To live an exemplary life demands a lot of responsibility. It pays to live by a high moral and spiritual standard. However, temptations often draw us away from such noble ways of living. This post shares 8 responsibilities of the believer in overcoming temptation and living a victorious life above sin.
What is Temptation?
Temptation is the desire to do something, that is especially considered wrong or unwise. In the context of the Christian faith, a temptation is a tendency or urge to act or feel in a particular way contrary to the tenets of scriptures.
SOURCES OF TEMPTATION
James 1:14 speaks of the core sources of temptation as lust and enticement. Temptation often occurs under the following conditions:
- Manipulation by Others. Deuteronomy 13 is clear on how God perceives manipulators and enticers to sin. He calls for their death according to the law.
- Unjustifiable Curiosity. There are certain desires for knowledge that leads to sin. One should be careful of how he seeks to learn or know deep things. So many things are shrouded in mystery but the gospel of Jesus is simple. 2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 11:3. This was how eve was drawn to sin.
- Inordinate Desires. Romans 1:28-29, Galatians 5:19-21 lists these desires. They are evidences of things that grieve God and creates a strain in fellowship.
- Perception of Loss or Failure. We are often tempted to indulge in ignoble things when we are afraid of losing out. It is the Holy God that teaches to profit. He will not tolerate unholiness in his “classroom”. Isaiah 48:17.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the bible says that there is no temptation that we face that is unique to us as individuals. We often face what others have faced or are currently facing. Temptations are a test of the strength of our character.
It is the desire to live a life of honour and dignity that makes overcoming temptation an important issue. We live in a world where the strength of morals has taken a deep decline and what is considered noble has been shrouded with inordinate quests and false definitions of success.
Temptation is a process that culminates in the loss of divine life in the believer. It begins with lust and proceeds to sinful acts which now ends up in the loss of divine nature. James 1:14-15.
GODS ROLE TOWARDS THE BELIEVER WHEN TEMPTED.
The bible (1 Corinthians 10:13) however stresses that God sieves the kinds of temptations that confront us. He doesn’t allow temptations come to us that is beyond our capacity. This therefore suggests that there is no form of temptation that has the power to overrun the believer. There is even more comfort for the believer because the bible (1 Corinthians 10:13) says that even when the temptation comes, God will provide a path of endurance while lasts and lurks around your life.
So we say that when a believer is tempted, God:
- He determines the strength of temptation that comes to the believer. God protects him from being tempted above his capacity. God doesn’t allow you to be tempted beyond your level of competence.
- He provides a way escape or path to endure and overcome the temptation. He is the one that makes a way where there seems to be no way. He needs the believer to be discerning of possibilities and not hinderances, obstacles and inhibitions.
This leaves the believer with a few responsibilities
THE BELIEVERS RESPONSIBILITY TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION
- Be conscious of God’s provision to help you in any tempting situation. There is always what to do to connect with what God has provided. Never assume that you are not well equipped to overturn any tempting situation. You must be conscious that in every tempting situation, you have what it takes to stand and overcome. Discover the way out of every temptation that comes towards you. Temptations that come to you are permitted by God. He knows you can’t fall. If you fall, it’s your fault. You need to be conscious of your strength in Christ. If you walk in ignorance, the devil will shortchange you. 1 Corinthians 10:13,
- Take heed to Gods Word. This will help you to build up your strength before any temptation comes towards you. If you fall when tempted, your strength is small (Pro.24:10) Build up strength by heeding to Gods word. Psalms. 119:9-11, Proverbs 24:5, John 17:17, Acts 20:32
- Pray for the Strength. Your prayers are a way to ask God for strength and grace to ward off temptations when they come. Matt. 26:41, Jude 20.
- Forgo Self Gratification. There should be a great sense of intentionality when it comes to addressing the inordinate desires that paves way for sinful acts. Romans 13: 14 is clear to say there should be no thought or plans to satisfy or fulfil these inordinate quests that are contrary to the expectations of a Christian character.
- Grow into Spiritual Maturity. 1 Corinthians 3: 1-3 explains that carnality (not spiritual; merely human and temporal) is a sign of christian immaturity. It finds expression in envy, divisions and strife. It is important therefore to have a growth plan. A Christian that must avoid the sting of temptation and the wages of sin must purge himself fit for enlistment in Kingdom activities (2 Timothy 2:19-21). Believers must work hard to purify themselves.
- Surround yourself with people of value. The friends we keep fan the flame of our desires into manifestation. Amnon according to 2 Samuel 13 has an inordinate desire to have sexual relations with his sister but he could not carry out this enterprise on his own. However, his friend Jonadab helped him to plot his way to committing the sin. The scriptures have warned severally about not walking in the counsel of the ungodly, not sharing paths with sinners and not being in the company of those that scorn honorable living (Psalm 1:1-3). Evidently evil communication and association corrupts good manners.
- Resist the Devil. Whatever you don’t confront you wont conquer. Whatever you don’t resist has a right to remain. Whatever you don’t want in your life, you must not watch growing in your life. The Devil is going around looking for who to devour, resist him and he will leave you alone. (1 Peter 5:8, James 4:7). Don’t tolerate his suggestions and agents around your life.
- Run away from Dangerous Spots. 1 Corinthians 6: 18 says we as believers should flee from fornication. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says we should abstain from all appearance of evil. The moment you find yourself in a situation that may threaten the sanctity of your faith, run away. That place has become a situation of danger to your relevance before God.
We are the apple of Gods eye. We are a choice seed in His hands. We are to be preserved blameless so we can be presented to him as a glorious church not having any spot or wrinkle.