No matter how spiritually mature you become you will never outgrow temptation. When you conquer it on one front it attacks you on another. And the closer you get to God the more Satan will try to tempt you. Paul explains it this way: “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants…These two forces are constantly fighting each other” (Gal 5:17 NLT). So what’s the answer? Here are two ways you can overcome temptation: (1) Be honest about it. Ask yourself, “When am I tempted most?” Usually we are most vulnerable when we are under stress: when we are hurt, angry, worried, alone, bored, tired, or after a big success or spiritual high. Learn to identify your patterns: “God’s people…protect themselves by watching where they go” (Pr 16:17 CEV). (2) Reach for God’s help. “Call on me in times of trouble. I will rescue you” (Ps 50:15 GWT). So why don’t we call on God more often? Because sometimes we just want to do what we want to do, right? Or we are embarrassed because we keep giving in to the same temptations. Don’t be discouraged; God won’t give up on you. His Word says, “Let us…come before God’s throne where…we [will] receive…grace to help us when we need it” (Heb 4:16 NCV). If you have to cry out for God’s help every hour of the day, He will be there for you! Just as the roots of a tree deepen when storms come, each time you stand up to a temptation you become stronger.
Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 @ 11:27 AM CDT