Temptation is around every corner these days. It is not only in our communities but in our own houses in which we live. We find it on T.V., Radio, magazines, and that ever growing internet. No person is exempt from temptation. We know the Devil has his role to play in our temptations. The Bible calls him “the tempter” (Matt 4:3). He is our enemy, who like a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he might devour (1 Pet 5:8). Satan tempts all men through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16). He is powerful, but we know that first century saints were able to overcome him: “. . . you have overcome the wicked one” (1 Jn 2:13). With God’s help, we can overcome him as well. Just what can you and I do to overcome his temptation?
A Strong Desire to Overcome Satan
If we are going to overcome the Devil, then we must first possess the desire to do that. The Bible says, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never fall” (2 Pet 1:10). Diligence to overcome comes from your desire within.
Overcoming the devil does not happen by accident! “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jam 4:7). Some Christians fail to overcome temptation because they never really try to resist the tempter. How can we resist him? “Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet 5:9). What else helps in our resistance? “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11-18).
Fill our Heart with God’s Word
If our heart (mind) is filled with the Word of God, then we will know what is right and wrong in the sight of God and this will help us be prepared in advance when the devil tempts us. The Psalmist David wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps 119:11). Christians are instructed, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). “I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one” (1 Jn 2:14). If we will follow this instruction, then we will be better prepared to overcome the evil one.
Imitate the Example of Jesus
What did Jesus do when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness? Each time He was tempted, He said to Satan, “It is written,” then He quoted the Word of God. Like Jesus, we should use “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph6:17) when we do battle with the tempter.
Flee from Sin
“Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on” (Prov 4:14,15). The New Testament says, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity . . . Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Tim 2:19,22).
Look for a Way of Escape
“. . . 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 Cor 10:13). God promised an avenue of escape but it’s up to us to take it.
Watch and Pray
Jesus told His weary apostles, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).
The devil does not want any of us to go to heaven. He uses every means at his disposal to get us off course. If we are serious about overcoming him, then each of the seven things that have been noted above is essential in our fight against him.