I'm home from church tonight with a sickie. Let's see how well I can make a post with a little snotty grumpster in my lap. Good thing is, most of this was already done! On to something that has helped me more than I can say.
Again, if you are not walking with God every day, these things are just an exercise. But God has provided a way to escape temptation, if we will just avail ourselves of it. See 1 Cor. 10:13. Use the things God says in scripture will help you fight temptation.
1. Pray-cry out, “Lord, help!” Peter had the right idea, when he was in trouble, he knew just what to do. When we fail, we ought to follow his excellent example. David also had the right idea. Psalm 4:1 “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.“
2. “Lord, I praise your name!” God inhabits the prayers of His people. Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Besides, it bugs the devil!)
3. Scripture. The catch for this one is, you have to have scripture in your mind in order for it to work. God will not pour new revelation into your mind at the time of temptation. But He will use His Word that is there. Say the first verse that comes to mind after calling on the Lord. Even if it is “Jesus wept”. You’d be amazed how appropriate the verse is when you have called on the name of the Lord. He knows just the thing for you.
4. Song. I'm having trouble coming up with just a few verses to show this one. How about, the entire book of Psalms? Just go read it right now and see if that convinces you that people who sang songs to and about God got comfort and strength in their trial and temptation. Or maybe this one from Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Begin singing your favorite hymn. Or, sing the first one that comes to mind. God invented music, and He made in us a powerful response to it, so be careful to choose music that will strengthen your relationship with God and your understanding of His holiness. Bring into your life music that draws your heart nigh to His in love. Do not underestimate the power of music. Use it for what God made it for!
5. Take yourself away, and I'm not talking about Calgon! Don’t stand there reveling in your victory. If you can, physically move yourself away from the place, the activity, the whatever it is that weakens you, or that can get you when you are weak. In Gen. 40, Joseph runs from Potipher's wife, and the reason he gives is telling, "how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Do you love God more than these? Get it out of your life altogether if you have to. Matt. 5:29-30
6. Get busy! Do something that God WANTS you to do. Get involved in work, ministry, something that is positive for God.
These things are going to do several things.
--They will make God’s power available to you. You will be intensely appealing to God when casting yourself on Him, praising His name, Using His Word, singing praise to His name, and showing Him that you are so committed to His will that you will do what it takes to remove the temptation. He loves to see that in His children, and loves to help them too.
2. You will draw closer to God. After you are done with all that, you will be able to thank God for the temptation because you have a better relationship with God now than at the beginning-it is glorious how God can use all thing to the good if we love Him! (That sounds good, it must be in the Bible somewhere!)
3. You will make Satan sick. For real. You will weaken him, frighten him, dismay him and discourage him! He will want to get away from you as fast as he can. I am not making this up. It says so in the book. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” You just have to resist him with God’s tools, not yours.
And remember, the temptation to fight the devil without God’s power is a temptation of the devil in itself. We ought not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We do not have much to offer God, but He desires to use us and He can and will. We need Him and He is eager to help us! 1Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."