Most believers are often troubled by various temptations they encounter in life, such as money, status, fame, eroticism, and life’s pleasures. So how can we overcome temptations and stand witness? I’d like to share with you three paths of practice for overcoming temptations.
When we come across temptations, the best practice is to first come before God to pray and seek His will. The Lord Jesus said, “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). When temptations come upon us, God secretly observes our attitudes to see if we have the desire to seek the truth and stand witness. When we genuinely pray and call out to God, God will guide us to understand His will so that we can know the right thing to do. Then, we will be able to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes and overcome temptations. However, if we don’t come before God to pray and seek His will, we, who can’t see and understand things with our physical eyes, will be easily deceived and fall into temptation. As a result, at best our relationship with God will become abnormal, and at worst we will live in inescapable sin, resist and rebel against God, and even deny, betray and abandon God. Therefore, if we want to overcome temptations, we must frequently come before God, pray and seek His will. Only this is being a wise person.
For example, when we are expending for God, other people tempt us to make money—this is encountering the temptation of wealth. It is inevitable that we will face an internal battle. At times like this, if we don’t come before God to pray and seek, we will easily fall prey to Satan’s temptations and leave God. However, if we pray and call on God, God will guide us to understand His intentions and see through Satan’s cunning schemes. The Lord Jesus warned us, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). From this we can see that if we don’t pursue the truth and fail to attain life, even though our pockets are full of money, it will be completely empty and meaningless. Lots of people spend a lifetime toiling and rushing about in pursuit of wealth, fame and fortune, and every day they are physically and mentally exhausted and live miserably. Some people even are riddled with illness in order to make big money, and in the face of death, their money, fame and fortune can’t save them. So what use are those things? We come into this world without them and leave without them too. Are they not all emptiness? As believers in God, we should pursue and understand the truth, and gain the truth as our life, and we will then be able to enter the kingdom of heaven and obtain the promise and blessings God bestows upon us humans. But Satan tries to tempt us by means of money, to make us shun and betray God and fall into the all-consuming jaws of wealth, so that in the end we will be fully captured by evil trends and lose God’s blessings. This is Satan’s cunning scheme and evil intention. After we understand this, no matter how others seduce us with enticing words, we will not sink into temptation and shun and betray God.
So when we are tempted, it is important for us to first quiet our hearts before God and pray to God in seeking, for only thus can we understand God’s will and see through Satan’s cunning schemes, and only then can we overcome temptations, stand testimony for God, and earn God’s praise.
God says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
“The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan.”
God’s words show us that if we wish to overcome temptations, on top of praying to God in seeking, we also have to arm ourselves more with the truth. For the more of the truth we understand, the more discernment we gain on all of Satan’s deceitful schemes. This way we will be able to stand firm when temptations come.
For example, we read the Lord’s words that say, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We can understand from these words that the Lord Jesus requires us to be honest people, not to be crooked or crafty, and not to tell lies, for only honest people can enter God’s kingdom. If we are equipped with this aspect of the truth in advance, then in life, when other people tempt us to obtain profits by cheating and lying, we will be able to think of the Lord’s requirement for us to be honest people, and know that if we lie and cheat for the sake of our own interests, then that is rebelling against and resisting God and doing evil. We will also realize that if we tell lies and engage in deception, that is falling prey to Satan’s trickery, and that if we always do so with no true repentance, we will ultimately be detested, rejected and eliminated by God, and lose the opportunity to be saved and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Then, we will see through Satan’s trickery on the foundation of an understanding of the truth, and we will then be able to practice being honest in accordance with the Lord’s words and overcome that temptation.
So, to overcome temptations, we should normally read more of God’s words and arm ourselves with more truths—this is a crucial path.
The Bible says, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).
God’s words say, “Do not engage with anything that pulls your heart toward external matters, or with people who separate your heart from God. Whatever it is that can distract your heart from being close to God, put it aside, or stay away from it. This is of greater benefit to your life.”
Here, we see that consciously shunning and avoiding temptations is also a path to keeping our hearts from leaving God and to overcoming temptations. Just like Job in the Bible, to fear God and shun evil, he took some practical actions, such as rejecting and staying away from his children’s feasts to protect himself from sinking into temptation and sinning against God. Today, as we have been profoundly corrupted by Satan, we don’t have the strength to overcome sin, all love the pleasures of sin and can’t withstand the temptation and seduction of Satan. If we know well that there is temptation yet we don’t distance ourselves from it and instead follow it, then we will be the ignorant people who walk into traps, and will only fall into Satan’s temptation, commit sin and resist God, and thus be loathed and abandoned by God.
If we want to overcome temptations, we should follow the example of Job and consciously remove ourselves from temptations, for only in this way can we be protected by God. For instance, we are often invited by our friends or colleagues to places of entertainment such as nightclubs and karaoke bars. We all know that these places are filled with seduction and temptations and that being in that kind of environment makes us prone to sinning and displeasing God. If we can consciously shun these entertainment venues teeming with temptations, then we will be able to avoid falling into temptations, committing sin and displeasing God. So, shunning all the people, events, things and environments that can cause us to degenerate and sin and leaving Satan no room to maneuver is the most intelligent thing to do.
If we can train ourselves and practice in accordance with the above three paths, we will be able to overcome temptations. Meanwhile, we can gain God’s care and protection, so that our hearts won’t leave God.
Editor’s Note: We believe that, after reading this article, you will now know the paths to overcoming temptations. If this article has been helpful to you, please share it with others. If you find you have any other issues or questions in your belief, you are welcomed to leave a comment below, or contact us via online chat.