Continuing our look at fighting temptation, today we are going to examine our ability to flee from the things that cause us to sin. (You can read the Introduction and Part 1 here.) I don’t know why, but most times, we have a fight or flight response to temptation in our lives as if these options were mutually exclusive. One of the best ways to fight is to flee, to run away as fast as we can from whatever stumbling block is in our way.
An excellent example of this is Joseph running away from the sexual temptation being offered to him by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:6-12). Here was Joseph, in a very powerful position and he decided to fight temptation by fleeing from it. Sometimes, that is our escape, to simply leave the situation we find ourselves in that’s causing us to contemplate sin. Sometimes the sin is so attractive that we must remove all evidence of temptation in order to escape. If we don’t, we will slowly find ourselves making excuses and condoning our choices until we’ve convinced ourselves that we haven’t even sinned at all. We must be careful not to become so arrogant that we believe we’re unable to be affected by certain sins (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Will that be hard? Absolutely! It may mean taking drastic measures like a wife who quits her job so she will not be around a coworker who is tempting her into adultery. Or the man who is transparent with his internet activity so he will no longer be tempted to gamble away his family’s money. We must realize that we are to live this life for God and do whatever it takes to be pleasing to him first and not worry about what others around us might think.
We’ve also been given a promise from God that there will always be an opportunity for escape. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” There’s great comfort in the knowledge that God understands our temptations. Through Jesus we have an example of how to face temptation and still say no to sin (Hebrews 4:15).
In the next post, we’ll study how God’s word is our ultimate source of truth and how it’s the perfect weapon to defeat temptation in our lives. Please be sure to join me next time.