Temptation is something which will try to lure the follower of Christ into sin.
BUT... we can react by not allowing temptation and sin to whip us around.
I would like to add some words of prevention and help.
The believer can allow all kinds of feelings and/or thoughts to take over in his life if he/she listens to the whisperings of their own mind or that of satan. When bad or negative thoughts come up we have not sinned. But, if we allow this to linger and brood upon them, these thoughts will be acted out by deeds and will bring forth sin.
James 1:14,15... But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
"Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes... that lead to evil actions." How true it is that, "What the mind dwells on the body acts upon!"
Temptation works in different ways. A seemingly innocent thought may come to mind out of the blue. Subconsciously one decides to dwell on that thought which will then effects their emotions. The more one concentrates on that thought, the stronger they feel about it. The more one thinks about it, they will then begin to visualize it in their mind what they desire and want to do. Unless one makes a conscious choice to stop thinking about it, they are most likely to give in to and act upon the temptation.
The battle is won or lost in the mind before one ever acts out the temptation. One of many dangers, in consistently giving into temptation, is what others have pointed out: "If we don't live the life we believe, we will end up unhappily believing the life we live." We do this because as long as we don't live consistently with what we believe, our mind experiences what is called "cognitive dissonance"; this is mental disharmony.
Because mankind can't tolerate this mental conflict, we change our beliefs to match our behavior and then rationalize and justify what we do. This is an extremely dangerous path to follow. The end result is, what the Bible calls, having a dead conscience which ultimately leads to death, spiritual death.
Being tempted is not sin, but to respond to temptation will lead to sin. You need to exchange the sinful thoughts that satan gives with the Word of God! Thoughts may pop up in our minds, yet when we meditate on them we start to make them our own. Thus, the key is to replace immediately your wrong thinking!
We can choose our thoughts! So also we can choose to quote scriptures and meditate on what the Word says instead! Satan can never over-ride your free will. You do have power and authority in Jesus Christ!! A follower of Christ needs to take control over his thoughts. Draw on His strength in times of weakness!! He is only a prayer away!!
Psalm 37:4-5... Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
Allow the Fruit of the Holy Spirit to develop in your life; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance as written in Galatians 5:22,23
Shun sin and worldly places and through videos, TV programs, books, magazines etc. DO SOME HOUSECLEANING.
Proverbs 4:14,15... Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
When you get negative or sinful thoughts, which are not well pleasing unto the Lord, start singing: "All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give" or "What a friend I have in Jesus, All my sins and grieves to bear", and your bad thoughts have to leave immediately. Boy, you'll really chase satan away with this!
Psalm 118:14... The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.
We have to discipline ourselves in all aspects of our Christian walk, including our thinking. Applying God's word to one's life is the road to VICTORY.
Romans 12:1,2... Ours is the daily sacrifice of the sinful self on the cross of Christ.... Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Philippians 4:8...Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on THESE things.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18...Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Colossians 3:2...Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
God has given us an opportunity to say NO to temptation, it is up to us to react.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
In His service.
Minister Dr. Trudy Veerman