“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
While no Christian alive on this earth will ever be totally free from temptation, we certainly can do some things to guard ourselves against it. Depending on our gender, our age, and the circumstances of our life, Satan is sure to put unique enticements in our way – and do so constantly! The great apostle James spoke to this very fact when he gave three steps in learning to build a defense against temptation.
First, resist. “… Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” James 4:7b. The first step is to be proactive and act before an enticement even enters into your head by reading, meditating and acting on the Word of God. The best way to resist Satan is through biblical obedience.
The second step is to draw close to God. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” James 4:8a. My experience over the years in observing God’s people has been that while they are in church, praising the Lord, or listening to a Bible message, they are not likely to let’s say, be smoking marijuana. While this is an extreme example, it points out the value of staying close to God. Satan loves to attack believers when they are alone, tired or not doing something positive.
The third step is to purify our hearts. “…Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” James 4:8b. That is to seek to please God rather than any other thing in this world. Adopt the single purpose in life of serving God first.
Friends, while we can never completely eliminate temptation, we can certainly take steps to be strong in the Lord by erecting barriers of protection around our heart and mind.
Weak in the Flesh but Strong in the Lord,
Dr. Tim Pollock, Senior Pastor