– 1 Corinthians 10:13
How many parents have worried about the friends that their children have? Will they be a bad influence? Will they get them into trouble? Most believers know this verse: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits'” (1 Cor. 15:33). It’s not only good to know for your children’s sake but for yours, too, if you are trying to avoid falling into temptation and then that temptation lead to sin. Whoever you run with you tend to become like. I have heard the fact that the longer married couples stay married, the more they pick up from one another; I know I have. So avoiding the sin that you cannot resist (bear) might mean being sure you are more and more in the fellowship and company of fellow believers.
Avoiding the Traps
There are some places that I just won’t go–that includes the bar. My avoidance of being near alcohol is for my own good. I don’t drink anymore; it only led to trouble for me. After I was ordained, I said, “No more, ever,” and I have stuck to that. A great way to avoid falling into overwhelming temptation is to avoid places that are associated with things in which you no longer want to participate. Imagine me going to an October beer fest and being a judge! Nope, not gonna’ happen. I avoid those places because I could easily fall prey to those same besetting sins that I used to before I was saved.
Hiding His Word
David had a great idea on ways to avoid sinning. He wrote, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). What does he mean by storing up the word? I believe it is reading and memorizing God’s Word and storing it in your mind. Why did he do this? He answers so “that I might not sin against you,” meaning it will help him avoid sin. I love what Job said, and I have taken this same covenant: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin” (Job 31:1). What this means to me is that when he saw a woman, he looked away and didn’t gaze (stare or gawk). So if I see something inappropriate on TV, I remember this verse and turn the channel or turn it off since I don’t watch much TV anyway. Memorize Scripture so that you “might not sin against” God.
Submit to God
How can submitting to God help in resisting temptation? James sees it as a necessary condition, as he wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). So if we submit to God, like Jesus submitted to the Father’s will on earth, we will seek to do His will over our own. In shoe leather, that will look like obedience and living a life of holiness (as much as it is within us). Next, we are told to “resist the devil,” but how can you resist such a powerful spirit being? By resisting the temptation, you are resisting him. If you are submitted to God and you resist temptation, he will flee from you. Notice it doesn’t say he will leave you or walk away from you but “flee from you.” In the Greek, the word “flee” is “pheugō” and means “run away, seek safety by flight.” So the devil’s not taking his sweet time–he’s outta’ there!
Yes, God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear because He has shown you that you are much like the company you keep. So keep godly company as much as possible, avoid the pits of temptation that used to have you trapped, hide His Word in your heart so that you won’t sin when confronted with temptation, and submit to God. Resist the devil, and he must run away!