Overcoming Temptation

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about this topic. This is an important topic to know, as a lot of people don’t believe that we can overcome temptation, whereas the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say differently. That is why I want to get this information out there;  this is something that we all struggle with and it is because we forget a very simple thing.

It is a simple thing to do, yet it is hard to actually do it, but if we don’t start applying this in our life, and doing it, we will never gain the victory. That is a serious thing because how can we go up against the big trials without first passing the small trials? The answer is that we can’t… if we do not first overcome the small trials and tribulations, or overcome any sin that so easily besets us, we will not be a part of the kingdom of heaven.

That is a somber thought indeed, but do not lose hope! We are given great insurances of how we can overcome and we told how we can do it! All is not lost; we just have to do what is written and do it every single moment of every single day.

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In this blog, I will cover how we can gain the victory, the steps which we follow, and how we need not fall into a pit of despair because we keep falling into temptation. There is a way out, all we need to do is stretch forth our hand to the Savior and He will take hold and pull us out of the miry clay.

Psalm 40:2 – He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

There are several things that we can do to resist the Devil, it is amazing how many things that the Lord has given us so that we can resist temptation. Jesus Himself gives us the example of Him in the wilderness. Read about it in Matthew 4:1-11, when you read it you will notice how Jesus answers the Devil, and He quotes scripture to rebuke the Devil. Until finally Jesus passed all the tests and the Lord told the Devil:

Matthew 4:10, 11 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

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Right away when we feel the temptation to do something wrong, we need to immediately start praying and quoting scripture. Rebuking the Devil, and then start thinking of heavenly things. Start singing hymns, the heavenly music will drive the Devil away. These are all the main key components in fleeing the Devil.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

There are so many examples in the Bible, but one of my favorite examples is Joseph. He was tempted by a beautiful woman, but what did he say and do when that temptation was brought forth?

Genesis 39:9; 12 – There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? …And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

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He spoke up and told her that he would not sin against God or her husband, and when she persisted, he fled the room. He didn’t stay around to be tempted to do what was wrong, he ran away from it. Because of it he was falsely accused and sentenced to prison, but God worked through him and used those purposes for His purposes. Never once did Joseph complain about his circumstances, or blame the Lord for the bad things that occurred in his life, he knew that the Lord would be with him no matter what. Joseph trusted the Lord with his life.

Another example is Daniel, he was also was thrust into a world that was not his own and full of wickedness, but he did not succumb to the temptations around him.

CTBH 22.1 – In the Babylonian court, Daniel was surrounded by allurements to sin, but by the help of Christ he maintained his integrity. HE WHO CANNOT RESIST TEMPTATION, WITH EVERY FACILITY WHICH HAS BEEN PLACED WITHIN HIS REACH, IS NOT REGISTERED IN THE BOOKS OF HEAVEN AS A MAN. The Lord never places men in positions so trying that it is beyond their power to withstand evil. DIVINE POWER IS EVER READY TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN HIM WHO HAS BEEN MADE A PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE.

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We must reach out to the Lord and when we are in His hands, we will have that Divine Nature helping us to overcome the temptations! We cannot wait or just do it because we want to. Too often we make excuses for our sin, or we just plain don’t care and we do it anyway. Or we think there is plenty of time to put off the sin at a later point in time, but sometimes it is to late to put away that wickedness. We must live every day as if it is our last, and yet still prepare our hearts and lives for eternity.

In order to save the fallen race, Christ, the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth as our Redeemer. Here He lived as a Man among men, meeting the temptations that we must meet, and overcoming thru strength from above. By His sinless life He demonstrated that thru the power of God it is possible for man to withstand Satan’s temptations. {ST, May 6, 1908 par. 7}
We may endeavor to resist temptation in our own strength, doing our best to overcome; but we shall meet with disappointment after disappointment. And thus it is in our efforts to win men and women to the Saviour. Dependence on our own wisdom will result in repeated failure, causing us much anxiety and sorrow. This was the condition of mind in which Christ found the fishermen on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, after their night of unrewarded labor. {ST, May 6, 1908 par. 8}

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We can hardly conceive what man may become, what God can do thru him. Tho fallen and degraded, he may, thru the merits of Christ, be an heir of immortality, his thoughts elevated and ennobled, his heart purified, his conversation in heaven. {ST, January 30, 1901 par. 5}
Let me say to him who is struggling to overcome, God presents before you a strong hope that you may lay hold on eternal life. Lose not your opportunity for becoming a man. When you look at yourself, and think of the strength of temptation, you say, “I can not resist.” I tell you that you can resist. Tho you are weak and degraded, you may be a child of God. Tho self-indulgence has marked your path, it need not always be thus. You can resist temptation. Jesus is your Helper. In His strength you can overcome the power of appetite. Summon will-power to your aid; for unless your will is placed on the Lord’s side, you can never be successful in overcoming, in trying to elevate yourself. Do not think that you can not say, I can and I will. God has pledged Himself to help you in every determined effort you make to regain your manhood. If you accept His help, you will become a bright and shining light in the world, and will at last hear the benediction, “Well done.” {ST, January 30, 1901 par. 6}

