Satan just loves to get you and me to sin and not repent!
- Hinders our fellowship with God and others
- Robs us of peace, joy, and effectiveness for God’s Kingdom
- Robs God of His glory
While we can’t completely stop sinning here on earth—we can strive to desire to stop hurting God and others. That’s what having a heart after God’s own heart means.
Here are 3 misunderstandings about temptation so you can sin less:
1. Being tempted is a sin.
Why would the devil want you to believe that lie? Because it’ll keep you in the pit of guilt and defeat. Take heart. Jesus was tempted but never sinned. (Heb 4:15)
2. We can handle it.
“I won’t let it go too far. I can stop.”
Famous last words from many a teenager in the backseat of a car! God makes a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). The problem is most of us don’t heed the first or second warning. It’s a fact: the longer you wait the harder it is to resist!
3. We can’t help giving in.
TRUTH: You don’t have to sin; you can choose not to!
The first time I heard that I was dumbfounded. Then I got downright excited! I personally was tired of repeatedly sinning against my Savior and grieving His heart.
But I didn’t know how not to sin.
Part of the how lies in tapping into God’s strength, not your own. You can’t resist the temptation in your own strength.
Turn to me, and be gracious to me; grant Your strength [Your might and the power to resist temptation] to Your servant…. (Ps 86:16 emphasis added)*
In fighting temptation, Jesus relied on His Father’s power—not His own human strength, or His own divine power. Although Jesus is fully God, He was/is fully man and lived as such while on earth. He willingly laid aside the use of His divine power (Phil 2:6-8).
Some think we have an excuse to sin because we don’t have divine power like Jesus did to resist. But we do! We have the Father’s power just like Jesus. In those moments of testing Jesus acted as a man, fully dependent upon His Father’s resources. Otherwise, how can Jesus be our model if He used His divine power to defeat the Devil? That doesn’t make sense.
This concept might be new to you, but I hope you will think it through and study the Bible for yourself. (I expand on this concept of Jesus living fully as a man on earth in my book Our Knowable God)
And do you know what weapon Christ wielded against His tempter? The same that is available to you and me: the Word of God. When tempted in the desert Jesus used verses from Deuteronomy to counter each of Satan’s lies.
The enemy is too strong for you. But not too strong for the One living inside of you as a believer (1 Jn 4:4).
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. (Ps 18:17)**
There are many more aspects in not succumbing to temptation. I’ve only touched on a few. So….
Be a woman after God’s own heart and keep seeking.
P.S. I’ve been on a quest on “How Not to Sin” for quite a while and I’m in the process of writing an e-book on it. Would you let me know if that is something in which you are interested? I’d love to know.
*Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
**THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide