The reason I have this mini-study here is to help any who are having difficulty overcoming certain temptations in their lives. It was written to edify and help the others overcome all kinds of temptation. Anyone who thinks that they are too high and mighty to be tempted are only fooling themselves and will have difficulty enduring to the end. We all are tempted and must be prepared for it daily. So regardless of what things bring you to temptation, I believe these scriptures will encourage you and will help you to overcome. Please feel free to follow along in your own bible.
Here are some excellent scriptures to read before getting out of bed each morning. These scriptures deal specifically with overcoming sin.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of Elohim, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Notice that the "shield of faith" is above all.
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
So how do we obtain the shield of faith? By doing what you are doing now, reading Yahweh's word!
Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Yahweh.
Continuing in Ephesians 6..
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Yahweh: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Please note that the sword in verse 17 is the only offensive piece of armor listed. Yahushua also used this when temptation came.
Mt 4:1 Then was Yahushua led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of Yahweh, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahweh. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of Yahweh, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Yahushua said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt Yahweh thy Elohim. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Yahushua unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship Yahweh thy Elohim, and him only shalt thou serve.
"Get thee hence" (Get behind me) Yahushua said. This was the shield of faith. Notice that the devil left Him (for now):
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him
Here is Luke's rendering of the same event. Notice that just because Yahushua overcame the temptation, that did not mean that the devil will not return again in the future.
Lu 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
In some ways, temptation can be more powerful if it has been a long while since we have been tempted by it. The tendency is to justify doing the sin, since it has been such a long time. But we should ask Yahweh to not lead us into temptation. Here is a great example of what to pray for (part of Yahushua's prayer):
Mt 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.
While we do ask Yahweh not to lead us into temptation, we should be just as careful not to walk into temptation. If being at a certain place, seeing a certain thing or doing something seemingly harmless leads you into temptation, then avoid it! Worship of other gods was a powerful temptation to Israel and Yahweh set up safeguards:
Exod 23:13 And in all [things] that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
Deut 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Yahweh didn't want people mentioning other gods and if anyone were to entice another to worship them, they were to be put to death (even if it were one's own wife). This is because Yahweh knew that talking about other gods was the beginning of trouble. It would bear the fruit of temptation and cause one to fall away. So whatever temptation we have, let's avoid those situations that cause us to be tempted.
Don't ever think that you are alone in your temptation. Take consolation in the fact that many others are tempted in the same way you are. Yahweh will always leave you a way out of your temptation.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Yahweh [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
Notice the next verse:
1Co 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
What temptations come into your life? Flee from it! This is consistent with avoiding those situations that cause temptation. Treat that temptation like the enemy and immediately pray. Ask Yahweh to deliver you from your enemies. Nearly all temptation begins in the mind. When the temptation enters your mind, get your mind on Yahweh by praying and have scriptures memorized that condemn the sinful act you are being tempted by. Do this every time you are tempted in your mind. Confess to Yahweh that you cannot do it, but have faith that Yahushua can overcome the world through you.
If we want to avoid temptation altogether in the future, we can pray. Yahushua was speaking to the disciples when he was in the garden of Gethsemane, encouraging them to pray they would not enter into temptation.
Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
Mr 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.
Lu 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
The problem was the disciples kept falling asleep instead of praying. If they had been praying, perhaps they would not have fallen away?
Lu 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
We must exercise patience and persevere, then it is less likely we will be tempted more in the future. In the following verse, Yahushua is speaking to those in the Philadelphian congregation:
Re 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
If we have pride, it is more likely that we will be tempted and fall away.
1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall!
Here is the parable of the sower. It contains a helpful verse on overcoming temptation. Please read the context here if you are unfamiliar with the parable.
Lu 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of Yahweh. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
We must have a root to overcome temptation. The seed is the Word of Yahweh.
Lu 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.
Again, patience is important! Don't be discouraged. Others gone before us have made it, why can't we?
Satan and his demons stalk the path of every believer, offering all manner of enticements to lure the Christian away from an obedient and faithful walk with Christ. No one is exempt from Satanic attacks, and no one is completely successful in countering them (I John 1:8, 10), but some Christians succumb to temptation so often that they see no hope for victory. They give up and give in without a struggle. This is an unfortunate condition, born out of despair, for it will blind the believer to the marvelous provision God has made for overcoming temptation.
