The six stages in temptations
1 Cor 10:13 'No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.'
Being tempted is not a sin. The sin is falling into the said temptation.
Temptations should make a believer strong, but not weak. Temptations come from the devil. Tests come from God.
The devil will bring a temptation so that you will sin.
Tests are meant to bring out the best in a person.
We pass tests. We overcome temptations.
James 1:13-15 'Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.'
Both Jesus and Joseph overcame temptations. They serve as examples of what men should do when in tempting situations.
Joseph took off. He fled for his life, because he loved God too much to fall for the sexual advances of Potiphar's wife.
Jesus on the other hand, defeated the enemy by quoting excerpts from the Word of God.
There are six stages that a temptation goes through before it becomes all grown.
1. God is Tempting Me
The statement 'God is tempting me' is as ridiculous as it sounds.
God cannot tempt anyone; nor can He be tempted by evil.according to James 1:13,
The Word is clear about the fact that we all have to be tempted. If you do not address the temptation -that you tend to think is from God - sooner, it advances to the enticement stage.
James 1:14 'But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.'
A temptation simply lures you.
No one commits sin without first being enticed to do wrong. It is at this point that you can decide to flee before it is too late, or allow yourself to be enticed.
Think of how you could entice a chicken with maize seeds. The chicken will eventually fall into your plan.
3. Conceiving Stage
After you have allowed temptations to entice you, you conceive. Whatever is conceived has a due date.
4. Giving Birth to Sin
James 1:15 'Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.'
Temptations eventually give birth to sin. After conception, something must be birthed. It is sin in this case.
5. The Stage of Growth
Sin grows. According to James 1:15, sin brings forth death when it is grown fully.
This is a critical stage. It is better to kill the sin at this stage than to advance to the next stage.
Rom 6:12 'Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.'
According to Rom 6:23, the wages of sin is death.
There is spiritual and Physical death. Death in the church is what the devil aims at. Quenching the fire of your altar is what the devil desires dearly.
When spiritual death occurs, a believer will do anything and not be convinced that it is wrong.
Deut 30:15 says that there is death and life ahead of each one of you. It is entirely upon you to make a choice.
1. Temptations are not from God
2. Temptations come from within us
Temptations come with difficult people and difficult situations. Difficult people will push you to the edge so that you will fall into temptations.
3. Temptations are an enticement to do evil.
People will be used to sin against you so that you may fail to forgive them. Unforgiveness is a sin.
4. Sin brings defeat
There is nothing good in sin. A righteous man is a victor. A sinful man is defeated.
Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked
True peace comes from living a sinless life.
Psalms 119:11 'I have hidden your Word in my heart that I may not sin against you.'
Tips to Overcome Temptations
- Avoid enticing situations
Stay away from enticing situations. It is better to keep off places that could lead you into temptations.
- Fill your mind with the Word. Col 3:16, Psalms 119: 11
- Know your weak points. If you easily fall for gossip, avoid situations that will tempt you to gossip.
- Don't allow evil thoughts. When an evil thought crosses, replace it with a positive one
-Guard your thought life. Put boundaries as far as your thoughts are concerned. It all starts in the mind. We are therefore required to protect our thoughts with all it takes.
-Be careful of what you look at.Your eyes are the gateway to your soul. Avoid observing anything that could lead you to temptations. Pornography, for instance, is a no go zone for any believer.
Phil 1:6 'Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.'