i have learned it’s not enough to just revel in the fact that Jesus forgives us when we sin. while that is the most glorious truth, we shouldn’t view that as a permission slip from heaven to keep on sinning (Romans 6:1). so what can we do? how do we make sure that our temptations to sin don’t get the best of us?
- stay connected to Jesus (John 15:5). daily disciplines such as bible reading, solitude and prayer help keep us focused. the more we spend time with Jesus, the more we realize who WE are in light of who HE is…which keeps us very humble. it’s hard to be selfish (the root of most sins) when we’re humbled.
- when tempted…RUN. 1 Peter 5:8 describes Satan as a roaring lion just waiting to devour its prey. Peter is trying to paint a clear picture that we shouldn’t hang around when temptation shows its face. that’s how David got into trouble…he was somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be, so it was easier for him to do things he wasn’t supposed to do (2 Samuel 11).
- know your enemy (Ephesians 6:10-18). any good sports team will take time to study their opponent. the bible makes it clear that we have an opponent (Satan, demons, our own evil desires, etc). the more we know how our enemy operates, the less likely we are to give in to the temptations he throws at us. you should also know that Satan is not very creative…he knows our particular weak points, and he’ll keep pressing those buttons as long as they work. so stay alert…know your weak points and protect against them.
be encouraged. Jesus was tempted, yet he never sinned. in the heat of temptation, he used scripture as his weapon of choice. so today, may your mind be filled with the words of hope so that your normal temptations won’t feel as strong.