Day 60: Feeling Manipulated by Temptation
ONCE SLAVES, NOW FREE
When studying the temptations of Jesus, we noted that Satan manipulated scripture in order to tempt Christ. The same is true when he tempts us. He will use anything at his disposal to bring us down, even the very Bible itself. That is why it's so important that we understand scripture well enough to refute these lies when they come our way. This starts with our understanding of where we stand with God (no longer bound by sin, but free in Christ).
We were once slaves to sin, totally mastered by it. Even if we wanted to do otherwise, whenever temptation would come, we would inevitably give in. The temptations come barging in like a crashing wave and we'd stumble yet again. I remember the pain and suffering of that old life all too well. All it took was one thought, one image, on glance and down I went.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say--but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”--but I will not be mastered by anything. -1 Corinthians 6:12
As followers of Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin. It's behind us and a permanent part of our past, and its power over our future has been lost. Where we were once manipulated, controlled, and broken down by the enemy, we are now made free and whole. Through Christ, we have the power to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Know this truth, and begin to apply it in your life. Here’s some practical ways how:
1. Run first, ask questions later
The single most mistake many of us make in this struggle is we stick around temptation - we linger. We must learn a lesson from Joseph, fleeing from Potiphar's wife immediately, no matter the cost.
Draw near to God in these moments of weakness - get your mind right. The longer you linger on thoughts of lust and temptation, the harder it will be to turn away
3. Use your sword
The word of God is defined as a double-edged sword. Remember to use the word of God in times of temptation. Nobody was a better example of this than Christ.
WE ARE NOT OVERCOME, WE ARE OVERCOMERS
Remember, there is no temptation that has overtaken you (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are no longer controlled by it, it has no rule over us. Rebuke the lie that you’ll never be free. Trust me, freedom is real. I too thought it could never happen to me, but indeed it did.
I know it’s an obvious answer, but it’s something we need to hear and be reminded of over and over, especially when striving towards freedom. Sin no longer rules over you, no longer tangles you in its web of strings. There are no strings to hold you back from who you were made to be.
We’re beginning to near the end of this course. It is crucial that if you have yet to experience lasting victory that we have a serious look at the ways you’ve continued to allow sin to rule you. Here are some common mistakes up to this point:
- unconfessed sin (to God, accountability partner, spouse)
- refusal to change our lifestyle (staying up late, playing video games for hours upon end, going to places where we know we’ll be tempted)
- refusal to cut off sources of temptation (computers, cell phones, dvd’s, etc.)
There are usually one or two of the aforementioned areas that are extremely difficult to apply when it comes to sexual struggles. For me it was amputation of sources of temptation and a changed lifestyle. I loved staying up late, and I loved playing video games. Both of these things led to temptation on a frequent basis. When I began to let those things go and give myself over to God, I began to find freedom.
What will it take for you? Will you continue to stumble around in darkness so that you can hold on to that certain thing? In the long run, will it be worth it? Learn to let go, as I and many others had to. The things that hold us back, that keep us tangled in strings, are unworthy to be a part of our lives.
Day 60 Application
Have you experienced being "mastered" by sexual temptations and sins as depicted in 1 Corinthians 6:12? What are some other ways you can be free from the trap of sin?
According to Romans 6 if you are in Christ are you a slave to sin? How have you been doing regarding your struggle? What areas have you failed to give over to God?
How have you spent time with God today (prayer, reading the word, worship, etc.)? Have you been in contact with your accountability partner such that you were asked tough questions about purity?
Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?