In the first post of this series, we learned about why Satan tempts us and how he does it. In the second, we looked at how we can get ready to overcome Satan when he comes to tempt us. But how can we resist Satan’s temptation in the moment? Let’s look at how we can resist Satan when we find ourselves in the midst of temptation.
1. Listen for God’s voice
It is good to make our choices beforehand, but if we choose to ignore our Savior’s voice in the moment, our decisions are useless. We must listen to the Lord’s voice in the moment and hear His call to our heart. If we ignore His voice we are making it even harder to listen to Him the next time. “If ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15).
In the Bible Moses wanted Pharaoh to free the children of Israel from slavery, but Pharaoh kept hardening his heart against God’s voice and the voice of His servant, Moses (see Exodus 5–14). The more Pharaoh ignored the Lord, the easier it was to disregard Him. These seemingly little decisions to ignore the Lord led to more and more decisions to ignore God’s voice. Finally, these decisions led Pharaoh to destruction. We must choose to listen to God’s voice immediately when we are in temptation—unless we want an ending like Pharaoh’s.
As soon as we are faced with a temptation, we must surrender “self.” Self will naturally want to yield to the temptation, but we must be willing to completely submit self to God if we are to ever resist temptation. We must be willing to do God’s will not our own. Every time we face a temptation, we need to make a choice. For example, when someone says something unkind to us, our natural inclination is to say something unkind in return. When we are willing to lay down self, we will not respond in an unkind manner. We will relinquish our feelings of irritation, and treat the individual lovingly.
This is where we must deny self and listen to our Savior. Practically put, denying self is choosing to go against what we “feel” like and do what we know is right by God’s grace, which is what Christianity is all about. As we choose to put aside our sinful desires and obey principle, we will find victory and joy. We must make this choice in every temptation—will I choose my way, or will I choose His way?
3. Determine right away to follow through with your decision
When the moment arrives, and we are in the midst of a temptation, we must determine right away that we will follow through with the decision we have made to do what is right. Daniel and his three friends purposed in their hearts to be faithful to the Lord, but when they were confronted with the food on the King’s table, they had to decide whether they would follow through with their decision or not (Daniel 1). Like them, we must determine immediately to follow through with our purpose to honor God.
This is where we often fail. How do we follow through with our decision in the moment? We determine to do what is right even if we don’t feel like it.
4. Pray for God’s strength, act in faith, and claim God’s promises
This is how we follow through with our decision in the moment—we pray earnestly. No matter how much I determine, if I do not ask God to give me the strength, I won’t be able to do it. When staring temptation in the face, we must plead with God to give us His strength to move forward. Don’t ever think that God won’t have the strength to give you. He had the power to make this world—to form mountains, to fill the oceans with water, to breathe life into a sculpture shaped from the ground—He has the strength to give you victory.
“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of such a one, rather than allow him to be overcome” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, page 17). One of my favorite authors wrote this to show that there is power in prayer. The Lord will send you help—just when you need it.
Once we pray for strength, we must act in faith. In so doing, we lay self down and take the first step to victory. We must go in faith. We must move ahead doing what is right no matter how we feel. Also, we must make the choice to obey quickly. As soon as we have prayed that quick prayer for strength, we must act upon it in faith. Our tendency is to stand on the porch, pleading for strength. In reality God has already given us the strength and made our legs fully functional to go and do what He is asking us to do. We must pray, then act right away and claim God’s promises.
5. Sing a Scripture song, recite Scripture, and pray until the victory is gained
Once we have decided that we will be faithful, it is important for us to keep connected with the Lord and cling to His promise of faithfulness to us because the devil does not give up easily. Sing a Scripture song or hymn, or recite memorized Scripture, and pray. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good voice because your singing will be music to the Savior’s ears as He hears His child obeying Him by faith.
If you cannot sing or recite Scripture verses out loud, pray. Nothing can stop us from having open communion with the Savior. When we sing scripture songs, recite Bible verses, and pray we will find that we can be victorious in God’s strength. At the time we take hold of the Savior’s hand, Satan and his angels fall back in fear, and the victory is won.
Please know that you are not the only one who has temptations. I have struggled with a particular weakness in daydreaming, not necessarily about bad things—just idle thoughts. I recognized that this was not what the Lord wanted me to do with my time. I am finding victory. I have determined to really pray about this area of my character, asking God to change my heart. I have also determined to allow the Lord to replace it by having Him put His laws into my mind and to write them in my heart (see Hebrews 8:10).
It is my plea to you today that you will see the emptiness of Satan’s temptations in your life and choose by God’s grace to be victorious. I know how hard it is. I know how overwhelming it can seem, but let me encourage you—it is possible for you. You can be victorious. You can succeed. I still have temptations; I am seeking the grace of God to lead me in overcoming my sin. God is faithful and will guide our paths as long as we let Him. Victory is for you! We don’t have to be like the world, but we can be lights in the world. When we are resisting all the temptations the devil sends our way, what a blessing we can be to others. What a witness of the power of Jesus. We can be victorious Christian young people. Praise the Lord!
Hannah Rayne is a young person who is passionate about her Savior Jesus Christ and she wants to share His love not only for teens and those struggling, but with everyone she meets! She believes that God’s plans are the best and only plans and wants others to experience for themselves what it truly means to fall in love with Jesus!
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