Temptation tugs hard at our hearts at times. It’s like pulling a rope tied to an elephant. In this tug-of-war with our hearts, we need a mindset that goes beyond a defensive strategy and takes an active approach to sin and temptation.
Here are 4 basic strategies to help you battle the tug of temptation and sin on your heart.
1. Make your time with God the most important part of your day.
It’s easy to cast this aside. Or to tell ourselves, I’ll spend time with God after I do this quick other thing. Many things seem more urgent—and they are. But none are more important.
Spending time with God is the single-most important priority you’ll do each day. That’s why you will find 87 good reasons (including ministry) not to make your relationship with God a priority.
Your time in the Scriptures and prayer should have as its goal a growing love for God.
2. Your mind is the secret to your spiritual life. Feed it truth to transform it.
Here are several great truths to meditate on each day:
- I will always struggle with temptation and sin, but sin has no authority over my life, because Jesus has freed me from sin’s power to control me (Romans 6:13-14).
- In my own strength, I will fail in my struggle against temptation and sin (Romans 7:14-15).
- I can walk in victory to the degree that I choose to set my mind on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5-6).
- Memorizing and meditating on these verses will help me walk in victory.
3. When you do sin (and you will), confess it immediately—and then move on.
Keep short accounts with God and with others. Don’t allow unconfessed sin to weigh down your life. Grace is there for that very reason (1 John 1:9). Grace allows you to move on.
God’s forgiveness and grace give us the security to learn to obey.
4. Commit to a small group that holds you accountable to basic Christian disciplines.
It helps tremendously to know you’re not the only one who struggles, to have encouragement and prayer from others, and to hear how others have learned to walk with God. (Feel free to download the list my group uses for accountability.)
Resolved: Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruption, however unsuccessful I may be.—Jonathan Edwards
Along our struggle against temptation and sin we have the joy of knowing that one day, God will bring us into His presence without temptation and sin.
Tell me what you think: What strategy helps you the most to fight temptation and sin? I would love to know. To leave a comment, just click here.