Day 22: Temptation
Why do I keep having these thoughts?
Written by John Beckett
Series: 30 Day Next Steps
“The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Peter 2:9)
A tenacious and destructive force is at work in the life of every believer. Temptation is the continuing effect and downward pull of our former life, with all its bad habits. Its goal is to hinder our close walk with the Lord. Temptation in itself is not fatal. But yielding to it can have deep and lasting consequences. Our best counterstrategy is early detection and bold corrective action.
Christians are not immune to evil thoughts and behaviors. In fact, because believers are of such value to the Lord, we can become even greater targets than non-believers. Our adversary is cunning and finds all kinds of ways to tempt us. The Apostle John urged that we carefully guard ourselves in three areas: “…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (see 1 John 2:16).
- Lust of the flesh might involve self-indulgence, obsessive focus on one’s body or impure sexual thoughts.
- Lust of the eyes refers to what we illicitly crave. Be careful what you let your eyes see!
- Pride of life manifests in self-promotion, selfish ambition and advancement at the expense of others.
Don’t try to battle temptation on your own. The next time you are tempted, call out to the Lord for help, for “He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). With each victory you gain greater strength. God is faithful and will make a way of escape (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Avoiding temptation means saying no. The small choices start to add up. What do you need to say no to? Talking to someone, called accountability, can help you make the right choices.