In this lifetime, there are so many temptations to sin. How to overcome temptation?
Most Christians struggle with sin. You can never overcome evil on your own. You can’t conquer the enemy of alcohol, fornication, lying, cheating, gambling, and depression. Just name it – but God can! God has given us the Holy Spirit so we can be triumphant in Christian living. When you sin, it affects you as well as others. It robs you of the ability to understand spiritual truth (1 Thessalonians 5:15-21). God assures victory over the strong desire to sin to all believers willing to take the following steps. If I can, you can too!
How to Overcome Temptation
STEP I: YOU MUST BE TRULY SAVED
You can only receive help from God to overcome sins if you’re a rightful member of His family (John 1:12). The power to overcome is the lawful rights of His children.
Therefore, it would be best if you first were genuinely born again before you can start taking steps how to overcome temptation. To be saved from the pit of sin, begin by accepting that you are a sinner. ”For all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Then believe that Jesus died to save you and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and personal savior.
“For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and is justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved…” Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
STEP II: BUILD YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE
Don’t let anyone tell you that you will not struggle with overcoming sin after you are saved. A very great example of someone that overcomes sin was Apostle Paul. He wrote more books in the New Testament and established more churches than any other disciple, yet he struggled with sin, too (Romans 7:15-24).
The Bible offers various means to help us in our effort to overcome sin. We will now discuss several ways to grow your spirit, man, to subject the fleshly desires to sin.
1Study the Bible
If Jesus Christ, God in the form of a man on earth, was tempted by the devil to sin, how much more you. Jesus knew where His strength lay when he responded to the evil.
“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 God.” (Matthew 4:4)
A constant study and meditation of the Bible will equip your mind with the thoughts of God that, whenever you are enticed to sin, in ideas or action, you instantly have an answer from the Bible to overcome that temptation. The Bible is described as our first weapon in battle (Ephesians 6:17).
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray without ceasing” and in Romans 12:12 to “continuing instant in prayer.”
Children of God are repetitively cautioned to pray to God about everything (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:). Only when you spend quality time with God in prayer can you receive more of His spirit, which helps you overcome sins.
3Meditate on God’s word
King David was inspired by meditation on the Word of God to record:
“O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation”. (Psalm 119:97-99)
Meditation is the active assimilation of the Bible, through which we can become wiser.
4Fellowship with the people of God
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; let’s any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13)
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)
Fellowship with the saints is essential if we are to win the battles against sin that we face
Fellowship with the saints is essential if we are to win the battles against sin that we face. We are called to be members of the body of Christ, each member achieving their part and working with the other members to build the whole body up in love. Satan’s snare would be to isolate us and then hit us when we are most defenseless.
Additionally, the more your mind is dwelling on the things of God’s word, the less opportunity there will be for Satan to enter and the less chance of sinful desires occupying your mind.
5Grow in God’s spirit
God’s spirit is an essence of power, love, and self-discipline
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
The actual point is that the extension of the power and essence of God into your mind and life will give you victory in overcoming sin.
STEP III: GUARD YOUR FAITH
6Control your fleshly desires
God wants us to adore life on earth but to overcome sin. That is why He gave us our physical senses and capacity to plan, reason, and so forth. However, if we do not control our desires but instead allow our physical feelings or emotions to run unchecked, we are in danger of giving in to sexual sins when our guard is down. We are to enjoy life and live in a moderate and balanced fashion.
“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness” (2 Peter 1:6)
Another means to resist the devil is fleeing from temptation when it arises. Jesus said we should pluck out our eyes or cut off our hands – symbolically speaking – if they lead us to sin (Matthew 5:29-30).
8Bring every thought into subjection
Paul urges us to: “and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
This will require a high degree of discipline on our part. But we need to guard the door of our minds to avoid sinful thoughts and only let in what is good and upright in God’s sight (Philippians 4:8). Evil powers will be looking for every opportunity to slip in diversions to take our minds away from the task of starving the sinful nature.
9Love not the world
The Bible tells us not to love this world (1 John 2:15-16). Instead, we should be transformed by God’s word (Romans 12:1-2). Sin is an active force at work in our minds and bodies. Overcoming sins is nourishing God’s nature within ourselves and starving the sinful carnal nature. It requires self-discipline and constant effort.
However, you must never lose heart. Jesus has gone before you. He overcame the world and will give you all the help, power, and encouragement you need to overcome sin. Not sure how to overcome temptation? Follow Jesus.