Oh hey! I realized that a couple of days ago I told you what temptation was, so this morning I want to explain how you can win over temptation! That is only fair, don’t you think? Well first, I want to assure you that you will never discover the power to bear up and not yield to temptation from stuffing our Bibles full of notes, or our minds with Scripture verses, or making vows or promises, or spending hours in prayer and fasting, or even in giving ourselves over to a great spiritual cause. Certainly, all these things are commendable and normal for Christian growth, but that is not where our victory lies.
The simple secret of bearing up under any temptation is to break the fear of Satan’s power! For Satan, fear is like the oil on fish, it is part of his nature. Fear is also the only power over men that Satan has. Paul told Timothy that God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and a calm and well-balanced mind. Satan is the only source of fear! But too many of us are afraid of the devil. We are frightened by demons. Afraid of failure. Afraid that our appetites and habits can’t be changed. Afraid of inner desires, that they will erupt and control our life. Afraid we are one of a thousand who may be different, full of lust, and beyond help.
Too many of us are afraid that we cannot quit our sins. We credit Satan with the power he doesn’t have. We give him far more credit than he is due. We cry out, “I’m hooked and can’t stop! I’m spellbound and in the devil’s power. The devil makes me do it!”
Oh man, fear does have its torment. And as long as you are afraid of the devil, you will never break the power of any temptation. Satan thrives on fear and Christians who are afraid of the devil have little or no power to resist.
This is all based on a lie! The lie is that Satan has the power to break Christians down under pressure. Not so! Jesus came to destroy all the power of the devil over blood-washed children of God! I have often wondered why God allows spiritual people to be so tempted. Why doesn’t He simply remove all temptations instead of what Paul describes as “making a way of escape that we may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13)?
The answer is simple. Once you learn how powerless Satan is — once you learn that he can’t make you do anything — once you learn God has all power to keep you from falling — from then on you can “bear up” under anything Satan throws at you. You can go through it without being afraid you will fall!
Are you a recovering alcoholic? How about being a recovered, redeemed, free and victorious alcoholic? Can’t you break the “habit” of cigarettes? Jesus will set you free. Are you battling addictions of various kinds? Go free!
We aren’t delivered from temptation, but from the fear of the devil to make us yield to it! There is a humongous difference! We will keep on being tempted until we come to the place of “rest” in our faith. That rest is the unshakeable confidence that God has defeated Satan, that Satan has no right or claim on us, and that we will come forth as gold tried in the fire.
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