Don’t Fight Temptation: Flee It!

free devotionsBe alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NCV)

Many people are intimidated by the fact that they are tempted, like they shouldn’t even be in that situation or that they should be able to control it. But you shouldn’t feel guilty about temptation. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It’s a sin to give in to temptation. The Bible says that Jesus experienced every temptation known to man, but he didn’t sin. Temptation is not a sin. It’s how you respond to it that matters.

The Bible says we need to flee temptation: “Be alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NCV). To “be alert” means to know what tempts you so that you can stay away from it.

There are two things you need to stay away from: tempting situations (circumstances) and tempting associations (people who tempt you). One of our pastors, John Baker, says, “You hang around the barber shop long enough, you’re going to get a haircut.” It’s true! If you have a problem with alcohol, you don’t go to the bar to eat a sandwich. You stay away from it. You need to know what tempts you, when it tempts you, where it tempts you, who tempts you, and then just stay away from those situations and people.

If you get tempted in airport bookstores, don’t go to airport bookstores. If you get tempted by a certain channel, don’t have that channel on your TV. We have parental block on our TV, and the youngest person in our house is my wife, Kay. We don’t have kids at home any more, but I don’t want to even risk going through channels and stumbling upon something I don’t need to see.

You also need to avoid tempting associations. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be fooled. ‘Bad companions ruin good character’” (TEV). There are some people you need to stop relating to. There may be some friends who maybe should not be your friends, because it’s always easier for them to pull you down than for you to pull them up. If they’re leading you away from Christ, they’re not friends. Bad company corrupts good character.

So what should you do if you try to avoid those tempting circumstances and people but still find yourself in a sticky situation? Get out! Don’t just walk away — run! You don’t fight it; you flee it. And you go after the good stuff in life instead.

Thoughts – What are the situations or circumstances in which you know you will be tempted? What is your plan for avoiding those situations?
- Who are the friends that help you in your walk with Christ and who can help you in any struggle with temptation? Why is it important to receive this kind of encouragement?
- What are the God-honoring things or thoughts that you can employ to flee temptations?

By Rick Warren

You can comment on this devotional online at:
http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/09/30/rw_dont-fight-temptation-flee-it/


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Temptations: Doors Closing

free devotionsThe temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure1 Corinthians 10:13

We were driving through a small town in southwestern British Columbia when I noticed the sign on a clothing store. The store was called TEMPTATIONS. Interesting name, I thought. Then I smiled when I saw that both of the show windows had huge white banners proclaiming, “DOORS CLOSING.

Immediately, I thought of various life scenarios that could happen if this was true in real life. For example: Temptations: Doors closing to all temptations to eat too much ice-cream or desserts and to all lust and greed, as well as to all jealousy, power struggles, and selfishness. The list could be endless.

But of course this isn’t real life. We are tempted many times a day. Galatians 5:16–18 tells us that as Christians we have a spiritual and a sinful nature.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other.

If we let the Holy Spirit direct our lives, He will provide a way of escape from temptations.
Father, thank You for giving us a way of escape from the temptations that face us daily. Enable us to remember to allow You to direct our lives so we don’t have to yield to temptations. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler

You can comment on this devotional online at:
http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/09/30/kk_temptations-doors-closing/


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