Topic: James 4:7 - 8
Temptation never completely goes away. The intensity and form of what tempts us may change with time and spiritual maturity. But as long as we're in these earthly bodies, we will never be entirely free of it. That's why we must learn to build a defense against its pull.
The first step to defeating temptation is trusting that the Lord is in control. Believe that He will limit temptation to what you can handle through His strength. Before a tempting thought even enters our head, be determined to resist with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Second, we need to be proactive. We need to identify weaknesses - those areas of our life where we are easily persuaded to sin. Likewise, it is helpful to recognize the conditions under which we are more prone to give in. Satan prefers to attack when believers are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.).When facing temptation, we usually have little time to decide on our response. Once we are already feeling stress, the path between fantasizing and doing is particularly short.
The third step is training our mind to focus on the big picture rather than the immediate pleasure. The following four questions can help us make wise choices: Is this a violation of God's Word? What are the consequences? Am I prepared to pay that price? Is there a right way to meet this desire?
We can't be totally free from temptation, but we can defend against it. Begin now. Make yourself mentally and emotionally ready for the next time you're tempted. Preparation helps build a barrier of protection around your mind and heart.