How Does a Christian Resist Temptation?
Read an edited transcription of Joshua Harris' answer from the video above:
The thing is, Oscar Wilde had said that the easiest way to deal with temptations is to give into them, so I think one important thing to remember as a Christian when you're facing temptation, you're facing some struggle, is that the only reason you are resisting, the only reason you're feeling that temptation is that God has done a work in your heart, giving you a desire to obey Him, giving you an awareness that sin is deadly, a desire to fight it. And so that always helps me just to remember, at that moment, the fact that I'm facing this temptation is a reminder that God has broken into my life.
From that point, it really, I think, begins with believing in God's promises that He is more to be desired than anything in this world. That He's good, that He's faithful because, in those moments, I think it's so easy to believe the lie, that something, internet porn, money, greed, all these different kinds of things that tempt us, they really have the payoff and God is keeping something good from us. That's where I think it's so vital to just have some of God's promises in your heart close by. That's where I encourage people to memorize specific scripture-specific promises because our temptation, whether it's lust or anything else, is giving us its own promise and we have to counteract that.
One of the verses that I frequently go to the classic 1 Corinthians, 10, 12, and 13 talks about how no temptation is easy, it's not common to man and God provides a way out. The reason I love that is that it's a reminder that first of all, this is to be expected. God is faithful at this moment and there is a way out. In other words, there's no excuse for me, there's no reason that I can say, "No, I have to give in to temptation." No, God has given me His son and given me the ability to turn away from sin and He's faithful. He's going to give me something better.
Bible Verses about Temptation
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~ Matthew 26:41
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ~ James 4:7
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. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. ~ James 1:12-16
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. ~ Hebrews 2:18
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. ~ James 1:12
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. ~ James 1:3
And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” ~ Luke 22:40
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~ James 1:2-4
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