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Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to overcome any Temptation in 3 Steps

This is a continuation of the article, How to understand any temptation in 4 steps. Understanding how temptation to sin works is necessary but overcoming it is most necessary.
Adopt the following strategies to overcome temptations in life:

Step 1-Understand Your Pattern of Temptation

Satan attacks every individual from his areas of least resistance. Every individual has unique weaknesses and strengths and devil attacks from the area of weakness.
There are conditions that make you more vulnerable to temptation than others. Some circumstances will cause you to stumble immediately while others may take time.
Satan knows what attracts and excites you most and would always use that as a bait to catch and destroy your relationship with God.
Some people may be prone to short temper while others may be to lust or drunkenness or envy.
It is your responsibility to determine where and when you are most tempted; what catches your fancy and who is always with you when you are most tempted.

Step 2- Don’t fear your Temptation

It is true that whatever you fear, you can’t overcome. Until you stop being frightened and demoralized by tempting thoughts, or feeling ashamed or guilty for being tempted, you will never outgrow temptation.
Devil doesn’t tempt those already doing his bidding. It is not a sign of weakness or worldliness but a confirmation that Satan hates you.
Temptation becomes sin when give in to it. God advises, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” You may be tempted with physical attraction or sexual arousal which is a normal response but when you give in to it, it becomes lust-a choice to commit in your mind what you would like to do with your body.
Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

Step 3- Ask for God’s Help

The strength to overcome any temptation comes from God. Ask for it. The best way to acquire it is by engaging in covenant time with God.

Recommended Books:

The Irony of Love, Premarital and Extramarital Relationships

Stop Existing! Start Living!

Breaking the Hold of Self-Slavery

The Secret of Supernatural Power, Deliverance and Prosperity

How Not to Choose a Marriage Partner

One of the first major tests in the life of every adult single is the test of choosing a life partner-wife or husband. The maturity, cleverness and preference of the man or lady are brought into scrutiny in the process. The ability of the young man or lady to correctly identify and select his wife or accept her husband in the midst of thousands of other women is an arduous task.
Therefore, every adult single must be led by God, the Creator of the marriage institution in order to make the right choice of spouse.

Part of the problem encountered by adult singles in choosing life partners is that they adopt worldly patterns and perspectives in choosing life partners.

a. Love at first Sight may be dangerous

What most singles call “love at first sight” has turned to be “lust at first sight.” Getting married is not like cooking a fast food. You may truly fall in love at first sight but don’t be hasty to sign the marriage register to avoid regrets later.
Take time to study your prospective spouse, the values, beliefs, interests, background, vision and weaknesses.

b. Don’t Select a Spouse based on Tribal Sentiments

God is not tribalistic for he would have sent Jesus to die for a particular tribe or race or not the world John 3:16.
Sometimes, most people who married based solely on tribal and racial beliefs regret that action. Marriage is not about tribe but the Will and purpose of God for your life.
No tribe is inferior to the other or superior to others. The spirit behind tribalism or ethnocentrism is clearly satanic.
God warns, “there is no Jew, Greek, bond, free, barbaric, Scythian but we are all one in Christ Jesus.”
God is the perfect match maker. Submit to him to lead you to who you should marry.

c. Don’t Select a Partner based on Materialism

Covetousness and greed are the insatiable desire for worldly gain. Some men and women desire marriage because of the wealth and physical things they stand to get. They focus their attention on what they can see-beauty, height, fair skin, straight legs, wealthy background, fat bank account.
God warns, “Beauty is vain.” For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Most people who married for beauty and materialism regret it because they discovered with emotional pain that the people they married are not what they represented. Don’t be another victim.

d. Don’t select a Spouse based solely on Status

It is a norm in the society for the children of the rich to marry children of same class. That’s why we found arranged marriages.
Sadly, this evil creeps into the Christian family. Some wealthy Christians relate with only the wealthy in the church and the children are programmed to do so.
Contrariwise, some children of the average parents are taught to mind their business and discouraged to be friends with the ruling and wealthy class.
Some parents quash proposed marriages except among their class.

Recommended Books:

The Irony of Love, Premarital and Extramarital Relationships

Stop Existing! Start Living!

Breaking the Hold of Self-Slavery

How to understand any Temptation in 4 steps

It is Martin Luther who said, “My temptations have been my master in divinity.” Every child of God is prone to temptation through the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh or pride of life.

Interestingly, every temptation is an opportunity to do good and develop character. On the path of spiritual maturity, it is a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block. While temptation is Satan’s primary weapon to destroy you, God wants to use it to develop you.
But you can’t handle temptations well if you don’t understand how the devil uses it against you.

