In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus encourages us to pray that we would not be “led into temptation, but that God would deliver us from the evil one.” This is an important prayer, but what steps do we need to take to overcome temptation in our lives? Let me suggest a path:
1. Recognize the possibility of Temptation. Matthew 24:43 reminds us that forewarned is forearmed. We must never all into the trap of false security that “I will never be tempted.”
2. Request Help in Time of Temptation. The Lord told the disciples in Matthew 16:41 to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. We should ask God to make us sensitive to that moment of awareness, and then choose to take the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13)
3. Resist the Devil and He will Flee from you (James 4:7). To do this we must know the Word of God be willing to be obedient to it. Even if obedience is hard.
4. Retreat from certain kinds of temptations. (1 Cor. 10:14; 6:18; 1 Tim. 6:10-11). Wise believers recognize that there are degrees of difference in the perils we face. There is a time to resist and a time to retreat.
5. Remove any means of sin far from you (Matthew 5:30). This is known as radical amputation. We will do what we need to do in order to avoid the temptation that is coming before us.
6. Replace Bad influences with good ones (Proverbs 13:20) This is a touch point for some. But here are times when we need to stand back, take a hard look and decided who is influencing whom. The answer is to replace poor models with strong ones.
7. Resolve to take the high road (1 Corinthians 9:27). Understand that there are no short cuts to where we need to go. We must determine in our minds to do whatever it takes to maintain the direction of our focus.
We can spend our lives building walls to block out the temptation. But UNLESS we build the inner man and allow Christ to renew our hearts and our minds; UNLESS we cultivate the ministry of the Holy Spirit daily reading the Word of God, and becoming strong in the Lord so that the pressures within can withstand the pressure outside us, we will not find the victory that we look and long for. there is no easy accesses to victory over sin and temptation, but the pursuit of God is rewarding and satisfying.