4 Ways to Resist Temptation

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“Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.”

– Frederick W. Faber

Memorizing Scripture

David shows us how to fight against sin. He writes in Psalm 119:11 that “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” There’s a lot to unpack in that little verse. He says he has stored up God’s Word in his heart, meaning he’s memorized Scripture. But why? It’s so that he “might not sin against” God. When you are tempted to sin, recall some Bible verses from memory. They can help you so that you “might not sin against” God.

Guarding the “Eye Gate”

Listen to the very wise advise of Job where it was written, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin” (Job 31:1)? Jesus once said of the eye, perhaps meaning the “eye gate,” whereupon temptation can enter the heart and conceive sin, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23). When you see something that tempts you, do what Solomon said: Look away. Guard your eye gate and you will guard your heart.

Falling on Our Knees

If you are hit with an extraordinarily strong temptation, fall on your knees immediately. If you’re not in a position to do that (while driving, at work, etc.), then plead to God for the strength to overcome this temptation. He will hear and honor that prayer because it’s His will for us to resist temptation and not sin. In fact, He will even strengthen you by His Spirit so that you’re able to flee the temptation. God will always enable us to do what He wills, even if it means by His supernatural strength.

Submitting to God

If we submit to God, the Bible says that the devil will flee from us. James wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). That is an unconditional statement of truth. It’s not conditioned on an “if/or” statement, but it’s a statement of fact. By submitting to God, James clearly means we obey God and submit to authorities. Only when man’s laws break God’s laws must we obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29), but we are taught to “be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). God will bless those who obey the laws of God but also the laws of man.

Conclusion

Consider every single second a huge victory when you are able to resist temptation and avoid sin. It certainly helps to memorize key Scriptures like Job 31:1 so that you can know when and how to guard the “eye gate”; to be quick to fall on your knees when tempted to sin; and, finally, to submit yourself to God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and you’ll claim more victories over sin by resisting temptation.

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Jack is a pastor & ordained elder of the Brethren Church & prison minister in the State of Kansas. You can find more writing from Jack at WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com and FaithInTheNews.com.

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