(Text: Matt 6:6a; 2 Pet 2:9a)
As watchmen of our soul, we must consciously guard the doorways of our minds and hearts
Are you being tempted... tested and tried through your circumstances? Do you feel like you cannot go one step further? REJOICE! COUNT IT ALL JOY! (James 1:2-4) The time has come for God's people to rise up in new strength and to be fully-grown, fully developed. God is going to have a people who are tested ... tried ... perfected! (Zech 13:9 Amp) Jesus is coming for a glorious bride adorned with the garments of holiness and righteousness.
In the circumstances of our lives, why do many of God's children fall prey into sins? How does this happen? They have an open door that needs to be closed. There is no one to blame but ourselves. And when will the vicious cycle of sin stop? When you shut the door (Rom 6:12,13,16).
Let's get to the root cause and source of temptation. "But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions)"(James 1: 14 Amp). One of the main reasons there are many Christians today who are yielding to temptation is because they have not crucified the lusts of the flesh. To walk in victory over temptation we are facing, we must, through a conscious ACT OF OUR WILLS crucify the lust of our flesh (Rom 13:14). How do we combat temptations? Your WILL is the key. You must set your will to resist every temptation Satan tries to use against you!
Adam Clarke defines the process of temptation in 4 steps:
1) A simple evil thought;
2) A vivid imagination painted through a dominant thought;
3) Stimulate strong desire;
4) Consent of the will to perform it.
Therefore, to stop sin at its root, we must deal with our thought life. A Holy Thought Life Will Produce a Holy Life (Rom 8:5,6; PS 119:9, 11).
God has provided total provision for victory in every temptation (Read 1 Cor 10: 13 aloud). Your victory is not dependent upon your own limited strength. Your ability to overcome temptation is not based upon your will power alone. It is based upon something far greater than man's limited abilities. It is the integrity of God's word. God is faithful. He will not allow Satan to bring any temptation into your life that you are not able to overcome.
In the garden of Gethsemane, when He was facing His greatest hour of temptation, Jesus prepared Himself for it through prayer. Fortify Yourself! To overcome temptation, you must remain constant 'm prayer. What was the secret of Jesus' strength? Jesus had set His will to do the will of His Father (Lk 22:44; 1 Pet 4:1-2).
Be vigilant. There are many Christians today who have a passive mind. They have relaxed their minds and allow all types of thought to enter and remain in it. We must refuse to give Satan any opportunity to gain access to the thoughts of our minds! If you see a wrong thought lurking regularly in your mind, ask yourself. "Is there a door open somewhere?" If so, take your rightful authority and slain the door shut in Jesus' name. Don't wait until it is out of control; shut it now before something worse may happens.
The above teaching is extracted from part of Pastor Jedidiah's teaching tape- "Overcoming Temptations".