We all get tempted. Some more than others. Sin is pleasurable, tasty, and sweet. But, as the Bible says, it is only for a short time. Then we’re racked with guilt and shame and we’re left seeking restoration and repentance. Sometimes it can really take an emotional toll on us. So, how do we avoid having to go through all of that? The following three steps may be of help to you. No one said it will be easy, and sometime it takes hard work. But the rewards and blessings for obeying God and living according to His will, are too great to measure.
Think on Him. Develop an intimate relationship with Him.
You know, we hear that quite a lot, don’t we? “God desires a relationship with you”, "Develop a relationship with God”, "Work on your relationship with Christ”. That word just keeps popping up.
As often as we see it, or hear it, are we really listening to what is being said? Are we getting the meaning of that one word? Do you know which word it is?
Relationship. That is indeed a big word.
It is what everything revolves around but all too often we tend not to see it, or want to deal with it.
Life is about relationships. You may have heard that before, but do you really know what it means? It is about how we get along with each other. How we treat each other. How we respond to other people, in various situations and settings.
So, how do we establish and build on a relationship with God? Well, how do you do that with your best friend?
Talk to them, spend time with them, share your feelings and emotions and inner-most thoughts with them. Same with God. Invest some time in Him. Get to know Him. He already knows you. After all, He is the One who created you. He already knows everything there is to know about you. All He desires is that we spend the time to get to know Him. That’s how a friendship works, isn’t it? Give and take, from both sides. God has done His part. Won’t you do yours?
The next step in winning the game against sin is to stay focused. Focus on what? Focus on God. Keep your mind and thoughts focused on the things of God. The Bible tells us to take each thought captive. Whenever we have sinful thoughts or desire, we need to take those thoughts and desires and give them to God right away. When we lose focus, or take or minds off of the things of God, the powers of darkness will work their way in and present a very tempting deal. Stay focused, develop an intimate relationship with God, and it will lead us to the next step in winning this game.
Who is in control? God is in control.
You have a choice. Who will be in control of your life? Will it be you? God? The devil? It is up to you. God gave us free will. We are free to choose if we will follow Him, or something/someone else. How do we maintain control? By doing the first two items above. Also, having an accountability partner never hurts, either. Someone we can talk to, someone who will lift us up when we feel down, and someone who will remind us to “be good”. I have such an accountability partner. My very best friend. She is most certainly the truest friend I have ever known. She reminds me of my promise, to her and to God, to “be good” and not to give in to temptations.
One thing not mentioned above is how to accomplish each of these things. The way to accomplish this revolves around one simple word: Prayer.
Remember to pray. When tempted, when I feel down, when the enemy tries to gain a stronghold – I pray. My accountability partner prays with me and for me also. The power of prayer is a tremendous force. And – it works!
This is how to win the game. Sure, you may stumble, or even fall, but don’t be discouraged. God is always there to pick you back up. Trust in Him, and in the end, you will win the game.