Love is in the air as we all know… It’s Valentine’s season when the most number of babies are conceived due to the expression of love, if you get what I mean. Not a bad idea for married couples but for unmarried singles, a clause is put to it. Love is in the air, so is great temptation. These days, premarital sex is no longer seen as a big deal. It’s now more like the normal thing to do when in a dating relationship or when the aim is just for the mutual benefits attached to it. The truth still remains that sex before marriage or outside of marriage remains unacceptable in the sight of God.
I belong to a study group on watsapp, where we pray for each other, read edifying books including the Bible and then get to share our various views to edify one another. So in the past month, we’ve been reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (Trust me, it’s a must-read!), were each member was allocated chapters with the corresponding days to summarize what he/she learnt. I was opportune to share on overcoming temptation so I’ll love to share here what I learnt and has been helping me as well (I’m not perfect, sometimes I fall too). Speaking on overcoming temptation, it doesn’t only apply to sexual temptation alone but all forms of temptation in general, ranging from gossip to lies, stealing, covetousness, jealousy, gluttony and what have you. The reason I’m laying emphasis on sexual temptation is because it is the most experienced form of temptation that people easily fall for and become a slave to in our present day world. This is also the season when it runs wild.
First of all, I’ll start by saying that God will never permit you to experience any temptation you cannot overcome (1 Corinthians 10:13). So the next time you get tempted, remember you are bigger than it and you have the power to overcome. As a matter of fact, we get tempted based on the things our flesh desire and on the things we open up our hearts/mind to. Isaiah 54:17 says “no weapon FASHIONED”… Emphasis laid on FASHIONED meaning that the word “weapon” used in the context can be the temptations we face and this basically means that temptation is usually fashioned for every individual (better put: tailored, custom made, carved out based on your being). So we get tempted based on what we are about and what we desire. For example, a person who isn’t desperate or moved by money will not necessarily be tempted with money to steal, he/she will be tempted based on what he/she is moved by. If a guy’s brain twitches just at the mere sight of a female, he’ll easily be tempted to start thinking immorally about that lady and when he allows the thoughts eat deep, those thoughts begin to find expression in reality (this is where fornication, masturbation and pornography takes its course).
IT ALL STARTS FROM THE MIND
The battle against sin (falling into temptation) is won or lost in the mind first before it turns out to be a reality. Now the question are; WHAT IS YOUR MIND THINKING??? WHAT ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR MIND???… Your mind will think only what you permit it to think and what you expose it to. We are admonished in the Bible to “Flee from every appearance of evil” meaning that if something kinda-sorta-seems like or has the potential to be evil, RUN!!! If we had superpowers I’ll say disappear/vanish. Do not wait to access or analyze if that thing really and truly is evil because you most likely will end up falling a victim. Remember “it was curiosity that killed the cat”
RESISTING THE DEVIL AND GUARDING YOUR THOUGHTS
There’s usually a mix up between resisting the devil and resisting temptation. You truly cannot resist a thought, can you???? (Temptation starts as a thought in the mind). It’s the reason why we are advised countless times to guard our hearts and be careful of the things we expose our heart/mind to (certain movies, shows, social media, music, gist e.t.c) because they eventually lay a foundation of your thoughts and out of the thoughts of your heart flows the issues of life. So since temptation begins as a thought, the best way to deal with it is to turn your attention to something else before it eats deeper. Do not fight the thought because the more you fight and resist the thought, the more you lay more focus on it and the more the thought persists. We naturally move towards what we focus our attention on. So try as much as possible to shift your focus from/ignore the temptation by distracting yourself with something else. Shifting your attention may mean getting up and walking away from that gossip group, turning off or changing that tv/radio station, turning of/changing the music, avoiding mushy dark corners alone with the opposite sex, etc. To avoid being stung by bees, you may consider keeping away from them and even their habitat/surrounding.
IT’S OKAY TO CONFIDE IN/CONFESS TO A TRUSTED PERSON.
I’ve personally noticed that sometimes I overcome temptation by telling the a friend or someone close to me that I’m being tempted (“I’m tempted to…). It helps them help me by talking sense into me. Should incase somehow we fall by MISTAKE, do not keep it to yourself, confess to a loved one, one that you know will be willing to pray and help you back up (James 5:16 says “confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed”).
In conclusion, no one is above temptation but you have the choice either to turn down the offer and walk away from the devil by using God’s word or Stand there while the devil messes with your mind and smooth talks you into taking his offer by acting it out. Standing and listening will do you great harm just like how it did for Eve. May God help us all and keep us strong enough to overcome all forms of temptation, in Jesus name, Amen!…
Bible verses to study: Galatians 5:16, Colossians 3:2, 2Corinthians 10:4-6.
Happy Valentine’s Day… Be good!.. 🙂 <3