Last night I heard a rustling under the cabinet and I knew what it was. You guessed it, a little rodent. A rodent that didn’t belong in my house and I had to exterminate it. So I got out the peanut butter, the trap, and the plan was initiated. It didn’t take long, just an hour or so, then SNAP! The temptation was too strong, he couldn’t resist and it cost him his life. We’ve all been there. The moment when there are two options: a terrible decision or a transforming right choice. We intuitively know when we are being tempted, but what separates those who stand up under temptation and those who succumb to its luring deception?
“…Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death..” James 1:15
No one wants to fail, I mean, we all want to beat the sin, but we can’t do it alone. There are some simple things we can do to beat it, but we have to be smart and pay attention. There is no doubt temptation will come, but they are not a sin, it is what we do with the temptation that determines the outcome.
4 Ways To Overcome Temptation…
#1 Proactively Protect Yourself – The worst place for a shopping addict to go? Obviously, the mall! This seems like common sense but for many of us, we just aren’t paying attention. We need to start to think a little more strategically than our enemy. He sets traps for us EVERYWHERE and we would be wise to be aware of them. These traps come in all forms, but I usually encounter them in one of three areas, Purity, Possessions and Pride. Remove the temptation! This may mean taking drastic measures, a bold step, no internet at home, finding a new job. Whatever it takes, your integrity is worth it.
#2 Pray Like Crazy – Temptation is a spiritual issue, not just a physical issue. You need to continually invite the Holy Spirit into your life. This means your prayer life needs to take the next step in its development. Pray, pray and then pray some more. Get on your knees and beg and plead with God to protect you and be strong in you. This is going to take some work and your life and character is worth it.
#3 Give Someone Authority – This means you let someone have authority in your life, someone who is a friend and loyal Christ follower whom you trust. After all, temptation is an authority issue. When you surrender to the sin you give it authority. Give the Holy Spirit authority, then submit to someone else and give them authority. It isn’t just about accountability, but more about submission. Bringing yourself under the mantle of someone else’s authority protects you and this is the church at its best.
#4 Get Help If Out of Hand – You know what I am talking about. It’s out of hand when it’s not just occasional but regular. It’s out of hand when you feel and sense you are living under the oppression of the enemy and not the freedom of what God wants for your life. It’s out of hand when you start to believe your own lies and then even begin to justify your behavior. You are probably very sick and you definitely need help. It’s time to take action and it’s time to make it right. You don’t need people to pile on you, you need people to pray over you. You already know what’s wrong. You need to know there are people who care and love you. So when are you going to STEP UP?
When we stay together, temptation is weak. Don’t get TRAPPED!
Join us Sunday as we continue in our series Activate: Discovering how to make disciples.
October 12 – Serving Jesus
October 19 – Disciple Making
We are the church that meets at two theaters! Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Starplex Cinemas in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15. Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.