Think about what tempts you, or what is your weakest area of resistance. There are some temptations that we can easily dismiss. Others are not quite so cut and dry. Food has not been an issue for me. Some folks battle certain food addictions daily. Any type of addiction has to be fought through a resolve in the heart before you face the temptation. Temptations are hard to resist when our spirit is weak.
Think about what Jesus said to His disciples. Luke 22:40 says, “…Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Verse 46 was in reference to them going to sleep when He asked them to pray. It says, “…Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” If we are not alert, a temptation will suck us in before we realize it.
1 Peter 5:8 is our warning. It says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Verse 9 is our key. We can resist all temptations through faith in God’s word. It says, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”
Yesterday morning the Holy Spirit spoke something to me that brought instant conviction. How do these words affect you? All grumbling gratifies the flesh. Numbers 11:1 says that the children of Israel’s grumbling displeased the Lord.
I have certain necessary chores that I do not like to do. When it is time, I am tempted to delay the inevitable. Like right now. I have to stop typing and go do them before it gets dark. Alright they are done! It really helped this time to sing while I was choring.
It is essential to have motivator verses. They are verses that are hidden in your heart that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, like a farmer prods a mule. One of my resident ones is James 4:17. It says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” Resisting temptations, any kind of temptation, takes inner discipline.
Daniel resolved in his heart long before the temptation was set before him. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” We see his resolve at work again in chapter 6. He was set up through jealousy. Look at God’s commendation in verse 3. It says, “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him…”
Let’s go back to 2 Peter 1:5. Peter admonished his readers to add certain graces to their faith. The first one was virtue. It means moral excellence. Daniel had added moral excellence to his faith. When the decree went out that anyone who petitioned any god or man, other than the king, would be cast into the lion’s den.
Daniel 6:10 says, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Daniel did not fall for the temptation to not openly pray. Even in the face of impending death, he remained steadfast in his faith. Remember, all temptations are aimed to destroy our faith. Therefore we have to increase and fortify our faith through hearing God’s word. We do that by quoting it to ourselves when we are tempted.
We need verses in our quiver. A good warrior has his quiver full of sharp arrows. All he has to do is pull one out when the enemy approaches. Our enemy comes through fiery dart lies. All temptations are a lie to pull us off track. They are set before us to derail us from God’s purposes. Do not listen to the tempter. Do not give his temptations another thought.
I like 1 Samuel 12:21. It is one of my resisting verses. It says, “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.” That reminds me of another. John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits NOTHING. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”