Updated: Apr 30, 2019
This is a question that I get asked fairly often. A related question is Will God forgive me? A complete answer has 9 parts and we will look at them in 3 weeks (a mini-series).
Week 1 - In order to win over persistent temptations, we need to: Part 1. Understand what temptation is and how it works.
a. It is a wrong desire inside me (James 1:14-15 - But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death). b. It is when I doubt God’s word (Gen 3:1-3 - Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman,"Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden?"" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.") c. It is a deception (Gen 3:4 - "You will not surely die", the serpent said to the woman.) d. It is my disobedience to God’s command (Gen 3:5-6 - "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.)
Part 2. Know what makes me vunerable. I am vunerable when I have any negative emotions – including physically exhausted, discouraged, bored, spiritually empty, lonely, insecure, deeply hurt, angry, unforgiven, sad, frustrated...
Part 3. Learn my pattern of temptation. Each of us is tempted differently, so it is necessary to understand my weakness.
a. When am I most tempted (morning, night, weekend, traveling)?
b. Where am I most tempted (certain places)? c. Who is with me when I am most tempted (certain people)?
d. What temporary benefit do I get if I give in (comfort, relief, excitement, fun, pleasure...)?
Until next week, please think about our persistent temptations and analyze them according to the 3 points above. God wants to set us free from persistent temptations so that we can freely receive His blessings (including peace, joy, hope and more) and fully realize His perfect will for our life.
Thank you, the Holy Spirit for this lesson and the mini-series over 3 weeks.