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Friday, January 18, 2013

How To Overcome Temptation - Refuse


by Arthelo Palma

Introduction (Please click to read)

Tip number one: Reason out (Please click to read)

How To Overcome Temptation - Refuse

So let us move a notch higher this time as we are almost about to complete the schemes we need to give Satan the moment he would throw open the floodgates of temptation to us. 

Aside from the fact that God has given us the opportunity to reason out when faced with temptation, here is another idea we need to congregate with the first tip we have just learned and apply with all touch of dexterity to stand against Satan’s deceptive plots opposed to us.

How should we react to temptation? The second point is act in response to it by using our WILL (Lim, 1990).

God gives us all free will, allowing us to understand and choose right from wrong, and good from bad. So we sin when we know it is wrong but we are still doing it.

With our will, we are adept of making decision, so in this way, God would guide us but we are responsible to decide and be accountable to our individual actions. God could not decide for us because He designed us having our free will, but one vital role He plays in our life is to provide us His DIVINE GUIDANCE. Now, it is up to us to listen to Him (follow His will) or follow our own will. Note, if God does not give us free will, then we should not hear Him teaching us about OBEDIENCE from time to time.        

Allow me to cite once again the life of Joseph and how he successfully used his will in line with the will of God. Prior to implementing his will, we learned that Joseph managed to reason out, pointing before Satan that having sex with Potiphar’s wife is a wicked thing and a sin against God (Genesis 39:9). Joseph understood this point quite well. Consequently, even though he spoke day after day to Potiphar’s wife, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her (Genesis 39:10). This is a manifestation of employing his own will, as seen through his high level of SELF-CONTROL, resulting his will aligned with the will of God. In other words, Joseph managed to refuse Satan’s wicked scheme.

Job’s wife challenged him to curse God in the midst of his trials (Job 2:9). Job, a man of INTEGRITY managed to reason out and he chose to believe that God is a good God even in his troubles (Job 2:10). It is then clear that Satan was trying to convince Job to curse his God amidst his troubles, but Job opted to choose to believe the goodness of God even in his trials. In other words, Job managed to refuse Satan’s wicked scheme.   

When Jesus was fasting for forty days and became hungry, Satan was convincing Him to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:3). Jesus’ fasting for forty days is His commitment to the Father, so He would eventually sin when He would give in to Satan’s idea of turning stones into bread and have something to eat. However, Jesus managed to reason out, His first act of contradicting Satan’s plot by telling him that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). After this, Jesus stood still to believe in this reason and eventually succeeded fighting against Satan’s deception because He chose to trust in what He understood from the WORD OF GOD. In other words, Jesus managed to refuse Satan’s wicked scheme. 

The problem with some Christians lies on not being able to refuse Satan’s evil intent. It is clear that it would become harder to refuse to temptation if in the first place a Christian will not be able to reason out. Thus, the mind, as designed by God, gives us power which particularly enhances our free will to be aligned with God’s.

So here are some noteworthy ideas we need to know for us to exercise our free will and successfully align it with God’s.

Just like Joseph, we need to exercise self-control, by using our mind in reasoning out, and then we could finally refuse Satan’s scheme.

Just like Job, we need to exercise integrity, by using our mind in reasoning out, and then we could refuse Satan’s plot associated with jeopardizing God’s wonderful plan for our future.

Just like Jesus, we need to apply God’s Words (found in the BIBLE) and use our mind to reason out and beat Satan, so we could finally refuse giving in to his deceptive plans.   

Remember, refusing Satan is a decision to make, and it involves our free will. Learn to understand that we only have two options in this world, and generally, they could either be good or bad, and we are free to choose which of which.

So the next time around Satan would lure you to sinning, feel free to use your mind, manage to reason out, and then exercise your will for good and refuse.

If you want to read the first tip on how to overcome temptation, kindly click on this article “How to overcome temptation: Reason out.” 

If you want to read the third tip on how to overcome temptation, kindly click on this article "How to overcome temptation: Run."

Reference

Lim, B. (1990). Bible study guides. Manila: OMF Literature Inc. 

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