Temptation

TEMPTATION

 

DEFINITIONBiblically, temptation is a physical and/or mental desire to sin–a deep craving for something that is contrary to the Word of God.

FACTS ABOUT TEMPTATION:

God does not tempt you.  You are tempted when you are drawn away by your own carnal desires.  “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15). The process of temptation is desire, conception, birth, sin, and death.

The battle with temptation begins in your mind.  It starts with desire which conceives evil and gives birth to sin.

Temptation arises from three major sources. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Everyone experiences temptation.  No one is exempt. Even Jesus, when He was in the flesh, experienced temptation, but He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Temptation is not sin.  Being tempted is not sin, but yielding and acting upon it is sin.

One purpose of temptation is to glorify God.  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7).

There is always a way of escape.  You do not have to yield to temptation.   In every temptation, God provides a way of escape  (1 Corinthians 10:13).

DEALING WITH  TEMPTATION:

If you have yielded to temptation, repent.    Temptation is sin only when it is acted upon.  If you have sinned by acting upon temptation, you must repent (1 John 1:8-9).

Avoid places of temptation.  Do not go places where you are tempted to sin.  Be careful about what you hear and see, as the ear-gate and eye-gate are how temptation often gains access to your life. Do not associate with people who tend to lead you in to temptation.

Pray the daily prayer which appeals to God to “lead us not into temptation”  (Matthew 6:13).

Reprogram your mind. Temptation starts with desire, then sin is conceived and birthed.  Stop tempting thoughts the minute they enter your mind before sin is conceived and birthed.  Rebuke the thoughts and tell them to go in the name of Jesus!

Read the Bible and pray.  Prayer and Bible study are essential to living a life of victory over temptation.  Jesus said to be prayerful, lest you enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41).  David declared that he hid God’s Word in his heart to keep him from sin (Psalm 119:11).

Meet temptation with the Word of God.  Study the temptation of Jesus recorded in Matthew 4:1-11.  He met every temptation with the Word of God.  You can do likewise.

Use the escape hatch.  The Bible says that in every temptation there is a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).   Look for the escape hatch and use it!  Readjust your thoughts.  Walk away from the errant group or the sinful pleasure.  Remove yourself from temptation.  Look for the way out, and take it!   Escaping temptation may be immediate or a process, but there is always a way out.

 

WHAT GOD’ WORD SAYS ABOUT TEMPTATION:

I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you.  (Psalm 119:11)

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. (Proverbs 25:26)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  (Matthew 6:13)

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

And lead us not into temptation. (Luke 11:4)

When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:40, NKJV)

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  (Romans 6:6-18)

For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:2, TLB)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:1-2)

If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand, Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  (Ephesians 6:11-18)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3)

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen [you] and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil [one].  (2 Thessalonians 3:3, AMP)

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  (Hebrews 2:18)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.   (James 1:13-15)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7)

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”   (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  (1 Peter 5:8-10)

Now if [all these things are true, then be sure] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgment and doom,  (2 Peter 2:9, AMP)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Mind and Thoughts

MIND AND THOUGHTS

 

DEFINITION:    The part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers.

FACTS ABOUT THE MIND AND THOUGHTS:

The mind is complex.  The mind is one of the most complex and least understood parts of the human body.

Satan uses many strategies against your mind.  These include questioning the authority of God, deception, seduction,  lust, depression, discouragement, rebellion, and wrong attitudes, emotions, and motives.  Satan also accuses and condemns, causes confusion, and promotes compromise, rebellion, and tormenting thoughts like fear. Satan also blinds the minds of unbelievers.

What you program into your mind affects your thinking.  What you watch, listen to,  read, and  the people with whom you interact–these all affect your thinking.

God wants you to have a victorious mind.  He wants you to have the mind of Christ  (1 Corinthians 2:16).

DEALING WITH  THE MIND AND THOUGHTS:

Ask forgiveness for wrong thinking.  If you have been thinking negative and/or sinful thoughts, ask God to forgive you.

Guard what you see and hear.  Do not program negative and sinful things into your mind.  Do not let your mind become a dumping ground for dirty jokes and gossip.

Take control of your thoughts.   The Bible says that as believers “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” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Set your mind on God by immersing yourself in His Word.  Isaiah 26:3 declares: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT THE MIND THOUGHTS:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. (Psalm 26:2-3)

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

Yet you know me, O Lord; you see me and test my thoughts about you. (Jeremiah 12:3)

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)

But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

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.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (I Corinthians 14:20)

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. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. (1 Timothy 4:16)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Improper Thinking.

In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalm 10:4)

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? … But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (Psalm 13:2-6)

The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him. (Proverbs 15:26)

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. (Isaiah 55:7)

Wash the evil from your heart and be saved. How long will you harbor wicked thoughts? (Jeremiah 4:14)

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man “unclean”; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him “unclean.”(Matthew 15:19-20)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’   This is the first and greatest commandment.”  (Matthew 22:37-38)

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  (Romans 1:21)

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-7)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.  (Philippians 3:18-19)

Negative mindsets to avoid.

-A carnal mind: Romans 8:6-7

-A mind alienated from God: Colossians 1:21

-A defiled mind: Titus 1:15

-A fleshly mind: Ephesians 2:3

-A hardened mind: Daniel 5:20

-A doubtful mind: Luke 12:29

-A vain mind: Ephesians 4:17

-A blinded mind: 2 Corinthians 3:14

-A seared mind and conscience: Titus 1:15

-A despiteful mind: Ezekiel 36:5

-An evil mind: Acts 14:2

-An unbelieving mind: 2 Corinthians 4:4

-A fainting mind: Hebrews 12:3

-A reprobate mind: 2 Timothy 3:8

-A double minded mind: James 1:8; 4:8

-A corrupt mind: 1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 3:8; 2 Corinthians 11:3

-A reprobate mind: Romans 1:28-32.

Positive mental qualities to develop:

-A ready mind: 2 Corinthians 8:19; 1 Peter 5:2; Acts 17:11

-A pure mind: 2 Peter 3:1

-A stayed mind: Isaiah 26:3

-A renewed mind: Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2

-A humble mind: Colossians 3:12; Acts 20:19

-A sober mind: Titus 2:6

-A sound mind: 2 Timothy 1:7

-A mind of love: Matthew 22:37

-A serving mind: Romans 7:25

-A fully persuaded mind: Romans 14:5

-A fervent mind: 2 Corinthians 7:7

-A willing mind: 2 Corinthians 8:12