Living in this world means temptations bombard you from all corners. There is no place to hide. As a believer, you may be wondering how to overcome the temptation to sin and live a life that pleases God.
Is it possible to overcome temptation? Yes, It is possible. So how do you avoid temptation?
God gave us the Holy Spirit as our Helper (John 14:26), and he helps us resist temptation. You will not succeed in trying to deal with temptation in your own strength.
This article will teach you 15 ways to overcome temptation. In fact, number 13 will surprise you.
#1 Pray over possible temptations.
In the heat of temptation, there is hardly any time to lift a prayer for help. The fact that it is a temptation means it is something you desire.
Walking away from something that you want is very hard. This must be the reason Jesus told his disciples in Mark 14:38, to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation.
As you pray daily, remember to ask God to keep you away from anything that can tempt you to sin. The best way to handle temptation is to walk in the opposite direction before it’s too late.
#2 Get rid of unhealthy desires.
2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to run from the evil desires of our youth. This can only mean we have desires that don’t need to be in our hearts.
They can cause us to fall into sin because of their evil nature. Some of them seem “harmless,” and that is why we still hold on to them.
Any desire that is not pure or pleasing to God is one you should let go. For example, a desire to seek the services of a psychic tempts you into the sin of idolatry. Trust God to direct your steps every day by his word.
#3 Trust God to deliver you from temptation.
Due to our human nature, we sometimes walk into tempting situations knowing they are not good for us. God knows how easy it is for us to fall into temptation and has a plan to deliver us (2 Peter 1:9).
This only works when we allow Him to lead us away from the thing that is tempting us.
God delivered Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and made a way of escape for him. He knows how to get you out of a situation that will lead you to sin and its consequences.
You may not see how God will deliver you, but trust in his ability to do so.
Related Article: 7 Reasons Why God Allows Trials In Our Lives.
#4 Walk in the Spirit.
The best way to overcome temptation is to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Walking in the Spirit means your focus is on pleasing God and obeying his commands. This gives your flesh no room to give in to lusts that cause you to sin.
When you focus on feeding your flesh, you arouse its evil desires that tempt you to sin. If you feed your spirit, you will be full of godly desires and the strength to overcome temptation.
God gave us the Holy Spirit, who indwells us and helps us in our weak moments. Keep your mind on the things of the Spirit like reading your Bible, listening to worship music, and spiritual teachings.
#5 Don’t act on the lies of the devil.
Eve didn’t think there was any harm in listening to the devil talk her out of God’s command (Genesis 3:1-3). The tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden was out of bounds for her and her husband.
After carefully considering the devil’s lie, she saw the tree in a new light and gave in to the temptation to eat its fruit. When the devil feeds you lies in your mind, be discerning enough to detect them and reject them immediately.
Don’t give thought to seductive thoughts, for they will lead you to give in to temptation and sin. Guard your mind against negative thoughts and choose to believe God’s truth.
#6 Resist the tempter.
I’m sure by now you know the devil is the tempter of mankind. He leads people into temptation and accuses them when they sin. The devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness without success, but he was going to try again at an opportune time.
Resist the attempts of the devil to throw temptation your way.
Submit to God first because he is the one who can help you out of every sticky situation. Use every way God has given you to overcome temptation. You can declare Scriptures over yourself, flee from a tempting situation, or meditate on God’s word.
#7 Take God’s way of escape from temptation.
With every temptation, God gives you a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). What he expects of you is to take it. Be on the lookout for the door of escape God has opened to save you from giving in to temptation.
It is your only hope of salvation from falling into the snare of sin. God is a loving Father and does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.
#8 Don’t be greedy for riches.
We all want to be wealthy and live a comfortable life, but the blind pursuit of riches will lead you down the wrong path. The desire for riches will make you fall into the temptation to indulge in harmful lusts, which will destroy you (1 Timothy 6:9).
Be content with what you have as you believe God for more. The endless pursuit of riches will wear you out and lead you down a path of destruction.
God has promised to meet your needs through his riches in Christ Jesus. He ensures that you never lack anything.
#9 Endure temptation without falling.
James 1:12 tells us to endure during a time of temptation knowing God will bless and reward us when we overcome. At times you’ll find yourself in the middle of a tempting situation, and you have to endure till it is over.
Rely on God’s strength to overcome the temptation when your body is crying out to give in. Trust that you can overcome it at that moment with the help of the Holy Spirit. Be patient, and don’t fret as you wait for the end of the trying time.
