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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Overcoming Temptation

“ common to man.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Maybe you have heard it said that opportunity only knocks once, but temptation knocks continually. Fortunately, God is merciful, giving opportunities and second chances to those who call on Him. Temptation, though, really does keep knocking. It never stops trying to find a way into our lives.

Temptation is a trap set by the devil, and it is designed to get you to walk in disobedience to God. Because Satan is a liar (John 8:44), the bait he uses often appears like something you need or desire, even something sweet, innocent, or harmless. However, when you yield to temptation, you will always find the bitter fruit of sin.

The devil never gives you what he says he will. He may promise liberty and ecstasy, but he delivers bondage, guilt, and shame. God, on the other hand, is faithful and always keeps His Word. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) tells us, “When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” You can overcome temptation!

Our minds are like a hotel. The manager cannot keep someone from entering the lobby, but he can keep them from getting a room. And it's the same with temptation. When God redeemed you, you became a regenerate spirit living in an unregenerate body. And you were 'sealed [by the Holy Spirit] unto the day of redemption' (see Ephesians 4:30). When you seal an envelope, its contents are protected until it's delivered to its destination. Getting the idea?

Satan can't prevail against your regenerate spirit, so he attacks your lower nature. Paul said: 'I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway' (Romans 7:19). You'll never be immune to temptation, but you can overcome it.

The Bible says, 'God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it' (1 Corinthians 10:13). Notice three things in this Scripture: (1) 'God is faithful.' Like a shepherd who never abandons his sheep, when you go astray, he will bring you back to the fold. (2) 'Will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.' Like a good coach training you, God will permit the weight of your temptations to strengthen you but not break or destroy you. (3) 'With the temptation will also make the way of escape.' If you choose your own way, you will go down in defeat. God's 'way of escape' is through prayer, his word, Christian fellowship, and Spirit-filled living. That's how to overcome temptation.

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