God created Adam pure and noble, but thru the indulgence of appetite he fell. Yet notwithstanding the great gulf thus opened between God and man, Christ loved the hopeless sinner. He left His royal throne, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to our world to bridge the gulf which sin had made, and to unite divine power with human weakness, that in His strength and grace man might wrestle against Satan’s temptations, overcome, and stand in his God-given manhood, a victor over perverted appetite and degrading passions. The last words of David to Solomon, his son, who was soon to be seated on the throne of Israel, were, “Be strong, and show thyself a man.” To the weak and tempted one I address the same words, “Show thyself a man.” I point him to the cross of Calvary. In the name of Jesus I bid him look and live. Destroy not yourself. It is possible for you to gain the ascendency over appetite and passion. Jesus is reaching over the battlements of heaven to lift you in His strong arms and set you upon your feet. {ST, January 30, 1901 par. 7}

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Life is in all cases burdened with weighty responsibilities, and happy will it be for those who brace themselves to meet it manfully, with Christ-like steadfastness resisting every temptation, with Christ-like fortitude bearing every trial, and overcoming in the name of the Redeemer. God has made man capable of constant progress in mental and moral worth. No other creature of His hand is capable of such advancement. Man can reach an eminence in self-control that will place him above the slavery of appetite and passions, where he can stand before God with thankfulness and rejoicing. {ST, January 30, 1901 par. 8}

To those who are contending with the power of habit, God says: “Would you walk by and by the streets of the holy city? Then obey the command, Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. I, the infinite God, the Creator of the universe, will receive you. I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.” “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Connect with Heaven. Thus you may become children of the heavenly King. Do you want higher honor, greater exaltation? Riches God has in abundance for those who overcome; for the streets of the holy city are paved with gold. It is your privilege to enter this city, to partake of the tree of life, to listen to the voice that is sweeter and richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ears.

There is strength in the arm of the Lord. Take hold upon it, and you will one day stand victors in the city of God, each wearing on his brow a crown of immortal glory.  Mrs. E. G. White. {ST, January 30, 1901 par. 9}

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We can be overcomers through Christ, when temptations come knocking, we have the ability, through Christ, to overcome the temptation. It is our choice whether or not to go to Jesus right at the moment of temptation, it is our choice to do what is right. The Lord gives us the freedom to choose between right and wrong.

The tools are all available for us to not fall into sin, we must die daily Paul says. We must pray without ceasing, we must praise the Lord through the tribulations and sunshine, thanking Him for all that befalls us. We must read and study the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. We must put the word of the Lord in our hearts and hid them there, so that we may say, It is written, just like Jesus did in the wilderness.

If we do not get to the point in our Christian walk where we overcome, we will not be able to pass through the time of tribulation. In that time there will be no intercessor, we will have to have a strong faith and a strong connection already, that we can withstand every sin that may come our way.

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1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

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Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

We must work very hard to this end, because time is not on our side, it is coming to an end and fast. When we sin, we have an advocate with Jesus, but that time will soon end. Soon, very soon Jesus will be coming out of the Most Holy Place and the intercession on our behalf will be at an end. This is very serious, this is why we must work every moment, of every day on our walk with Christ.

A righteous man falls 7 times the Bible says, Proverbs 24:16-18, and that is because he keeps getting back up with Jesus help, it is only through much prayer that we will be able to overcome every sin!

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Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Will man take hold of divine power, and with determination and perseverance resist Satan, as Christ has given him example in His conflict with the foe in the wilderness of temptation? God cannot save man against his will from the power of Satan’s artifices. Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory that it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ. This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part; he must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Christ gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming. {AG 254.2}
The victims of evil habit must be aroused to the necessity of making an effort for themselves. Others may put forth the most earnest endeavor to uplift them, the grace of God may be freely offered, Christ may entreat, His angels may minister; but all will be in vain unless they themselves are roused to fight the battle in their own behalf. . . . {AG 254.3}

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Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart. {AG 254.4}
The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer. {AG 254.5}

There is so much about this, it isn’t once saved always saved though, it is a continual effort on our part. That is also why Paul said: 1 Corinthians 15:31 – I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

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We must die to ourselves on a daily basis, putting away the things we once loved. Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

As you can see there are plenty of Bible and Spirit of Prophecy quotes about this topic, it is possible and we MUST get to this, the salvation of our souls depends on it. We must confess our sins and strive for mastery in ALL things.

1 Corinthians 9:25 – And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

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The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. {SD 156.4}

We have the best advice; we need only apply it. I want to overcome sin, don’t you?

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