The temptation to sin has many sources.

  • 1 Corinthians 7:5, “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that SATAN TEMPT you not for your incontinency.”
  • James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST, and enticed.”
  • 1 John 2:16, “For ALL THAT IS IN THE WORLD, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

We can see in these few verses that the world, the flesh, and the devil are three sources of temptation in our lives. With temptation all around us, and even in us, what are we to do? How can we resist?

PRAY – The Lord Jesus, in instructing us how to pray, said in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” We read in James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” The Lord cannot be tempted to sin, and He does not tempt people to sin, so why do we ask the Lord NOT to lead us into temptation? Realizing our weaknesses, this is a humble plea, asking the Lord to keep us from any temptation to sin. It is when we adopt the attitude that, “I WOULD NEVER DO THAT,” that we are so susceptible to sin. The Lord Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation…”

SUBMIT, THEN RESIST – James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” It is no good to try to resist the temptations of the devil without first submitting ourselves to the Lord. We cannot overcome Satan in our own strength. BUT, if we give ourselves over to the Lord, determined to do His will, we can resist the devil, and he will eventually run away from us when he recognizes the power of God in our lives.

DO NOT PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FLESH – Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Wrapping ourselves in the person of Christ, we should never make room for the flesh to tempt us to sin. With a heart to follow and please the Lord Jesus, we should avoid the places, people, and objects that would tempt us to sin. Do you have a tendency to drink if you are around drinkers…then stay away from those people and places. Do you have a tendency to watch pornography if it’s available…then stay away from those places where pornography is shown. If necessary, get rid of your TV and computer. Do not make provision for the flesh to tempt you.

DO NOT ALLOW THE LOVE OF THE WORLD IN YOUR LIFE – 1 John 5:21 says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” Idols are those things that we value highly…those things that we value even more highly than we do the Lord. There is nothing that the world has to offer that is better for you than the Lord. Keep away from the world’s temptations to have more. We learn in Proverbs 27:20 that, “Hell and destruction are never full; so THE EYES OF MAN ARE NEVER SATISFIED.” The world does not bring contentment. It only keeps us longing for more. KEEP YOURSELF from those things.

Remember the words of Colossians 3:1-2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (296.4)