Below are excerpts from various Christians on how to overcome temptation
From a retired scientist: Man is made up of three parts viz., body, soul and spirit. The soul consists of three parts viz., mind, will and emotions. God has given us a free will to choose right or wrong, good or evil. It is our will power to decide what is wrong or what is right.
The sin originated with Satan… temptation enters as thoughts through our flesh to our mind. If the flesh is weak, there is every possibility that evil thoughts will creep into your mind. If the flesh is further weak, there is a tendency to put evil thoughts into action thereby we commit sin.
How do we to overcome this situation? Many Christians do not know they have been redeemed and set free from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). Satan knows they are ignorant and he continues to visit them. Resist the enemy and he will flee from you. Drive him out of your lives. Take control of your body and your thoughts. You are in a warfare. Remember, You are under grace and sin has no dominion over you.
One of the most crucial passages concerning temptation is found in 1 Cor 10:13:
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” This is the guarantee that God has given us to overcome temptation.
From Singapore: Look to Jesus. The answer is in Him. He was tempted like us “in all points” but He overcame (Heb 4:15). “He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18).
On our part we are to first surrender the organs of our body as a living sacrifice on God’s altar (Rom 12:1). We are no more ours. We are bought with a price. We belong to God. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will no more look at someone lustfully (Job 31:1). Present your hands to God so it may not touch the forbidden. And your legs not to go where Christ Himself would not go. And so on (Rom 6:13). Remind yourself of this commitment each morning.
The power to say no to sin is yours by the indwelling Christ. You are dead, buried, raised and seated with Christ (Rom 6:3, 4; Eph 2:4-6). Meditate on this fact of identification with Christ as often as possible.
To receive a fresh supply of strength to resist temptation Christ has taught us to pray. Our body of flesh and blood is weak. Our desire to overcome temptation becomes effective only when we “watch and pray” (Mt 26:41).
When Christ was tempted He wielded the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, against Satan (Mt 4:4, 7, 10; Eph 6:17). Be regular in Bible meditation. David hid God’s Word in his heart that he might not sin against Him (Psa 119:11). Saturate yourself with the Scriptures. Memorize as many verses as you can. At the hour of temptation the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the right text (Jn 6:14-26).
Don’t be a loner. You need the fellowship of God’s children. “If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble” (Eccl 4:9-12).
Every time you overcome temptation, the battle will only be intensified. The “roaring lion” will be after you (1 Pet 5:8). But “He who is in you is greater that he who is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Take refuge under the blood of Jesus. Depend on His grace. “Sin shall not have dominion over you!” (Rom 6:14).
From S. Michael Houdmann (gotquestions.org): First of all, we must return to the example of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11. Each of Satan’s temptations was met with the same answer: “It is written,” followed by Scripture. If the Son of God used the Word of God to effectively end the temptations—which we know works because after three failed efforts, “the Devil left him” (v. 11)—how much more do we need to use it to resist our own temptations? All our efforts to resist will be weak and ineffective unless they are powered by the Holy Spirit through the constant reading, studying, and meditating on the Word. In this way, we will be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
There is no other weapon against temptation except the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” If our minds are filled with the latest TV shows, music and all the rest the culture has to offer, we will be bombarded with messages and images that inevitably lead to sinful lusts. But if our minds are filled with the majesty and holiness of God, the love and compassion of Christ, and the brilliance of both reflected in His perfect Word, we will find that our interest in the lusts of the world diminish and disappear. But without the Word’s influence on our minds, we are open to anything Satan wants to throw at us.
Here, then, is the only means to guard our hearts and minds in order to keep the sources of temptation away from us. Remember the words of Christ to His disciples in the garden on the night of His betrayal: “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). Most Christians would not openly want to jump into sin, yet we cannot resist falling into it because our flesh is not strong enough to resist. We place ourselves in situations or fill our minds with lustful passions, and that leads us into sin [remember Eve].
From Leah Baugh: Know yourself well. As the phrase from The Art of War goes, “Know your enemy.” Knowing the enemy is a crucial aspect of any battle. In the Christian life, we have many enemies, one of which is our old corrupt nature that lingers within us (Rom. 7:21-23; Eph. 4:22).
It may seem odd, but we must make a study of ourselves. Personality, circumstances, disposition, and life experiences are all factors that can make us more susceptible to certain kinds of temptations. How can we be on guard for something unless we know what we are looking for?
From Brooke Cooney: The truly successful at keeping themselves from falling into temptation do the following things:
- Set up boundaries
- Seek accountability
- Watch and pray
We fight the good fight of faith through prayer, discipleship, fellowship within a community of believers, and devotion to God’s word.
From Billy Graham Evangelist Assoc.: The first step you need to take is to flee from whatever is tempting you. Get as far from it as possible. The Apostle Paul told his young friend, Timothy, to “flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22).
Also remember that our thoughts are as important as our actions. In fact, Jesus had strong words for people who were outwardly righteous but inwardly corrupt. One reason is because our actions typically start with our thoughts. The Bible says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).
Don’t entertain tempting thoughts. Avoid anything that fills your mind with sinful thoughts and fill it instead with good things by studying God’s Word and praying for His guidance.
Most of all, you need God’s help to fight this battle. If you have never done so, turn to Christ and ask Him to come into your life. Then ask Him to fill your heart with His love and power, and to crowd out whatever is wrong in your life. God has promised that “when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out” (I Corinthians 10:13). Ask Him to show you the way out—and then take it.
From Oswald Chambers (utmost.org): Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is the kind mentioned in James 1:14, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
But through regeneration we are lifted into another realm where there are other temptations to face, namely, the kind of temptations our Lord faced.
Through regeneration, the Son of God is formed in us (see Galatians 4:19), and in our physical life He has the same setting that He had on earth. Satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things— he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God.
He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.