Now that you may be facing some sort of sexual temptation and you don’t know how to go about it. This post is to help you overcome temptation.
Temptation is the urge to do a thing, especially something that is not right.
Is temptation wrong? No! Temptation in itself is not wrong. Every human being will be tempted. But the problem is when we yield to it, that is, when we do what we are tempted to do. So how to overcome it? How not to do wrong when tempted? How to battle the thoughts in mind?
Here are few thoughts. Feel free to share your views on this in the comment section below.
Get prepared beforehand
Today or tomorrow this temptation will attack you. So it is always better to be prepared. Know your weak areas beforehand, so that you can avoid the situations and the possibilities of doing wrong.
Why get prepared?
The reason is that, the moment when we are tempted, it is difficult to think too much and take a wise decision. This is where many people fall. Believe me, it is very difficult to apply all these so called ‘principles’ or ‘rules’ at that instant when we are tempted.
For example, if I speak specifically on the temptation of lust, the moment you get an opportunity to watch something sexual in content, which you know, is not good for you, you might have already fallen into it, before even you start applying ‘the principles to overcome it’. Am I right? So, if you really want to win the sexual battles going on in your mind, it is always wise to equip yourself to face the battle of lust beforehand, even before you are tempted. That’s the whole intention of this post.. Work on your weak areas and get prepared.
That is why, Jesus taught us to pray like this,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matt 6:13
What was Jesus trying to teach us in this prayer about temptation?
We have to pray in advance so that during temptation we may not yield to doing wrong. During temptation, the urge to do wrong will be intense, and your will power to overcome it will be less. Hence, you may commit the mistake very soon, even before you think about the consequences. That is why prayer is very essential, so that you will be equipped with God’s help, so that during temptation, you will receive the extraordinary strength from God to overcome it.
That was why Jesus again taught His disciples this:
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak means you may want to do good and avoid doing wrong, but you are sometimes unable to achieve it because your body is weak. This is why prayer and preparation is highly essential. Knowing this secret will help you get prepared beforehand through prayer, so you will receive that extraordinary help from God to overcome it.
An intense desire not to do wrong
To overcome temptation, you must have an intense desire to stay away from doing wrong.
Why do you want to stay away from doing that?
The answer to this question will determine your course of action while you are being tempted. If you enjoy doing the same wrong thing, there is less chance that you come out of it. Next time when you are faced with temptation, you will easily fall into it, as your desire is to do it again. Therefore, the first step in overcoming temptation is to have an intense desire NOT TO do wrong.
As you know, there are lot of sexual content right in front you, just a click away. Is it really possible to overcome the sexual temptations popping up infront of you? I say, yes! But not with your own strength.
The greatest reason for not yielding to watch all sort of sexual content, should be to keep your mind and thought always pure. That desire to be healthy in mind, spirit and body should be your motivation for not yielding to sexual temptations.
Is it really possible to stay strong at times of temptation?
Yes. When you come to a closer relationship with God in prayer, your thoughts will start becoming pure and you will start hating wrong things, because you will know that it will defile your mind, body and spirit. The closer you walk with God, the more wise you will become to know the consequences of every thought you think, and every action you do.
Know what is right and what is wrong
Today, we live in a culture, where there is nothing such as right or wrong. It is hard to differentiate right from wrong. But I have a personal approach for this, which has always worked for me. I believe, it will be useful for you as well. According to me, whatever God has inspired through the Bible as ‘right’ is right and ‘wrong’ is wrong.
Let me give you an example. This is what Jesus said about evil thoughts.
I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:28
That means, if you think lustfully or evil about someone from an opposite gender, or think some sort of sexual fantasy in your mind, then, according to Jesus, it is equivalent to the very physical act itself in the sight of God. Seems strange? Yes, but it’s true! Hence we have to take this issue very seriously. But our culture and the media is so full of such content that it is extremely difficult to stay pure in mind. That’s where we need the help of God.
Do you think this is impossible?
As I said before, it’s difficult but not impossible. Jesus would never tell us to do something which we cannot do, will He? So, I believe this is perfectly possible, with the help of God.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt 19:26
So inorder to know right from wrong, it is better to ask God himself, because He decides what is right and what is wrong. Does He not have the legal right to define it, since He is God Almighty? Therefore, to overcome temptation, it is extremely important to know what is right and what is wrong in the sight of God. So the best way is to read and meditate the Bible which contains the very words of God, which will help us understand how God thinks and what is right in His sight.
Now you know ‘what is right’ and you have a desire to ‘do that which is right’ and you are ‘praying’ about it to be able to ‘withstand at the time of temptation’. What next?
Yes, flee or run away or escape! Keep yourself away from all possibilities of temptations. Let me explain.
What does it mean to flee or run away?
I have read this sentence in another blog post, Fear God and mercilessly, block every source of sin. This really works. Stay away from anything which entices you.
I have heard this famous phrase, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, which is very true. Keep yourself busy with useful things. Keep away from things which easily entices you.
Did Joseph take advantage of her?
There is a great story in the Bible, about Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, was taken to Egypt where he was sold to Potiphar, as a household slave. Potiphar made Joseph the head of his household. Joseph was very handsome and young. Naturally, Mrs Potiphar (the wife of Potiphar), “took notice of Joseph”. One day, when her master was not at home, she tried to seduce Joseph to lay with her. The story goes like this
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. (Genesis 39)
She then became furious at Joseph for resisting her attempts to seduce him, and falsely accused him of attempted rape. Potiphar casts Joseph into prison. And the story goes on.
Here my point is that Joseph was tempted day after day, and had all the opportunity right infront of him to commit adultery, but still he did not yield to it.
Then what did he do? He tried to avoid being with her and when she caught hold of him, he just ran away or He escaped!
Yes, avoid tempting situations, run away! That’s the best option to resist yielding to temptation whenever you are attacked by it. Close that laptop, switch off that mobile, close that chat window, don’t look at it again, just quit and escape! Do whatever you can to stay away from it, if you want to be healthy in mind, spirit and body. This is a battle you need to discipline yourself daily to win. God can definitely help you in this.
See what the Bible says
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
In an other translation
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (NLT)
Let me summarize
- Get prepared beforehand by praying
- Have a great desire to do the right thing in the sight of God
- Keep yourself busy doing good things
- Keep reading the Word of God so you will become more wise
- Finally flee, during the time of temptation
Therefore do not wait till that day to overcome it. Prepare beforehand and you will not yield to it again.
What can you do to get prepared for the day of temptation? Share your views below. This is your time to share your thoughts with other readers who are reading this.