Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HOW TO WIN OVER TEMPTATION

Power to bear up and not yield to temptation does not come from stuffing our minds with Scripture verses, or making vows or promises, or spending hours in prayer and fasting, or even in giving ourselves over to a great spiritual cause. These things are all commendable and normal for Christian growth, but that is not where our victory lies.

The simple secret of bearing up under any temptation is to break the fear of Satan’s power! Fear is the only power over man Satan has. God does not give us the spirit of fear. That is of Satan only! But man is afraid of the devil. Frightened of demons. Afraid of failure. Afraid his appetites and habits can’t be altered. Afraid of inner desires, that they will erupt and control his life. Afraid he is one of a thousand who may be different, full of lust, and beyond help.

Man is afraid he can’t quit his sin. He credits Satan with power he doesn’t have. Man cries out, “I’m hooked and can’t stop! I’m spellbound and in the devil’s power. The devil makes me do it!”

Fear has torment. As long as you are afraid of the devil, you can never break the power of any temptation. Satan thrives on fear and Christians who are afraid of the devil have little or no power to resist.

It’s all based on a lie! The lie is that Satan has power to break down Christians under pressure. Not so! Jesus came to destroy all the power of the devil over blood-washed children of God. I have often wondered why God allows spiritual people to be so tempted. Why doesn’t God remove all temptations instead of “making a way of escape that we may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13)? The answer is simple. Once you learn how powerless Satan is—once you learn he can’t make you do anything—once you learn God has all power to keep you from falling—from then on you can “bear up” under anything Satan throws at you. You can go through it without fearing you will fall!

We are not delivered from temptation, but from the fear of the devil to make us yield to it. We will keep on being tempted until we come to the place of “rest” in our faith. That rest is the unshakeable confidence that God has defeated Satan, that Satan has no right or claim on us, and that we will come forth as gold tried in the fire.