Everyone is tempted!
It is a well-proven, time-tested, undeniable truth that we all are susceptible to temptation. As men and women, we have our areas of struggle that we try to deal with daily. We really do not want to give in but sometimes we do anyway. For us guys, I know that temptation, especially sexual in nature, is a real battle. Some of us are too ashamed to ask for help because we think that because we are Christian, we should not have to struggle so much with these feelings, to say the least. We want a way out but do not know how. Consequently, we end up right where we started and living with the guilt of having done what we know we were not supposed to.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13a, it says that, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man”. So I believe it says that what you and I go through is nothing that anyone else has not experienced. And, of all those who have gone through it, there definitely have been those who have overcome.
My question to you is, are you are in the midst of a similar situation where you feel that you are being tempted and you cannot seem to find a way out? Do you want to be an overcomer?
Well, if you do then I want you to know that God has given us a solution in James 4:7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Here is how:
The solution to any problem is to acknowledge the fact that you have a problem. It could be any kind of a problem, the minute you have accepted that you have a problem; you are on your way to being free. Many of us shy away from admitting because either we are proud to admit that we need help or ashamed that we failed. Submission means dying to self.
Not just pray, resist! You cannot only submit to God and then not resist the devil. It is not optional. In fact, it is conditional. The result of resisting is that the enemy will flee. But how do you resist the devil?
It is very simple; the use of a very common but powerful two letter word, “NO”. More often than not, we find ourselves in a situation where we can’t say “No”. There are various factors that contribute to this inability. Mainly, we are too addicted to saying “yes”, emotionally attached, fearful, weak, peer pressure, etc. Eventually, the “Yes” gets you caught in this vicious circle and you have to deal with the same thing over and over again.
The Bible talks of those who did not say “No”:
- Samson: He tried evading Delilah twice but gave in the third time. His pride was in his strength. He did not think it was important to seek God when it came to Delilah
- Judas Iscariot: He had a problem with money and still was the treasurer. Eventually, he even sold the Lord!
And then there were those who did say “No”:
- David: He said ”No” when he was tempted to kill Saul in the cave
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: They said “No” to bowing down to anyone else but the God
- Daniel: He said “No” to defiling himself with the food from the king’s table
- Jesus: He said “No” to Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane
There is power in saying “No”:
- David’s “No” to killing Saul eventually made him king over Israel but with honour and a clear conscience
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s “No” to bowing down before man cause the Son of God to save them from the fire that could have consumed them
- Daniel’s “No” to the rich food kept him healthier than the other who ate of the king’s table
- Jesus’ “No” to the thought of giving up in the Garden eventually led to the salvation of the world
Say a big “NO” to the devil. Now, this is still not enough.
James 4: 8a says, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Guilt that comes after falling into sin, even about things done way back in the past, can separate us from God and having a relationship with Him. The pace at which you draw near to God will result in God reaching you faster than you know. Recovery becomes much clearer. Remember the Prodigal Son?
In James 1:13a, the Bible tells us that, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”. Similarly, God does not bring guilt. The enemy tries to bring in guilt and tear you away from God, leaving you to run out of strength. The best way to deal with guilt is to understand that the enemy has nothing to do with it but he uses the guilt as a weapon against you. If there is anyone who can raise a finger against you, it is God and He would never do that. He is a Father who disciplines His sons, not condemn them. Guilt is not from God. Once we are free of the guilt, we then are free to grow closer to Him.
Pray with me: Father, I surrender to you entirely. Give me the strength, which can only come from you, to say No to the things that separate me from Your Presence. Draw me closer to You. I know that You have freed me from all guilt and shame and I receive Your love this day. Amen.