How Temptation Works

Satan creates temptation in four steps:

Step 1- He identifies a Desire inside of You

This desire may be good such as to be loved or sinful such as to get revenge, steal or kill. Temptation starts when Satan suggests through the thought process that you satisfy a legitimate need in a sinful way or give in to a sinful desire. Temptation doesn’t begin around us, but within us because what we conceive or think about often, we act upon. Your internal desire through your mind attracts you to the temptation.
Mark 7:21-23 says, “For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within.”

Step 2-He creates Doubt in You

Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about the sin. Didn’t God mean this for someone else or some other occasion? Is it really sinful? He used this tactic on Eve when he asked, did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden.”

Step 3-He creates a Deception

God tells us that Satan is the father of lies, so he is incapable of speaking the truth. He replaces God’s truth with lies of half-truth. He told Eve, “you will not surely die.” Today, he tells us, “everybody is doing it,” “it will solve your problem,” “that’s the only way out,” “You can do it now and repent later.” “No one will ever know.’

Sadly, when we have engaged in these sins, we find his purported truth to be absolute lies. Eve found it out regrettably. Little sins don’t remain little.

Step 4- He creates Disobedience

This occurs when you’ve resolved to execute his suggestion. You act on the thought you’ve been toying with in your mind. Then the consequences and regrets follow.
Learn to understand the devil’s strategies and overcome his wiles.

Recommended Books:

The Irony of Love, Premarital and Extramarital Relationships

Stop Existing! Start Living!

Breaking the Hold of Self-Slavery

The Secret of Supernatural Power, Deliverance and Prosperity

Why You Are Not Married

Some people who are married today found it easy to do so, yet there are many adult singles that are due for marriage but are not. Few churches can boast of joining more than 20 to 30 couples in marriage every year.
God intended that man should fulfill his covenant of creation through marriage, thus he said, “it is not good that the man should be alone” Genesis 2:18.
Marriage was instituted for the purpose of procreation and preservation of purity. The task of being fruitful, multiplying and generally taking dominion over creation is better done by a man and woman, in the partnership of marriage.

There are few reasons why you are not married:

a. Fear of failing

A 6-year old girl was asked what sort of man she would marry when she grew up. She took a stern look at the uncle and said, “Uncle, I will never get married, never! Because mommy and daddy are always fighting and that’s because they’re married.”

Many adult singles have this wrong notion of marriage. Their views of the marriage institution are distorted by the unsuccessful marriages of those around them. They live with an unconscious or conscious fear of failure in marriage. This has the tendency to cause them to hesitate to get married when due.
Others who are afraid to get married are those who grew up in abusive families. This include families where the father or mother is an alcoholic, drug dependent, wife barter, or suffered sexual abuse by step-father or mother.
The best way to heal is to begin to forget your past by forgiving those who have hurt you in the past; seeking for strength in God and the ability to live on.
The book, “The Irony of Love, Premarital and Extramarital Relationships, discusses how to heal after a hurtful past. This may not be easy but is impossible and the best for you.
Remember, no one can take away your happiness without your permission.

b. Having the spirit of Apathy

Many adult singles may have adequate knowledge on the purpose of marriage. They may have seen successful marriages rooted in love, yet they are burdened by the spirit of apathy. They don’t seem to be moved by the thought of getting married. Your marriage is important to you, God, your family and the world.
Delay leads to hasty and wrong decisions which often lead to mistakes in choosing a partner.

c. Lack of knowledge on the Purpose of Marriage

An intending couple that is fully aware of the purpose of marriage will most likely be given the divine license and favour to marry faster than those ignorant of the purpose of marriage. Some people feel they should marry because their friends, schoolmates, colleagues or relations are married. Others think it is traditional to marry when one is of age. Yet, others get married because they feel it’s time to enjoy the sexual pleasures of marriage.
All these reasons are outside God’s purpose for establishing the marriage institution. Marriage is for companionship; procreation; expansion of God’s kingdom on earth by raising godly children; conjugation; demonstration of love among couples and support.

d. Living in Sexual Sin

Many adult singles dwell in sexual immorality via premarital sexual relationship and cohabitation before marriage. They have access to as many men and ladies they want to satisfy their sexual appetite and feel it is unnecessary to settle down soon in marriage. As long as you remain in the sin of fornication, you shut heaven from revealing the right partner for your life. Devil will always show you counterfeit partners.

e. Being Choosy

Some adult singles ignorantly wait to get married until it becomes too late. Some ladies who are endowed by God with beautiful physical appearance become so selective that they could turn down as many marriage proposals as they want.
This often happens when they are very young and elegant.
Suddenly, the tides of time overtake them and panic strikes their heart that they are getting old. They waited for a man with a car, house, a great job and fat bank account.

They get involved in any and every type of relationship for fear that they may never have any other chance. This is marriage of convenience.
A faulty foundation makes every other thing faulty. Delay brings anxiety, anxiety leads to mistakes and mistakes leads to failure and regret.
God warns, “To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

Recommended Books:

The Irony of Love, Premarital and Extramarital Relationships

Stop Existing! Start Living!