The world is full of temptation; tasty treats, mischief, self-gratification, and breaking of the law are synonymous to a desire to satisfy an internal interest. Name it and you’ll find it anywhere. As carnal as our minds are, we easily fall into temptations and more often we get ourselves into unnecessary troubles. The way we handle temptations differ greatly, and is dependent on our knowledge of its consequences, internal drive towards self- gratification and our degree of self – control. Instant gratification or instant reward is central to media airwaves, as claims of instant weight loss, immediate return on investments, among many, are common. When temptations strike, they give as an elusive vision of glory. Pride sets in and mischief is ripe for harvest. The very first case of temptation can be traced to Lucifer (Satan). Due to his jealous and proud attitude he was alienated from God. Ever since, he tries to be god over the world and specializes in deceiving the children of God using all arsons at his disposal. He tried Jesus in the wilderness but failed. Therefore he has turned his weapons to the Church. The story of Judas Iscariot in the crucifixion of Jesus highlights how temptations eventually destroy our lives.
Here are a few tips on how to overcome temptations. First, know the scriptures. The best example is Jesus Christ himself. Mathew 4:1 -11 tells of a story of how Jesus used the scriptures to tackle Satan’s approach, whose main goal was to get Him (Jesus) to doubt God and hence worship him. Satan’s uses our ignorance and lack of knowledge to trap us into his tricks, and by making Bible study an integral part of your lives, we will overcome his weapons and shame him. Secondly, Obedience is vital to every Christian. The Bible says, obedience is better than sacrifice. Adam and Eve were the first people to fall into sin through disobedience to God. Genesis 2:16-17, God told Adam that he was free to eat from every tree in the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God said that he would die if he ate the fruit. Later, Eve was deceived by Satan speaking through a serpent and ate the fruit, and later took it to Adam, who knowingly, ate the fruit. By this disobedience, spiritual death as well as physical death was imminent. God expelled them from the garden, for they placed their desires above what God had instructed them. Obedience is key to overcome temptations. Thirdly, patience brings forth maturity. James 5:7 says,” Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” Patience has become a rare virtue in today’s world. It does not mean that we adapt the ways of the impatient world, for the ways of the impatient lead to destruction. A seed once planted, takes time to grow and out of it comes good fruits if tendered to. Therefore, let’s cultivate patience, in our lives, for in God’s timing; everything works for good to those who have integrated Christ into their lives.
There is also a need to be careful whenever we are faced with temptations. God does not, and has never led any of His children to sin. Blaming God has become a way out, for many Christians. James 1:13 – 15 says, “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. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. God may test us, and by passing these tests, we become victors, and rejoice. But when we are overcomed by temptations, we become helpless, unless we repent. We must allow God to be an integral part of our day to day lives. Psalms 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You”. The Word of God reveals and warns us of the ways of the devil (II Corinthians 2:11), and it empowers us against attacks (Ephesians 6:11-17). Let’s keep in our hearts that God is faithful, and will not allow us be tempted beyond what we are able to handle (I Corinthians 10:13).