For Grace And Strength To Resist Temptations
10 Steps to Resisting Evil and Online Temptation
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. – James 1:13-14, NIV
a modern-day postcard of James’ letter to the 12 tribes, this picture communicates profound wisdom. The message is increasing relevant and desperately needed in this wired world. If you spend a good portion of time on the Internet, how you receive and respond to it may be the difference between living out your faith online and losing it.
Your ears, eyes, and mouth are portals to the soul and every day, you decide how to regulate what goes in and what comes out. How many times have you done an innocent Google search and among the results you find something far different from what you intended? Exactly.
The Real Danger
You need to understand dear one, you’re only a click or two away from content that is dangerous and deadly. When you entertain temptation online, the enemy drags you to the place where evil desires are conceived, sin is born, and destruction follows.
For example, consider the impact of Internet pornography. It delivers one of the deadliest assaults with its gripping addiction. The consequences include abnormal desires, wrecked relationships, fallen leaders, and shattered lives.
The research on pornography released several years ago is painfully disturbing. It’s heartbreaking to sort through the statistics. And even though in June of 2011, it was reported that social media activity has displaced porn as the top online activity – don’t be deceived or fooled.
The dangers remain real and more life-threatening than ever.
No different from any other mission field, when you’re online you must be aware of the terrain and fully present to avoid the traps.
- Take action now.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to build a firewall of protection around you and your family.
- Execute this ten-point power plan for resisting evil and overcoming temptation.
- Memorize these scriptures and be infused with Divine power and strength.
#1. Know the Word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
#2. Clean house. Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is prevalent and humbly receive the word that was planted in you, which can save you. – James 1:21
#3. Confess sin. He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. – Proverb 28:13
#4. Receive forgiveness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9
#5. Profess faith. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
#6. Suit up. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. – Ephesians 6:10,11,16
#7. Stand guard. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8,9
#8. Submit and resist. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you – James 4:7
#9. Sprint to the exit. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. – I Corinthians 10:12,13
#10. Give praise for the victory. God is greater than all evil. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – I John 4:4
How are you guarding your heart and resisting online temptations?
Editor’s note: If you struggle with temptation in the area of sexuality or pornography, we encourage you to reach out to Celebrate Recovery to find a recovery ministry in your area, and consider getting additional help from online sources.
7 Ways to Resist Temptation
Each one of us have certain sins that are particularly troubling to us.
Every Christian faces temptation, and the devil is very good at finding our weakest points and seducing us with them, whether that be sexual sin, sins of anger, jealousy, covetousness, laziness, pride, insecurity, worry, or any others.
It’s important to make a distinction between temptation and sin. Temptation can lead to sin. However, Jesus never sinned and yet experienced every temptation we do (Heb. 4:15). Therefore one of the ways to battle sin is to know how to resist temptation.
1. Pray as Jesus taught, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13)
When the disciples kept succumbing to sleep while Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told them to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). Apart from God, we have no hope of resisting temptation. This is why humble prayer must be our constant companion.
Praying as Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer that God would “lead us not into temptation” is praying for our deliverance from even facing temptation. Praying with others is also a great way to help you keep in the practice of prayer.
Another way is to ask trusted friends and counselors for prayer for protection from specific besetting sins.
2. Know yourself well
As the phrase from The Art of War goes, “Know your enemy.” Knowing the enemy is a crucial aspect of any battle. In the Christian life, we have many enemies, one of which is our old corrupt nature that lingers within us (Rom. 7:21-23; Eph. 4:22).
It may seem odd, but we must make a study of ourselves. Personality, circumstances, disposition, and life experiences are all factors that can make us more susceptible to certain kinds of temptations. How can we be on guard for something unless we know what we are looking for?
3. Learn to recognize temptation
Temptation is, well, tempting. It presents something to us as pleasant, true, or both. We want to give in because it presents something to us that pulls on our desires and presents us with something that seems good.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:14-16)
The problem is that in the moment of temptation, we might not at first recognize that what is before us leads to sin. We can combat this by learning to recognize temptation when it comes along.We can also prevent it by filling ourselves with the things God tells us in his Word are good and fruitful things (1 Tim. 6:11).
We need to faithfully sit under the teaching of the Word so we can get better and better at discerning when we are being tempted.
4. Take preventative action
If you know certain situations will bring you into temptation (going to a bar, going online by yourself, watching certain movies, being around certain people, etc) take preventative action and avoid those things. Joseph who fled from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him, we must sometimes simply run away or avoid the things that tempt us.
