You should know that temptation can be resisted and overcome, but not just by being “smart”. On our own, we can never outsmart satan who is much more spiritually aware than we are. He cunningly and consistently uses innuendo, misinformation, subtle suggestions, peer pressure, culture, misconceptions, confusion, ignorance and much more to lure and trap you into sin. The purpose of this empowerment session is to strengthen you in refusing to give in to temptation and knowing how to choose what's right consistently. You need to get to the point where NO becomes your first and only response to temptation!
So, what is temptation?
Temptation is an enticement to commit sin or evil. Enticement is anything which appeals to your carnality and is offered in exchange for an action on your part. You can always recognize enticement by noting the formula it uses.
1. You do this first
2. then in response temptation promises (falsely), I'll do that
Temptation wont work without something appealing being offered to you first. Then it demands an
action on your part which is supposed to get you what you want. The problem with this scenario is that
(1) there are hidden consequences to your action which you may or may not be able to control. You will never to told to consider this! (2) Temptation most times requires immediate decision making. The less you think about the consequences, the more likely you are to choose what is offered to you. (3) What you thought you would get, is extremely dissappointing or it is only fleeting happiness.
This is the ultimate bait and switch trick! Temptation is temporary gain, but eternal pain.
Where does temptation come from?
There are two sources of temptation:
(1) satan Luke 4:1-4
(2) you and your own lusts James 1:13-16
Does God tempt me?
Not on your life. God never tempts us, because God simply does not entice us into evil. Remember when Jesus prayed “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? Well, he meant that literally.
Although God does not tempt us, he does allow us to be tempted to strengthen us. That's called “testing”. If we choose evil, we have fallen to temptation. If we choose what's right, we have passed testing. This was the case where in Luke, after Jesus has fasted, he is led by the Spirit to be tempted. In other words, God allowed him into active confrontation with what would appeal to him at that time. God goal: strength and spiritual power. Satan's goal: humiliation and defeat. This never changes, even with you.
Overcoming temptation: what do I do?
First prepare yourself and expect that you will be tempted. One of the first things you get when you get a car is insurance. Insurance does not mean you will not have a wreck, but it covers you because the potential for a wreck exists every time you get behind the wheel. Likewise, praying, fasting, and worshiping does not exempt you from temptation, it simply covers you because the propensity for sin is always present.
Having said that, you should take Jesus example.
(1) In response to satan's offers, Jesus cited and applied the scripture. Citing scripture alone has no power. The power is in relationship (authority) with the author of scripture. Also it must be applied. For instance you cant quote scripture with no intent to follow through with what it says. (2) Jesus understood who he was and allowed that to guide his decisions. All of the temptations were predicated upon his foregoing his identity (if you be the Son of God...). Jesus wasnt fooled and didnt act based on this mockery. Likewise satan will cast shadows on your identity as a child of God. (3) Know that Jesus truly understands and identifies with you in the hour of temptation. Stop saying nobody understands how hard it is to deal with ssa. Jesus knows and can give you strength to overcome. Read Hebrews 4:15.
Bible Foundation: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
This lesson is to help you understand what temptation is and how you can through the power of the Spirit and self control, overcome it.
If you were to look closely at your life on this past week, you'd realize that you have been tempted. Temptation comes to ALL OF US. No one ---no matter how spiritual you are--- is exempt. As Paul says, its “common to man”. Some of us have been tempted by the same things over and over, while others have been tempted with different things, people and situations. All of us are subject to temptation, but we dont have to yield to temptation(s). Temptation is really all about choice. When we are presented with the options, we have the power to choose good or evil. We have the power to choose what is pleasing to God over what is disobedient to God's will. Choosing can mean the difference between moving forward to spiritual maturity or being trapped in a cycle of flesh-pleasing disobedience.