In this dazzling world of materialism, we will encounter Satan’s seduction and temptations every day. For example, although some people believe in the Lord, yet when they see unbelievers driving a fancy car, living in a luxury house, and enjoying physical pleasures, they feel envious and begin to follow them in making money to satisfy their desires. Some young people, despite believing in the Lord, follow worldly trends, eating, drinking and making merry, revel in fleshly pleasures and have no desire to worship the Lord. Some fall into the temptation of eroticism and can’t extricate themselves. … All kinds of Satan’s temptations and seduction such as money, fame, life’s pleasures and eroticism frequently surround us, and if we are not careful for a moment, we may sink into Satan’s temptations and shun and betray the Lord. Then what should we do to overcome temptations? There are three paths of practice.
1. Pray Earnestly to the Lord When Encountering Temptations
The Lord Jesus said, “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22).
It’s recorded in Philippians 4:6–7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
As we can see from these verses, as long as we earnestly pray to the Lord when coming across temptations, the Lord then sees our sincerity and will guide and protect us, so that we can understand His will, find the path of practice, and overcome temptations.
For example, when encountering the temptation regarding life’s pleasures or eroticism, if we sincerely pray to the Lord with a God-fearing heart, the Lord will guide us to realize that He is searching us at this moment, and to understand that following worldly trends, eating, drinking, playing, and living in physical lust are displeasing to the Lord. The Bible says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15–16). “[W]hoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). The Lord is a holy and jealous God. So, indulging in physical lust or life’s pleasures leads one to be detested and rejected by the Lord. Satan uses all kinds of temptations to try to make us shun and betray the Lord, so that in the end we may be swallowed by it—this is Satan’s trickery. After understanding all this, we will be able to make the right choice and reject the temptation.
Therefore, we should earnestly pray with reverence for God when encountering temptations. This way, the Lord will protect us, show us the way forward, and enable us to choose the right way.
2. Arm Ourselves More With the Truth and Focus on Understanding the Truth
The Lord Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
It’s said in Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
From here we can see that the truth is God’s gift of life to us, and that with the truth, we can distinguish positive things from negative ones, have a path of practice in all things that happen to us, and overcome all temptations. Therefore, we should pay more attention to equipping ourselves with the truth and understanding the truth. Only in this way can we be guided by the Lord’s words and overcome temptations when we are tempted.
Take these words spoken by the Lord Jesus, for example: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Through pondering these words, we can understand that as believers we should be content with sufficient clothing and food, and that pursuing wealth to satisfy our desires and fleshly pleasures can only cause us to shun the Lord and lose the opportunity to gain the truth and life. The Lord doesn’t want us to place importance on food, clothing, money, and fame, but rather He wants us to focus on pursuing the truth, so that finally we can gain the truth as life, win God’s approval and blessings and enter God’s kingdom—only this is the most valuable and meaningful. After understanding all this from these words of the Lord, when the people around us tempt us to make money and pursue worldly things, we will be able to see through Satan’s trickery, overcome this temptation, and thereby satisfy the Lord’s will.
Therefore, we should normally read more of the Lord’s words for only in this way will we be able to understand the truth, and overcome temptations.
3. Consciously Shun Temptations
The Bible says, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).
Since we humans don’t have the ability to overcome sin, we should consciously shun evil places, as well as all the people, events and things that can cause us to degenerate and sin, that is, we should avoid temptations.
Take Joseph in the Bible, for example. When his master’s wife seduced him, he had reverence for God and feared sinning against God, so he avoided this woman—this protected him and enabled him to shun this temptation. There was also Job, whom we all know. He was the greatest of all men of the east at the time, but he didn’t covet fleshly enjoyments and instead lived a simple life. When his children held feasts, he stayed away from them, resolutely refused to follow his children in coveting the pleasures of sin, and prayed and offered sacrifices for them. Job’s conscious cooperation helped him depart from temptations.
In this world full of temptations, we need even more to consciously keep away from all the people, events and things that can lead us to degenerate and sin, such as karaoke places, bars, nightclubs, bathhouses, and other kinds of entertainment venues, online games, pornography and violence on TV, life’s pleasures and dressing up etc. Even if that’s all the people around us talk about, we should guard our footsteps and shun such environments or things, leaving Satan no chance to fool us, thereby avoiding sinking into temptations. This way, what we do won’t displease and disgust the Lord.
As long as we practice according to the above three paths, we can avoid falling into Satan’s temptations and losing our testimony.