Avoiding the Temptation Trap

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Mark 14:38 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Peter and the rest of the disciples had a desire to do right, but their desire did not turn into action. Instead, their desire to do right turned into inaction with resulted in their yielding to temptation. When Jesus found the disciples sleeping while He was praying, He woke them up and warned them about the impending temptation that they faced. Jesus knew that they needed this time of prayer to avoid succumbing to the temptation that they were about to face.

I seriously believe that you have a desire to do right; however, your desire hasn’t always caused you to do right. Have you ever found yourself spiritually sleeping at the moment that you should have been doing something for God? Have you ever noticed that temptation always follows those moments when you were spiritually sleeping? My friend, you can avoid sin’s temptation. In the verse above, Jesus shows the believer how they can avoid the temptation trap. Let me point out Jesus’ remedy to avoiding the temptation trap.

First, realize the weakness of your flesh. You are a sinner, and sinners have a propensity to sin. Jesus said that the “flesh is weak.” It doesn’t matter how long you have been saved; your flesh will always be weak. Being overconfident in the ability of your flesh to do right will always lead to you succumbing to sin’s temptation.

Second, realize your inability to overcome temptation by yourself. You need help, and that help is God’s Holy Spirit. So many people try to fix their flesh themselves and fail because the flesh cannot fix the flesh; only the Holy Spirit can fix the flesh. You will continue to fall to temptation if you continue to try to overcome temptation through your own power.

Third, realize that you have a will to decide to say “No” to temptation. Now, the Spirit will help you to overcome temptation, but you have to say “No.” The Holy Spirit won’t force you to do right because He leads you to do right, but you must be willing to follow Him if you are going to do right. It does come down to you willing yourself to listen to the Spirit instead of yielding to your flesh.

Fourth, realize that temptation is everywhere. You must be on alert that temptation is on every corner. The reason that Jesus warns the believer to “watch…lest ye enter into temptation” is because He knew that temptation is everywhere. You need God’s help to keep you from where temptation could appear. You have to guard yourself from where temptation is present. If you know that you will be tempted to do wrong in a certain place, avoid it. To go where you know that sin’s temptation will be present is like walking into a den of hungry lions; you won’t make it. To walk where you know that temptation is present is to have too much confidence in your flesh’s ability, which is detrimental.

Fifth, pray that you don't enter into temptation. My friend, you must realize the seriousness of the hour and ask God to keep you from that moment of temptation. Prayer is the believer’s tool that causes temptation to flee if the believer will pray at temptation’s appearance. Prayer is the repellent of temptation. You could overcome your propensity to falling to sin’s temptation if you stopped depending on your flesh and started strengthening your spirit through prayer.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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