5. Quote Scripture to yourself
When Jesus was tempted by the devil, the devil quoted the Bible to Jesus hoping to trick him by sounding good and pious.
Jesus’ response was to quote Scripture right back at the devil, showing the devil’s twisted and wrongful use of God’s own words (Matt. 4:5-7).
The Word is also called the “sword of the Spirit” by Paul (Eph. 6:17), and we can use it to battle those things that tempt us.
We are more susceptible to temptation when we are exhausted. When we are tired we are weakened and so more vulnerable to the deceptions of the devil. Rest is very important for our spirituality, and we must be extra vigilant when are tired, asking the Lord for extra strength to resist temptation.
7. Remember there is always a way of escape
God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we can take but always provides us with a way out.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13)
He also gives us himself without limit to call upon his strength for resistance and endurance. “God has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Josh. 1:5; Heb. 13:5).
He also gives us his church, a community of fellow fighters, to help us in our battles.
We need to take full advantage of these resources God provides so that we can effectively turn away from sin and be filled more and more with the goodness and grace of God.
29 Bible verses to empower you to resist temptation
Temptation is a part of life. Until we no longer have a body of sin we will be tempted to commit sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will and His laws.
It is when you are tempted by the lusts and desires that dwell in you and you consciously agree to act on that temptation, … .
But in reality, every temptation is an opportunity to overcome and to get victory over sin! With the word of God as our weapon we can always resist temptation!
Here is a selection of Bible verses about temptation that show us how to overcome and the promises we will receive as a result of overcoming temptation!
Believe that God has a way of escape for you. Temptation doesn’t become sin until you agree with it, so the way of resistance is the way of escape. Resist temptation and be an overcomer!
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14-15.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Use the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the strength you need to resist temptation until the end:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:16-17.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4.
Get God’s Word in your heart before you are even tempted, so that you have it when you need it:
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11.
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” Psalm 119:9.
Remember your covenant with God:
“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?” Job 31:1.
Love Jesus more than your lusts:
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15.
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8.
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.
See the sin that you are tempted to as worthless, ugly, and unbearably sinful:
“Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.” Colossians 3:6.
“You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10.
Resist Satan in time of temptation. Jesus shows us just how we can do that: by using the Word of God:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Matthew 4:10.
Stay close to Jesus:
“… For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
Remember that it is Christ who lives in you, and you are already dead to sin! Sin has no dominion over you:
“wise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Romans 6:11-12.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.
Pray! Go to the throne of grace to get help (power to overcome) in your time of need – when you are tempted:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.
Follow Jesus’ example:
“Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:7.
Know that the battle is already won, if you just hold out and resist temptation until the end:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12.
Remember that overcoming leads to a deeper fellowship with other believers. We fight for each other, so that the body of Christ can be built:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9.
“… choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” Hebrews 11:25.
You may be interested in reading more about temptation and how to resist it on our topic page about temptation and sin, or in the following articles:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
How Bad Choices Will Mess Up Your Destiny
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” – Galatians 6:7-9
Every choice you make in life is either a step in the right or wrong direction.
Every time you come to a fork in the road, or you have to make a decision, or a temptation to disobey God comes, who or what do you turn to for the answer?
Do you base your choices on what feels good?
Do you ask your friends or family?
Do you use your own logic and reason by following your heart?
How Do You Know Which Way To Go?
The world says, “listen to your heart” but God says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9)
As Christians, God doesn’t want us to lean on our own understanding.
He wants us to lean on His.
Many times in life you may feel lost, frustrated or confused, having no idea which way to go.
Instead of waiting for God’s answer, you may try and figure it out all by yourself.
Perhaps you can relate to how I sometimes try to process choices:
“Okay self, this way makes more sense. This idea seems more reasonable. I think this. I feel that…”,
But that is not how God wants us to make decisions in life.God wants you first and foremost to go to Him, and then wait for His answer before you make a move.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” – James 1:5
Many times we go faster when we see a yellow light and do a “California roll” when we see a stop sign. But God wants us to wait until we get His green light before we move forward.
He doesn’t want us to stress and guess what to do.
God wants us to wait until we get His green light before we move forward.
He doesn’t want us to take an option poll.
This is not politics, it’s your personal relationship with Almighty God!
He wants to give you the wisdom to know exactly what to do.
Because as your Good Shepherd, it is His job to direct your steps.
The wisdom, knowledge and understanding in life here on earth don’t come from your opinions, logic, heart or mind.
It comes from God.
