them down. This helps a lot with accountability as you will have a greater chance of not giving in to that temptation like you used to.
- Ask God: To give you strength and to show you what life is like without these thing that bring us down. What different joys, experiences, and relationships will be better without that temptation to keep you in bondage?
- Remember: Have grace for yourself as you will feel the temptation again. If you truly want to rid this thing from your life, ask Jesus to be with you and for His perspective. Jesus won’t be mad and remember that temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. Jesus gets it and He won’t be annoyed that you still feel tempted!
- Read your Bible! Even though I called myself a Christian, I used to not do this. I didn’t learn a thing and it was really easy for the world to pull the wool over my eyes. Ephesians 4:14 warns us of this in that people will trick you with lies so clever they sound like the truth. I didn’t really know the truth because I didn’t read God’s word – His foundational truth. Once I built my life on the regulations that God set, I was doing a lot better at avoiding temptations!
Guys, I promise you, temptations won’t last and there is freedom. What you struggle with does not and will never define who you are! Only God gets to tell you that and the more you read what He says about you, the more you’re feel your confidence in that grow. If you need prayer for anything, or are struggling, reach out to your leaders and let us know what you need! We want breakthrough for you guys more than you want breakthrough for yourself, hahah! Anyway, I love you all and I hope this helps you guys!
Look up these verse if you want some Biblical wisdom on temptation:
James 1:13-18; Luke 22:40; John 8:6; Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4; 1 Corinthians 10:13