The first thing the Christian must learn is that God does not lead him to sin. The Apostle James clearly condemns the attitude of blaming God for tempting circumstances (James 1:13-15). God may test His children, a process designed to purify and strengthen them, but He does not lead them into sin. Without exception, sin results when temptation strikes a sympathetic chord in the human heart, and man has no one to blame but himself.
Blame himself he must, though, if he is to be forgiven. Our age is one in which blame is passed to society, to the pressures of the times, or to some other faceless, nameless creature. If one is to be forgiven, he must first humbly admit, "I have sinned." As long as he looks for someone or something else to blame, he will be totally helpless in combating temptation.
The Christian needs to recognize the role of Scripture in overcoming temptation. The Psalmist stated, "Thy Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psalms 119:11). When God's Word becomes an integral part of the believer's life, it fortifies that person against temptation's power. Christ Himself demonstrated the Word's power when He submitted to Satan's temptations with a quote from the Old Testament (Matthew 4:7). A systematic, prayerful study of Scripture is an absolute prerequisite to defeating temptation. The Word not only warns of Satan's methods (II Corinthians 2:11), but it empowers against attacks (Ephesians 6:11-17).
Another essential to victory is to avoid temptation. On several occasions, Christ told His disciples to pray that they might not fall into temptation (Matthew 6:13; Luke 22:40). Some believers understand that temptation is not the same as sin, so then feel that they can enjoy the enticements of temptation without any harm. This behavior becomes a type of game - seeing how much titillation one can 'enjoy' without falling into overt sin. Such an attitude is sinful in itself, for it fails to take seriously God's commands for holiness in attitude as well as in action.
One of the most crucial passages concerning temptation is I Corinthians 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 verse is God's guarantee that He will never allow Satan to go too far. The temptation's intensity and the escape route will be uniquely tailored to the individual, and will not exceed his capacity.
Knowing there is a way of escape, and using that way of escape, may be quite different things. If one is ignorant of God's Word, one will likely not recognize the escape when he sees it, for he won't know how God works. Whether or not he uses the escape, though, the believer can never truthfully claim that the temptation was so strong that he had to succumb to it.
Another promise is that no one in this universe is uniquely tempted. While no two people are exactly alike, the temptations confronting each individual are basically the same as have confronted others. Consequently, the Bible can say that Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like we are, and even suffered in this temptation, but did not sin (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15-16). He is, therefore, a sympathetic Savior, knowing from His own incarnate experience the pressure that temptation can exert.
Since no one is uniquely tempted, Christians can help and learn from one another. Merely knowing that another Christian has overcome greed, for instance, may be just the assurance that someone needs to make another attempt to overcome it in his own life. The Christian who has grown in one facet of his spiritual life is responsible for helping other Christians who have not yet grown in that area. In this manner, Christians can edify (or, "build up") one another in their faith (Ephesians 4:15-16).
The Scripture contains no promise of help in overcoming temptation for those who are unsaved. Indeed, until one repents of his sin and accepts by faith Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he has no capacity for pleasing God. But those who are saved may appropriate the power and wisdom of the Word, relying upon God's grace, and can therefore have victory, even over Satan's most subtle and compelling temptations.
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Excerpt from The Bible Has the Answer, by Henry Morris and Martin Clark, published by Master Books, 1987
Overcoming temptation - Is it possible?
Is it possible to live a life so pure that temptation can be eradicated from our lives? The short answer is no. Fortunately though, there can be victory in overcoming temptation. The temptations of Jesus give us great insight, His ordeals and subsequent victories give us great confidence.
The trials regarding Jesus' temptation in the wilderness are chronicled in Matthew 4:1-3: "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'"
The record of His victory is to be found in Matthew 4:9-11: "'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.' Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."
Some people feel that the reason Jesus did not yield to His temptations was because He did not have a sin nature. Adam and Eve didn't have sin natures either, yet they succumbed to temptation, and they sinned.
Despite our efforts to eradicate sin from our lives, we must expect temptations, and fully realize also that God Himself does not tempt us directly. James 1:13 says, "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone."
Rather God "allows" us to be tempted by our spiritual enemies, yet even at the same time giving us the graces necessary to resist. Take heart from Paul's writings to the Corinthians and know that God is faithful. While God permits us to experience temptation, it is never more than we can manage. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
Temptations which expose our human imperfections are certainly among the most trying hardships we can endure. To struggle courageously against temptation is one of the most meritorious acts we can perform; and once we have triumphed with God's grace, we can repeat it. If you want to learn more about fighting temptation, keep reading. If you are struggling with sexual temptation, we recommend Pure Online. In the words of James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."