There are 4 steps of temptation from Satan.
- He identifies a desire inside you.- a sinful desire
- It only starts when Satan suggests that you give in. (example. You deserve it! You should have it now!)
- Temptation does not lie around us - it is within us.
- If you do not have any internal desires, the temptation could not attract you.
- Temptation always starts in your mind. (Mark 7:21-23 & James 4:1-3)
- Satan tries to get you to doubt what God said about the sin. “Is it really wrong? Did God say not to do that?” (Hebrews 3:12)
- Satan cannot tell the truth!
- He is the Father of lies!
- Anything he says is untrue or half-true. (example. Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden with the snake. The snake said “You will not die! You’ll be wiser like God! You can get way with it. It is only a little sin!)
- A little sin is like saying you’re a little pregnant – It will eventually show itself!
- You finally act though as if you’ve been toying in your mind!
- You gave in to whatever got your attention.
- You believed Satan’s lies and fall into the trap that in the book of James warn us about! (James 1:14-16)
Understanding how temptation works in itself is already helpful= but there are specific steps to overcome it!
- Refuse to be intimidated
- Being tempted is not a sin!
- This is a misunderstanding in maturity.
- You will never outgrow temptation.
- But take temptation as a compliment.
- Satan does not have to tempt those who are already doing evil.
- It is a sign that Satan hates you, not a sign of weakness when your tempted.
- It is normal part in being human
- “Guys” Do not feel guilty about your God-given hormones.
- When you notice an attractive girl – do not assume that it is lust and feel condemned and ashamed.
- Attraction is not lust until you begin to dwell in it.
- The closer you grow to God, the more Satan will try to tempt you.
- Sometimes while you are praying, Satan will suggest a weird or evil thought just to distract you and shame you.
- Do not feel guilty, but realize that Satan fears your prayers & will do anything to stop it.
- Instead of condemning yourself; treat it as a distraction & immediately refocus on God
- Recognize the pattern of temptation & be prepared for it.
- Satan surely knows what trips you up, and he is constantly getting you into those circumstances. (1 Peter 5:8)
- Ask Yourself!
Where I am most tempted?
When am I most tempted
What day of the week
What time of the day
- Identify the typical pattern of temptation and avoid those situations as much as possible. (Proverbs 16:17)
- Request God’s help
- Heaven has a 24 hour hotline. (Psalms 50:15)
- Do not be embarrassed to ask God for help just because you keep on sinning the same sin over & over.
- God never gets irritated or angry when we come back to Him.
- He will still give mercy and grace, so come boldly.
- Temptations keep us dependent on God.
- Just as the roots of the tree grow stronger when the wind blows against it.
- Whenever it is that you stumble – which you will – it’s not fatal!
- Instead of giving up, look up to God, expect him to help you, and remember the reward that is waiting for you in eternity.
(originally taken from the Purpose Driven Life)