Guarding against temptation is an essential practice in the life of the saints. Practicing guarding against temptation will help you transfer these principles into your marriage and sanctification journey. As you go through the preparation season, before God gifts you with the desire of your heart to enter a loving and fulfilling marriage, let’s consider some things. First, you want to identify the areas prone to breaking down. Secondly, secure the potential entry points (footholds) like fort Knox.
The Bible tells us not to despise small beginnings. Therefore, don’t scorn your single life because it will profit you nothing. I understand you desire marriage, but if you’re not vigilant with self-discipline, you’ll prolong the process of connecting with the spouse you desire because you fell into temptation.
Now is the time to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Surrendering and allowing Him to have His way will help you flee and guard against temptation. If you’re new to this series, I encourage you to start with Married to Christ at the beginning of this series and Marriage Steps and Preps on YouTube.
Temptation is not only sexual. Any area of your life that is not covered and guarded presents a trigger or reveals a hidden interest in your heart. Our enemy studies these unique areas in all of us and will bait you into sin. When you fall for the trickery, you give the enemy a foothold and permission to continue disrupting these areas.
Oxford’s definition of temptation is two-fold, the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise, and a thing or course of action that attracts or tempts someone. Wikipedia defines it as a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment that threatens long-term goals. In the context of self-control and ego depletion, the temptation is described as an immediate, pleasurable urge and/or impulse that disrupts an individual’s ability to wait for the long-term goals that that individual hopes to attain.
The Wikipedia definition stood out to me the most because as I write this article, the enemy is turning up the heat and tempting me into eating something far outside my eating plan. I almost fell for it because I was so emotional. Today I feel irritable and agitated. I was heartbroken when I weighed myself yesterday and today. A week prior, I was down six, and I’m up three pounds this week. I cried because I’d been dealing with this for over a year. I’ve turned up the temperature on my healthy lifestyle and exercise and restricted myself even more in the last two weeks. Again, as I write this, I’m tempted to use my body as a dumping ground for something unhealthy because my emotions are fragile.
Consequently, I must keep my long-term goal in mind. My long-term goal is a lifestyle change—not just to lose weight. When my body reaches a healthier state, my body weight will normalize.
God Provides Escape
I give glory and honor to God for giving me Cure 4 the Soul Ministries. This ministry is a greater tool for me than it may be for many of you. It helps me to examine myself and stay dependent on Him more than I have in the past. This ministry keeps me accountable because I aim to practice what I preach—even when holding the pace is brutal.
The article, 29 Bible Verses that Empower you to resist temptation, reads, “Believe that God has a way of escape for you. Temptation doesn’t become sin until you agree with it, so the way of resistance is the way of escape. Resist temptation and be an overcomer!”
Through God’s grace, I recognize His rescuing power in my life. He teaches me to resist temptation and run right into His arms. Therefore, it’s important to note that God does not tempt. He will test us, but Satan is the accuser and tempter. Once you agree, sin enters because you fell for the stumbling block.
Also, grab you a copy of the Soul Check-up. It will help you to regularly keep your thoughts in perspective, grow spiritually, and motivate you to organize and keep your environment intact for tremendous success. See what I’m referring to in this Soul Check-up YouTube video.
Some examples of stumbling blocks set up by the enemy are:
- It’s tempting to go off and cuss because an inconsiderate driver jumps in front of you doing 25mph in a 45.
- The office caters tasty foods for a month when you start a new health plan.
- An old acquaintance invites you to get high with them after you’ve been clean for eight months.
- The ex calls apologizing about all they did to you in the past, and they want to come over to see you because they miss you so much.
- Desirable TV shows, Movies, and YouTube recommendations flood your feed just as you decide to cut back on spending too much time being entertained.
- Enticing pornography shows up in your DM’s on Instagram after you kicked the stronghold a year ago.
- The married person you’ve been friendly with in the office suddenly starts buying you lunch.
- The fitness chic with the tight gym outfit wants to perform her glute workout in front of you.
He Who Endures Temptation
Did you know there is a blessing in enduring temptation? Oxford defines endure as to suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. Soulful, persevering as a child of God is not easy, but it is expected. God tests us to grow our patience and faith. Take your unholy and unhealthy desires to God and ask Him to remove them. I’m sure you have experience doing this because some things that you used to fall for you no longer do. However, it is critical to understand that temptation will exist in our lives until we go home to glory with God.
James 1:12-15 NIV Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 5 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
7 Soul Actions:
- Flee—1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Take flight Don’t hang around situations that can cause you to sin longer than you have to.
- Escape—1 Corinthians 10:12-13 So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it. Don’t be prideful by believing you have it all figured out. It would help if you had total dependence on the Holy Spirit daily. Thinking you are solid in a particular area you’ve overcome can catch you off guard and drag you into sin.
- Take Captive—2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. God is all-knowing, and His truth is THE TRUTH. Therefore, measure things against what He says by arresting the thoughts and arguments and checking them with the Word.
- Pray (come boldly) Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Don’t go at it alone. Christ understands your issues and is ready to intercede on our behalf.
- Account — 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NIV So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Remember that you’ll be responsible for your actions and have to face them when you stand before God by giving an account.
- Submit & Resist—James 4:7 NKJV Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Submission takes humility. If you humbly submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee. I picture a young child running to his father because they are scared of the dark. The child runs to their protection, and the father consoles the child, turns on the lights, looks under the bed, and assures the child of safety. There is no monster in the closet, and nobody will attack you as long as you’re under my protection. The child falls asleep because his security (His father) rescued them from fear.
- Store—Deuteronomy 11:18 NKJV, “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Store up the Word of God as it’s the sword of the Spirit you must stand on to overcome temptation. Jesus stood firm and fought the devil with the sword (the scriptures) while in the wilderness. Let “it is written” ever proceed out of your mouth. Memorizing scriptures and passages will help tremendously. Scripture memory will change your life.
The Bible is full of solutions to help you to overcome any temptation that you face. The devil will eventually give up and leave you alone, but he will continuously study you to find an unguarded area to penetrate.
Luke 4:13 NJKV Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Thank you for reading to the end, and I pray that this teaching has blessed you. Please be so kind as to share this with a couple of friends.