Dealing with Temptation – Words to Live by
By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan
Everyone faces temptation. But the truth is, very few people deal with it effectively. That shouldn’t be the case, and it doesn’t have to be the case for believers. There are some very simple and effective ways of dealing with temptation that you should know, and if you’ll put them into practice, I guarantee, you’ll come out the winner.
It has been said, “Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail.” That statement could not be truer when it’s applied to temptation. I don’t know anyone who gets up in the morning and prays to fail when faced with temptation, but I know many people who get up each morning and fail to plan for what the Bible says we will all certainly face. So, first and most important, you must be prepared. Very few people have taken the time or made the effort to prepare.
2 Chronicles 12:14 says it this way,“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.”
This was speaking of Rehoboam, the king of Judah. He started off as a good king who was seeking the Lord. But just like many people today, he wasn’t prepared for what would inevitably come his way. When Satan throws temptation your way, if you’re not already prepared, it’s too late. You’ll probably lose the fight.
Jesus prepared Himself. He spent thirty years getting ready for His encounter with the devil, and He started preparing early. At the age of twelve, He had obviously spent many hours reading and studying the Scriptures. I’m sure that study continued all His life, but even Jesus needed more.
Before He was tempted by Satan face to face, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John in the Jordan River. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, full of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity for overcoming temptation. There are many Christians who received the Holy Spirit years ago and haven’t been full of the Holy Spirit a day since. It’s not about what happened to us long ago; we have to stay full of the Holy Spirit. One way of doing this is by praying in the spirit. Jude 1:20-21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
How many times have you needed your most holy faith to take you through a certain trial, and yet you haven’t used this gift of the Holy Spirit?
Isaiah 28:11-12 says, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”
Do you ever need rest or refreshing? I guarantee that you do, and this verse says praying in the spirit is the way to get it. We have a tremendously powerful gift available to us through the Holy Spirit, but few people take advantage of it. Instead, we ask God to do what He told us to do. We need to use this gift of praying in the spirit to stir ourselves up, or we risk sinking to the bottom.
You must also know who you are. Matthew 4 record the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. One of the most amazing aspects of those temptations was that Satan began two of the three temptations with the words, “If thou be the Son of God.” The real temptation was Satan’s attempt to get Jesus to doubt who He was. That’s the same way he attacked Adam and Eve. The serpent told Eve that if she would eat the forbidden fruit, she would be like God (Gen. 3:5). The truth was that she was already like God, but she didn’t know it. The first Adam sinned, because he didn’t know who he really was. The second Adam, Jesus, didn’t sin, because He did know who he was. Your true identity in Christ is one of the greatest defenses you can possibly have against temptation.
Hear Pastor Lonnie each Sunday at 6am on KEYT Ch. 3 (ABC Affiliate) also come hear Pastor Lonnie live at the Miracle Center 5105 Walker St Ventura Ca,www.miraclecenterventura.com (805)644-7722. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email at email@example.com or by visitingwww.miraclecenterventura.com.