What does the Bible say about temptation?
Is temptation a sin? No, but it can easily lead to sin. I hate temptation! I hate when something seeks to take the place of God in my mind. One day I was in tears because I was losing the presence of God. My thoughts were being filled with the world, finances, etc. It is a huge temptation to live in the United States. I had to cry out to the Lord. “I don’t want these thoughts. I don’t want to worry about these things. I want to worry about You. I want to keep my mind on You.”
I had to wrestle with God in prayer until He gave me peace that night. I had to wrestle until my heart was aligned with His heart. Where are your priorities?
Are you fighting with the temptations in your life that seek to cause you to sin? I know you have wicked co-workers, but you let go that anger and fight.
I know that lust seeks to take you, but you must fight. Jesus has delivered some of you from an addiction and that addiction wants you back, but you must fight. You must make war until the battle is won or until you die! We have to fight with these things.
God loves you so much. Jesus Christ is our motivation. Just sit there and think about the bloody gospel of Jesus Christ in your mind. On the cross Jesus said, “it is finished.” You don’t have to move an inch you are loved.
One day God helped me to understand that and that alone has helped me overcome sins that I was struggling with. The love of Christ for me. The love of Christ on the cross is the reason that right when my heart starts pounding and I feel temptation is near I run. Pray to the Holy Spirit daily. Holy Spirit guide my life. Help me notice temptation immediately and help me to avoid sin.
Christian quotes about temptation
“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.”
“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.” John Piper
“Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.” Billy Sunday
“Temptations are rather hopeful evidences that thy estate is good, that thou art dear to God, and that it shall go well with thee forever, than otherwise. God had but one Son without corruption, but He had none without temptation.” Thomas Brooks
“Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it — just hang up!” Rick Warren
“Temporary happiness isn’t worth long term pain.”
“Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Temptation may even be a blessing to a man when it reveals to him his weakness and drives him to the almighty Savior. Do not be surprised, then, dear child of God, if you are tempted at every step of your earthly journey, and almost beyond endurance; but you will not be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, and with every temptation there will be a way of escape.” F.B. Meyer
“[We must] pray constantly for His enabling grace to say no to temptation, of choosing to take all practical steps to avoid known areas of temptation and flee from those that surprise us.” Jerry Bridges
“When Christians find themselves exposed to temptation they should pray to God to uphold them, and when they are tempted they should not be discouraged. It is not a sin to be tempted; the sin is to fall into temptation.” D.L. Moody
“The riches of His free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me.” George Whitefield
“For as men in battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this world, are ever within the reach of temptation.” William Penn
“Unwillingness to accept God’s “way of escape” from temptation frightens me what a rebel yet resides within.” Jim Elliot
“All the great temptations appear first in the region of the mind and can be fought and conquered there. We have been given the power to close the door of the mind. We can lose this power through disuse or increase it by use, by the daily discipline of the inner man in things which seem small and by reliance upon the word of the Spirit of truth. It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is as though He said, ‘Learn to live in your will, not in your feelings.” Amy Carmichael
Resisting temptation Bible verses
Many of us go through the same battles. We all have to make war. The greatest area that Satan seeks to tempt believers in is in sexual temptations. I’m tired of believers whining when God has said in His Word that He has given us power over these things. He has provided a way out. Why are so many professing Christians involved with porn and masturbation? I have to go through the same things that pull at me. I have to go through the same temptations, but God has given us power and He is faithful. Hold on to His promise. God says He will provide a way out in the face of temptation and He does provide a way out.
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
2. 1 Peter 5:9 “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
3. 1 Corinthians 7:2 “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
4. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Overcoming temptation: God is better than your sin.
Everything seeks to take His place. We have to be careful. You have to find something that you love more than that sin and that is Christ. My father raised me up well. As a child he taught me never to steal, but one day I was enticed. I was probably around 8 or 9. One day I walked to the store with my friend and together we stole a fire cracker. I was so scared. As we were walking out the store the owner noticed something suspicious and he called us, but we ran in fear. We ran all the way back to my house.
When we got back to my house we tried to light the fire cracker but noticed the rope was ripped. We couldn’t use the fire cracker. Not only did I feel so guilty, but I was hurt and ashamed. I even walked back to the store and gave the owner a dollar and gave my apologies. I love my dad and I desire to obey him, but I forsook his words for a broken fire cracker.
Not only did it not satisfy my needs, but it left me broken inside. It hurts God when His own people choose sin over Him. We know that only God can satisfy us not our broken desires that leave us broken. Whenever you are being tempted choose God. Don’t forsake His ways for something that doesn’t satisfy. Don’t choose something that is broken.
5. Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
6. Romans 6:16 “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
7. Jeremiah 2:5 “This is what the LORD says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.”
Fighting temptation and sin
Sometimes we would rather complain than make war. We have to make war with sin until death. Go to war with those thoughts. Go to war when that sin seeks to pick at you. Go to war with those worldly desires. “God I don’t want this help me fight!” Get up! Walk around and do what you have to do so you don’t sin! If those thoughts seek to take over cry out to God! Make war with anger!
8. Romans 7:23 “but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
9. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
10. Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
11. Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
Guard your thought life and resist temptation
Set your mind on Christ. Focus on Him and His great love for you. When your mind is so set on Christ it will not be set on anything else. Preach the gospel to yourself. When you’re focused on Jesus and running towards Him you will not want to stop at distractions around you because you are so focused on Him.
Remove the dead weight that is holding you back and run. I didn’t say that because it sounds good. Look at all the dead weight that is holding you back on your walk of faith right now. We all have them. Remove them so you can run with endurance.
12. Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
13. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Prayer against temptation in the Bible
This might sound cliche, but how much do we do this? Do you get away from what is tempting you and actually go to pray? Don’t just go and pray. Remove the things that are bringing temptation then go and pray. If you pray and you’re still doing something that is tempting you it won’t accomplish much.
Sometimes fasting is needed. Sometimes we have to starve the flesh. Fasting has really helped me stop sins I had to go to war over. Pray! How long do you spend alone with God daily? If your soul is not being fed spiritually, then it will be easier to fall in temptation.
14. Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
15. Luke 11:4 “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”
God is able to deliver you in any temptation.
16. 2 Peter 2:9 “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.”
How to Defeat Discouragement and Temptation
We must be careful when we are vulnerable. That is when Satan loves to strike. He loves to strike when we are down. When we are tired and we need sleep. When we are around the ungodly. When we just received bad news and are discouraged. When we are in physical pain. When we are being annoyed. When we just committed one sin. When we just received some extremely good news. Be careful when you are vulnerable. Satan is going to try to find a way to bring you down when it is easy for him.
17. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
18. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Another big area where Satan seeks to tempt us is with material lusts.
Instead of trusting God Satan wants you to trust in finances. If God ever blesses you financially, then be on guard. When God blesses people that is when they forsake Him. It is so easy to forget about God. It is so easy to stop paying tithes or neglect the poor so you can spend the money on your desires. It is a big temptation to live in the United States because everything shines. It is hard to serve the Lord and be rich. God says it is hard for the rich to enter into Heaven. We are rich in America compared to other countries.
The church, God’s own people have become fat and rich and we have forsaken our King. Temptation when it comes to finances is a huge reason why people make stupid choices and end up having financial problems. You see a new 2016 BMW for sale and the devil starts to tempt you. He says, “you would look amazing driving that. Imagine how many women would be after you.” We have to make sure things don’t catch our eyes because they easily can. Don’t pursue the things of the world!
19. 1 Timothy 6:9 “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
20. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
You should not be doing anything that triggers temptation.
Here are a few examples. Never be alone in a room with the opposite sex for a long period of time. Stop listening to ungodly music. Stop hanging around ungodly friends. Stay off those sinful websites and be careful on social media. Stop dwelling on evil. Cut down on the TV. Little small things that you do will affect you. We have to listen to the Spirit when it comes to even small matters. Anything can lead to sin. Sometimes something as simple as watching one YouTube video can lead to watching worldly videos. We have to be careful. Are you listening to the Spirit’s conviction?
21. Proverbs 6:27-28 “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?”
22. 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Satan is the tempter.
If you’re living in sin that is evidence that you are not saved. Many people email me and say things like, “I keep on falling in temptation and I have sex with my girlfriend.” I ask people have they truly repented? Have they counted the cost? I’m not saying that there is no struggle with sin, but believers don’t practice sin and live in it. We don’t use God’s grace to rebel and make excuses. Are you a new creation? What does your life say?
23. 1 Thessalonians 3:5 “For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.”
24. 1 John 3:8 “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
Never blame the Lord when it comes to temptation.
He can’t be tempted. Never say God gave me this sin or struggle.
25. James 1:13-14 “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”
Temptation is dangerous. It can lead to apostasy.
26. Luke 8:13 “The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.”
Temptation is powerful
Watch out when reproving others. Watch out when you try to restore someone because I know people who fell into sin out of curiosity and while trying to restore others who have fallen.
27. Galatians 6:1 “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
Jesus was tempted: God’s Word will help you to resist the tactics of Satan.
Some people just quote Scriptures when temptation comes. Notice what Jesus did. Jesus obeyed the Scriptures He was quoting.
28. Matthew 4:1-7 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.‘” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
29. Hebrews 2:18 “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
30. Psalm 119:11-12 “I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. LORD, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes.”