Aug 20

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Our enemy is Satan (Eph. 6:12), his weapon is temptation (Mat. 4:3; Jas. 1:14) and his chain is sin (Rom. 6:23). Since a priority of man is to abstain from sin (Mat. 5:27-30), then all who know about God and the Judgment Day would want to have all the help, hints and information available to overcome sin.
However, there really is no secret. God, who is very desirous for all to overcome temptation (2 Pet. 3:9) has revealed the means of overcoming temptation. It has to do with upon what we think. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Thus, when a person thinks upon things, it effects him. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that out of the heart comes forth the issues of life. Thus, if a person contemplates evil things in his heart, then the issue of life which comes from such a heart will be evil (sin). James 1:14-15 words it this way, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin.” Thus, the way to overcome sin is to refrain from entertaining temptation in your mind; that is, “Don’t even think about it.”
Compare the difference between Eve and Jesus during the time of temptation. They were tempted in the same way, but Eve (upon being tempted) contemplated, and thought how it would be if she did take of the fruit (Gen. 3:6), whereas Jesus did not entertain the thought. He knew it was wrong, and responded with “It is written,” and even Satan knew he had been defeated. Again, the difference was that Jesus “Didn’t even think of how it would be.”
For sake of illustration, let us say that the Bible still teaches that is sinful to eat pork. However, you like pork very much and have a great weakness for pork. So how do you refrain from falling into the temptation and sin of eating pork? You help yourself by avoiding situations which would get you thinking about it. If a television program was airing pork, you’d change the channel. If there were a cookbook on pork, you’d avoid reading it. If a store had pork on its shelf, you’d look the other way. If you went to an establishment where the smell of pork was strong, you’d leave and go elsewhere. If, despite your efforts to avoid all contact with pork, an incident involving pork still “pops up,” then have your course of action predetermined-turn away (Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; how then should I look upon a virgin?”) Yes, the help to overcome temptation is to refrain from thinking about it. (Of course, one should apply the above illustration by substituting the pork with any weakness one may have.)
Instead of thinking upon the things of the world, God tells us to seek and set our minds on the things that are above (Col. 3:1-3). “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS” (Phil. 4:8). It is by this that we will overcome Satan, his weapon and his chain.
Gary Henson

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