Using the Word to Overcome Temptation

In his sermon on July 26, brother Tim Dooley emphasized the importance of knowing God’s Word in overcoming temptation. As he mentioned, the Psalmist wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” A good friend and brother posted a saying on Facebook: “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” We must know what is in God’s Word to do His will, but it also protects us from violating His will.

If we can identify those things that tempt us most, we can better prepare ourselves to deal with situations as they arise. Consider the following temptations, and a few passages that might help Christians remain pure. Memorize the Scriptures that will help you fight temptations you face, or if you struggle with memorization, write them down on an index card and keep them in your purse or wallet.

Pornography: Psalm 101:3, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.”

Foul language/dirty jokes: Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

Laziness: Proverbs 13:4, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”

Greed/materialism: 1 Timothy 6:6-10, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Pride/selfishness: Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Worldliness/idolatry: Colossians 3:1-2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Bad attitude at work: Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Racism/sexism: Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Disobeying God: John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Disobeying parents: Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Disobeying the elders: Hebrews 13:17, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

Envy: Proverbs 23:17, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.”

Apathy: 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

You may not struggle with any of these temptations, but there is something that keeps gnawing at you, trying to pull you away from God. Be honest with yourself, know yourself, and identify that temptation. Then discover how God has equipped you to deal with it through His Word.

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