“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”James 1:12-15, ESV
Trials and temptations are all around us every day. We feel them when we wake up and are bombarded by them until we go to bed. For most Christians, they are a daily battle that they don’t plan on winning. But what if there were a way to prepare for your temptations and meet them head-on?
3 Ways to Prepare for Your Temptations.
Prepare through Prayer and Fasting.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”Matthew 4:1-2, ESV
Prayer and fasting is a lost art among most Jesus followers today. Fasting is more than the denial of physical things like food but a focus of your mind on spiritual matters. Jesus spent 40 days focusing his heart and soul on God and the things of God.
We can do the same thing in a practical sense by starting our day with prayer and meditation, focusing on our relationship with God. There might even be times when intense trials are coming that fasting is appropriate to build your spiritual strength.
Stand on the Word of God
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:13–15, ESV)
In each of the temptations, Christ used scripture to combat the lie of the trail. He didn’t try to trick or outsmart the temptation. Instead, he was ready to answer with the truth of God’s Word. They only way to be equipped with the Word of God is to learn the Word of God. You can’t cheat off of someone else’s understanding of the scripture. Either you know it in your heart, or you don’t. The only way to combat temptation is with the truth. Once you identify the lie, you can apply the truth.
Draw Close to God through the Trial
“And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘ You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”Matthew 4:9-11
When temptations come, people tend to run because they are not prepared to face them. The whole reason for the trail is to draw you away from God in fear or pride. Jesus drew closer to God with each trial until the devil had to flee the presence of God. The more secure you are in your relationship with God, the more He will be a safe place for you to run. There God will protect you from evil and refresh your soul.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”James 4:7-8, ESV
Preparation through prayer and fasting, scripture, and the presence of God will cause you to be victorious over your trials and temptations. Don’t fear them; be ready for them.Tweet
This blog was derived from the message entitled, “Passing the Test.” You can watch the sermon in its entirety by visiting http://www.reliant.church/sermons.
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