No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. – Romans 8:37 NLT
You’re probably reading this because you want to live a victorious Christian life and somewhere inside of you there is a desire to please God, but you have fallen down too many times in a certain area that it’s hard to remember life without this cycle haunting you. At some point, all of us have fallen into unhealthy patterns that can have a real hold on our lives which is called a stronghold. A stronghold is like being in a headlock you can’t pull out of. See, when a person keeps falling into temptation, it can lead them to a vulnerable place of discouragement, or even despair. So how do you fight this temptation? What can you do today to prevent yourself from being in a place of defeat?
First, you must be honest with yourself and ask the question, “Do I want to be free?”. Do you want to give up the sin that you’re wrestling with? If there is no desire for freedom, you will live a life of bondage. It takes courage to be brutally honest with yourself but this is the necessary first step you and I must take to live a life of freedom.
The second step has to do with identification. Identifying your triggers is also a way you can prevent yourself from falling into temptation. Is there a specific time of day that you are tempted? This realization will help with making a plan to defeat sin and temptation. If there is no plan or effort, there will not be victory, but I believe better things about you!
Redirect your thoughts and attention towards the things of God. Simply saying “No!” to the temptation is not enough, but instead choosing to fill your life with time in His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers will lead to great joy and fulfillment. When you and I say no to sin, we must choose to say yes to God and His love. This exchange is where transformation takes place. There is much more to the Christian life than saying no to sin. God wants you to enjoy Him.
Will you and I have moments when we fail? Will there be times when we just can’t seem to shake off the struggle? Of course! In those moments, we need to remind ourselves of God’s love for us. The love of God is constant and it is not based on how well we perform. The temptation is to think God loves us based on how much we do for Him. This is far from the truth. When you fail, run to Jesus because He awaits you with grace.
Community also plays a big role in working through temptation. Have a trusted friend you can lean on when you feel weak, defeated, and tempted. There is no shame in asking for help. Ask yourself the question, “Do I have a safe place to struggle?” If not, consider finding a friend you can be open with.
And finally, focus your efforts on loving Jesus. This is the most important step because as we grow in our love for Jesus, addiction is driven out of our lives. Make no mistake, we will still be tempted, and we will need to go to war against the enemy daily. However, as our love for Jesus grows, so do our victories. Don’t ever forget God is for you and He has given you the strength to overcome any temptation. Take heart, you are greatly loved!
1. What are two steps you can take to find a place to struggle?
2. Why is having a godly community so important as we battle temptation?