James 4:7-8, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
1 Corinthians 10:13,"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
"The devil made me do it" is a common phrase. Is it true? Certainly, the devil is very clever. He knows what buttons to push and what weaknesses to exploit in us. But, he can't force us to do anything; he can only tempt us.
So, how do we resist? Don't take the bait: change the channel, close the web browser, and ignore that text. If something or someone in your life is a constant source of temptation, remove it! Why give the enemy any leverage? And remember, you're only as sick as your secrets. Be vulnerable with a friend, parent, or leader that can help you take healthy steps.
God promises that He will help us through temptation. Remember these truths:
- No matter how ashamed or isolated you feel, you are not alone in temptation.
- You will not be tempted beyond what you can stand, even if it feels overwhelming.
- God will provide a way out.
- Humble yourself and turn to God for help. You will see that He's instantly by your side.
The question is not IF we will be tempted, but WHEN. Are you ready?
Do you have any relationships or behaviors that are red flags of temptation? What can you do today to remove them or avoid the situation?
God, thank You for the promise that when I am tempted, You are right there, ready to help me. Give me the discernment to avoid situations and side-step temptation when I can. In Jesus' name, Amen.