#10 Flee from the scene of sexual temptation.
Sometimes you will have to flee from the temptation to indulge in sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18). When Potiphar’s wife approached Joseph for a sexual escapade, he immediately took off (Genesis 39:11-12).
He didn’t hang around to tell her how wrong it was or give her a bunch of explanations. He fled.
Do what Joseph did if you want to overcome sexual sin and temptation. Flee. You cannot underestimate the power of sex judging by how it has destroyed relationships and marriages.
Walk away from someone who is seducing you and inviting you to have illicit sex. You will not have the strength to flee once your hormones start raging.
Related Article: How to Pray When You are Under Spiritual Attack.
#11 Put on the armor of God.
One way we can protect ourselves against temptation is by putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). The reason God gave us his armor was to stand against the constant attacks of the devil.
He knows the devil stops at nothing to make us fall into temptation and sin.
The armor of God protects you when you put it on daily, and the devil has no room to lead you into temptation. One piece of the armor is the shield of faith, with which you can protect yourself against the enemy’s temptation.
No matter what temptation the devil throws at you, stand firm in your faith, knowing you will overcome.
#12 Know that Jesus understands the burden of resisting temptation.
Jesus faced temptation like we do today (Hebrews 2:18). He, therefore, understands how hard it is to resist the temptation to indulge in a forbidden thing.
He knows how much you struggle to overcome temptations that come your way, and this is comforting. Knowing God understands your plight will give you the courage to keep trying to avoid temptation.
Talk to Jesus about your temptations and allow him to give you his words of comfort and encouragement. Seek his help in your time of need, for he is not out to judge but save you.
He has given you the authority to trample over everything that threatens to lead you astray.
#13 Develop deep roots in the word of God.
A great way to overcome temptation is to plant the word of God deep in your heart. It has the power to help you resist temptation. When the word of God has no deep roots in your heart, you will battle with temptation (Luke 8:13).
To stop this battle, give yourself a dose of God’s word, and you’ll have no desire to give in to temptation.
It’s always a joy to hear a word from the Lord, but if you quickly forget it, you have no power to fight temptation. Take the time to fill yourself with the word of God and strengthen yourself against temptation.
You’ll see it coming from afar and run in the opposite direction.
#14 Close any door you have opened to the devil.
You may read your Bible daily, but if you have opened the door to the devil, he will attack you. The devil prowls around looking for who to devour, meaning not everyone is eligible.
He looks for where there is an open door in someone’s life so he can easily get in. His purpose is to bring all kinds of temptation to sin.
Ask God to show you if there is any door you have left open for the devil to tempt you. After tempting Jesus, he walked away until an opportune time to try again. If he can do this to Jesus, he will do it to us.
#15 Exercise self-control.
Many times we give in to temptation because we lack self-control. We want to indulge in pleasures that are not good for us without restraint.
Having self-control means you can stand against temptation by making the decision not to give in. Control your thoughts and focus on what is pure, noble, and praiseworthy.
You have the power to take out of your mind thoughts which will lead to harmful actions. Self-control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and you have it in you. Ask God to help you grow in this fruit to overcome the temptation to sin.
Resources to help you overcome temptation.
It’s refreshing to know people have developed resources to help you resist temptation and live a righteous life. You can buy a 4 audio CD set titled: How to Handle Temptation by Joyce Meyer.
You can listen to it at home or when driving to work. A good book on how to overcome temptation on the Amazon bookstore is Daybreak: A Guide to Overcoming Temptation by Nathan Ward.
If you want to overcome sexual sin and temptation read Winning the Battle Within Realistic Steps to Overcoming Sexual Strongholds by Neil T. Anderson.
You can also read blog posts on Christian websites that teach you how to resist temptation. Try following people on social media who focus on how to overcome temptation. If you prefer to listen to messages, subscribe to podcasts on how to avoid temptation.
Never forget the devil is the tempter. He is always looking for a way to make people sin and remain in spiritual bondage. His will is that people don’t fulfill their God-given purpose by keeping them stuck in sin.
The ways mentioned above will help you resist temptation and walk away from sin.
God has given you strategies to overcome every temptation the devil brings your way. However, you do have the responsibility to deny the devil a foothold in your life. He is always looking for a way into your life, don’t give him one.
You have God’s help always to overcome temptation and live a victorious life.