It’s given to us through His Word.
And for us to know His Word we need to be in His Word.
Don’t Sell Your Birthright For A Bowl Of Stew!
Esau was the firstborn son to Isaac and Rebekah, but he made a bad choice. (See Genesis 25:29-34)
A bad choice that cost him everything.
Esau took the temporary pleasure offered to him by his twin brother Jacob to satisfy his hunger, a bowl of stew.
In doing so, he forfeited his future inheritance.
He chose the now instead of what was promised to come.
He chose the temporary pleasure by forfeiting the eternal blessing promised to him as the firstborn son.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Satan will tempt you with temporary highs.
- Sex before marriage
- Adultery during marriage
- Addiction/ substance abuse
But anything and everything that displeases God is called sin.
And habitual, unrepentant sin separates us from God and leads us away from God’s perfect will for our lives.
The choice to give into temptation also grieves the Holy Spirit and hinders the work of God in and through your life.
It prevents you from receiving all that He has for you this side of heaven, and it compromises your prayer life.
Isaiah 59:1-3 shows us how sin is no laughing matter to God.
“Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,
nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.
Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.”
Galatians 5:19-21 lists all the sins of the flesh considered to be an abomination to God. Proverbs 6:16-19 also breaks down what God hates.
God doesn’t hate the sinner. After all, He sent His Son to die on the cross for sinners you and me.
Sin is anything you choose to do, think or say that displeases God, and causes division between you and Him.
If you know what you’re doing is wrong, you need to stop doing it.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10
Do you see the difference here between the choice of true repentance versus the choice to continue living in habitual sin?
True repentance is your choice to turn away from sin as if making a literal U-turn away from it.
It’s your choice to start going in the other direction, away from the sin, and in the direction of God.
Your choice to surrender everything to God and lean upon His understanding, grace, and strength to resist the temptations the enemy will throw your way.
Because apart from God you can’t stop sinning!
The Bible says, that “ALL sin and fall short of the glory of God!” (Rom. 3:23)
We all have struggles. We all have weaknesses. And we all have areas in our lives that need Jesus’s blood to completely cover, erase, and make clean. (See Isaiah 1:18)
We are all sinners desperately in need of a Savior.
So with God’s empowering of His Holy Spirit inside of us, we have no excuse for our bad choices! (See John 15:22)
Because with Him, you can say no to sin and yes to God!
You can choose to wait for His best, not give in to His second best!
Because, “We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us!” (Phil. 4:13)
God Will Help You Choose His Best For Your Life!
So if you’re at a place in your life where you feel stuck and don’t know which way to go or what to do, you haven’t been left alone to figure it out for yourself.
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:6
God has an answer for you and wants you to come to Him for it.
He doesn’t want you to follow your heart or follow the crowd.
He wants you to follow Him because you are either for Him or against Him. (See Luke 11:23)
When you open your Bible and ask God to reveal His perfect will to you directly, He will.
Isaiah 55:8 tells us, “God’s thoughts are nothing your thoughts and God’s ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
The Bible is your blueprint and has all the answers to your questions.
So if you don’t read God’s Word consistently, it will be impossible for you to know God’s will for your life.
This is so important and you need to take this seriously.So many Christians forfeit their callings in life because they fail to seek God and walk in obedience to Him.
They choose the temporal over the eternal, the comfortable over the spiritual.
They choose the permissive will of God over His perfect will.
All because they fail to wait on the Lord for His purposes and predestined perfect plans for their lives.
Don’t Choose God’s Second Best By Making Bad Choices
This is the advice I can share with you when it comes to making decisions:
- Always seek God’s will before making any moves
- Always pray for God’s will before making any decisions
- Always look for God’s will in His Word before making any choices!
You’re living in the last hour of the last days. Now is the time to get serious about your relationship with God.
Satan wants to destroy you!
He wants to rob you of your blessings and ultimately destroy your destiny.
So make that choice not to let the enemy win!
Stand on God’s Word and seek God’s will!
Follow God’s path for your life instead of creating your own for you are, “more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 8:37)
The plans God has for you are good!
They are for a future and a hope! (See Jeremiah 29:11)
Surrender your plans, hopes, and dreams to Him because your God is faithful!
Take Him at His Word, trusting that He will not lead you astray or let you down.
When you have a choice to make, don’t choose to go against God’s will or God’s Word.
Take the time to hear His voice, get His guidance, then follow after His footsteps by obeying His choice.
Study Verses: Deuteronomy 28:1-15, Joshua 24:15, James 4:4