Believe It and Activate It

Regardless of what the old proverbs says what you don't know CAN hurt you, and WILL! We all face trials, tests and temptations. If we don't know how to deal with them we will never overcome them. Here are the three points I gave Sunday for dealing with and overcoming temptation:

1. Submit and resist!

Submit – to place yourself under the authority of

Resist – to remain strong against the force or effect of

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 
(James 4:7)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 
(1 Peter 5:6-9)

Give God the proper place and authority in your life and remain strong! Drop your guard and you are in trouble!

2. Don’t rationalize it – kill it!

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:14)

If you rationalize you marginalize. If you marginalize you lose!

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one… (Ephesians 6:16)

Don’t stoke it – smother it!

When we rationalize the temptation or trial we stoke the embers into a full flame. What we need to do is smother it with the truth of God's word!

3. Believe and Activate Scripture!

This is so important to understand.  Of all the pieces of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6 the only offensive weapon we have against temptations is the truth of God's word!

...and take up...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… (Ephesians 6:17)

When Jesus was tempted he gave us this example. He used the truth of scripture to fight back and overcome temptations. In Matthew 4 we see Jesus face three specific temptations, and each time he refuted the temptation with specific scriptural truths.

Here is how it works:

Let’s say you're facing a fearful request. You might quote:

1 Tim 1:7 – I did not receive a spirit of fear.

Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Let’s say you are tempted to take something that doesn't belong to you:

Exodus 20:15 – you shall not steal

Maybe you are being tempted to have an inappropriate relationship:

Exodus 20:14 – you shall not commit adultery

Exodus 20:17 – you shall not covet

Maybe you have a problem with lust:

Romans 8:13 - "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die!"

Maybe it is a long-standing battle with lust, maybe porn:

Romans 6:14 - "Sin shall not have dominion over you!"

I can’t tell you how many times believing & activating scripture in my life has worked for me!

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

God’s word is living and active – we just need to believe it and activate it in our lives!

For more on the topic of temptation check out Sunday's message here.

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