We all face temptations. We want to be clear that being tempted to sin is not a sin in and of itself. The Bible is filled with stories of people being tempted—even Jesus was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15). We repeat: Feeling tempted is not a sin. What we do with that temptation is what determines if we have crossed the line.

So where do all these feelings come from? Keep in mind that God will not tempt you (James 1:13). So who is left? Only two—Satan and ourselves.

The enemy is on the prowl, roaming the earth like a hungry lion, and we are his prey (1 Peter 5:8). Scary as that is, we have the power in Christ to resist him. Once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you are no longer bound to sin. You don't have to give in.

 

10.13.CC.YOUTH_.TemptationYouth

“Each week we sit under the word of God together, opening our selves not primarily to information, but to transformation.”

Youth Temptation

So where do all these feelings come from?

How can I resist temptation?

First things first, with any sin, you must first WANT to overcome it. If you don't truly want to stop doing it, then you will never make any long-term changes. You have free will to choose to sin or not to sin. Thanks to Christ, you don't HAVE to choose sin. God promises that He will always give you an escape route when you're feeling tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13). When you feel tempted, it is up to YOU to immediately look for that escape route and TAKE IT.

Cracking open your Bible is a great place to start. Read, study, reflect, discuss. Be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). The Bible is your biggest weapon in the armory against the enemy. Ephesians 6:17 calls the Bible the "sword of the Spirit." By filling your heart and your head with God's Word, you're basically guarding your heart against the desire to give in to temptations as they come.

Practically speaking, we should try to keep away from anything that we already know is tempting to us. If you know you have a weakness for spending too much money, don't take extra cash or cards with you when you go out with friends. If you're not supposed to eat or drink a certain thing, then don't go gazing at it longingly. Jesus told His disciples to "keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

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