Life At Its Best: Fighting temptation through power of Scripture
When my kids were young, we'd often visit the feed store. They loved playing with all the different animals, but there was one they were never allowed to touch. It was a parrot that had been there for many years. Over time, he'd become pretty snappy, and we never knew what he might do.
One day, one of my sons was standing near his cage, and as usual, I warned him to keep his distance. Minutes later, I heard a scream echoing from his direction. He ran to me with blood streaming down his finger.
He explained that he was initially just watching the parrot play. Then when he noticed his bright, beautiful feathers, he decided to pet him. At first, he seemed pretty harmless. But before he knew it, the pretty parrot had bit his finger.
This is a simple illustration, but it reminds me of how temptation works in our lives. It often looks appealing and harmless in the beginning. It creates a desire in us to pursue something that we likely know we shouldn't. We slowly get drawn in further and further, until what once seemed harmless, ends up bringing us serious pain.
We've all been in this position before. In fact, the Bible tells us that each one of us will face temptation for the rest of our lives. Thankfully, God promises to help us resist it. In His Word, we find strategies that lead us to triumph.
The first strategy is to be aware of your area of weakness. We're all tempted in different ways and by different things. To overcome these temptations, we must learn to identify them and avoid environments that make it easier to give into them. It's also helpful to look up and memorize scriptures that equip you to fight them well.
Then, build relationships that keep you accountable. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, "Two are better than one, for they help each other succeed."
Establish relationships with people who will help you live by a higher standard and who are striving for that standard themselves. Seek godly wisdom from those who've experienced victory in your area of weakness. Allow the right people to help you make right decisions.
Lastly, rely on God's grace. We all have times when we feel too weak to resist. In those moments we must remember that, even in our weakest state, God's strength is enough. As 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "God's grace is sufficient, and His power works best in weakness."
We don't have to resist temptation alone. Allow the Holy Spirit to help and guide you. Be real with Him about your struggles. Ask Him for strength and wisdom to overcome. He'll never let you down!
Today, ask yourself: what wrong desires might bring you pain? Identify those areas of weakness. Start building relationships that will help you overcome them, and rely on God's strength to stand strong when temptation comes. You are an overcomer.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.