First, recall Scripture that you have memorized. Psalm 119:11 reminds us, “Your word I have treasured (or “made it a home”) in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Jesus lives this out with each and every temptation coming from Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).
If there’s a reason to memorize Scripture it is that Scripture memory enables us to remember what sin is, be reminded about the promise of a way of escape and then step away from that fleshly temptation. If we pretend to be able to battle sin without the understanding of what God says is sin, we are fools and are doomed to fail. We are walking into a battle with no weapons. We are a lame duck.
In all fairness, we know that Scripture memory does not guarantee obedience in the face of obedience but it does a long way in getting us where we need to be.
Those words of Scripture, as Jesus says, have to abide in you (John 15:4-5).
Second, walk in reliance with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Someone who is acting fleshly (or carnally) is not walking in the Spirit. To rely on the Holy Spirit is not to rely on yourself. It is about giving up control and acknowledging your weakness. It means that when God says, “I won’t remove the thorn because my grace is sufficient. And when you realize your weakness, you are strong because of the Holy Spirit’s empowering (II Corinthians 12:9).
Someone who is relying on the Spirit is not trusting in their own so-called ideas and decisions but always seeking God 1st and being led to do His will. And when you are living holy, walking in the Spirit, choosing obedience often, and seeing growth in your life, it’s like your spiritual armor is further fortified and your resistance to sin is not as vulnerable when you are trying to face it on your own.
Third, be encouraged by the body of Christ. We are called many things: the body, branches, the bride, a building, a priesthood, a flock., and a family. Each Christian in this church needs other Christians. We don’t have to face temptations alone. When we are struggling with a sin or facing a temptation, we can pray for one another (James 5:16), instruct each other (Romans 15:14), bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2), encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25), be concerned for each other (I Corinthians 12:25), and carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Fourth, pray. What was Jesus doing in the wilderness? Fasting and praying. What did Jesus tell His disciples to do in the Garden of Gethsemane in order to not fall into temptation? (Mark 14) Pray. After Paul explained the armor of God, what does he tell us to do as a first response? To pray about all of this, at all times and to be on the alert always (Ephesians 6:11-18).
One way that God uses every temptation is by revealing to us who or what we are dependent upon when temptation comes. Showing dependence upon God will result in prayer; showing dependence elsewhere will result in prayerlessness. This was what we saw with Jesus in the wilderness. Satan was testing his trust.
Fifth, flee from sin and flee to God. When all else fails, run if you can! Sometimes battling temptation means that we remove ourselves from the scene. When Potiphar’s wife presents herself to us to sexually compromise, we run no matter what she tries to take in return (Genesis 39). Flee sexual immorality (I Corinthians 6:18). Flee from idolatry (I Corinthians 10:14). Flee youthful passion (II Timothy 2:22). Flee all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:9-10). When we talk about fleeing, we are talking about speed, aggression, and effort (I Timothy 6:11).
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