Every child of God will face temptation.
Temptation means having the desire to do something wrong or unwise. The bible says we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Roman 3:23 NIV
Even though being tempted is not a sin, giving in and disobeying God is a sin.
I want to share with you a time when I was tempted and how it got the best of me.
I remember how it started.
I was feeling lonely and distant. God wasn’t answering my prayers that I was praying to fix my marriage and I eventually stopped praying all together. Every once in awhile I would start to hear negative thoughts in my head about how my husband didn’t think I was beautiful or that he didn’t love me anymore. Things just weren’t the same like they were at the beginning of our relationship.
At the time I was seeing an acupuncturist for my anxiety and he had an assistant that would help him with taking out the needles. This assistant (we will call him Zach) would give me compliments occasionally.
Of course it felt good to be noticed. But you see – I wanted to be noticed by my husband. I wanted to feel loved and beautiful by him, not from someone else.
So knowing what was happening inside me I started to pray for God to take these “feel good” feelings away.
But I didn’t pray it all the time. To be honest, I was enjoying the compliments.
I thought I was in control of my thoughts and feelings. And I wasn’t going to let anything bad happen.
Then one day Zach kissed me.
Realizing what just happened I immediately told him that I was a married woman and it should have never happened.
I not only hurt my husband but I hurt God and I hurt myself.
God says it’s arrogance when you believe you know better than Him.
My pride took over and I thought that I had everything under control. The emptiness, loneliness, and the feeling of not being beautiful was being filled by Zach’s compliments. Instead of God filling those needs, I was taking care of it myself. That pride lead me away from my true love, my husband.
I figured out that my husband won’t always be there to tell me I’m beautiful when I want to hear it. So I need to turn to God because He will always be there to give me those compliments that I so long desire. He is the only one who can truly satisfy the hunger in my heart.
After opening up to my husband and telling him what had happened, he forgave me. And we both realized that we needed to work on communication and also work on showing one another how much we love each other. I am truly blessed to have an amazing husband.
I learned from my mistake. I learned that I need the Lord every moment of every day. That there will be temptation at every corner. And that I should have kept praying even when I thought the Lord was not listening. He would have provided a way out if I continued to pray.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”1 corinthians 10:13 NIV
But I know now how the devil attacks me. I know what signs to look for.
Signs like when I am feeling down or lonely I start noticing my husband not paying as much attention to me. If he doesn’t comment on a new outfit that I am wearing, I start to feel like he doesn’t care.
It is the little things that will start to develop and then gradually the thoughts become more and more. My husband could be having a bad day and I would take it personally.
The devil will often tempt you when you are vulnerable, such as being under physical or emotional stress, feeling tired or lonely or even facing uncertainty with making decisions. Like in Matthew chapter 4, Satan knew that Jesus was at His most vulnerable, fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. So he tempted him with the one thing he assumed Jesus would want most: food.
He can tempt you with your strengths too. Which can lead to pride and trusting in yourself and not God.
The world was created for good. It was created for your enjoyment and pleasure. However, sin has destroyed the goodness of the world. As long as you live in this world there will always be temptation. But you can learn how to avoid temptations to sin with God’s help.
How to Overcome Temptation
1. Ask Him to help you recognize the people and situations that may cause temptation to arise.
2. Ask Him to help you run from anything that is not Godly. Try not to be alone with the opposite sex or engage in dishonorable conversation.
3. You are to choose to do what is right. Do not go by what you are feeling in that moment. Feelings are fickle and can not be trusted.
4. And seek out friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted. If you don’t have Godly friends, ask God to show you someone who can help you.
5. Put your trust in the Lord and He will rescue you from temptation. He is the only one who knows how!
“If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.”2 Peter 2:9
Remember you can not do this alone! You must let God handle everything. I can not stress this enough! He knows what is best for you and the best way out of any situation or temptation.
I hope and pray that my story has helped at least one person that is struggling with temptation. If you would like to share your story, leave a comment below so that we can pray for one another. If you need someone to talk to privately, please don’t hesitate to send a message.