In Chapter 27 of The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren presents 4 Biblical keys to defeating temptation. The first key is discussed today (author’s keys in bold type).
1. Refocus your attention on something else. Rick begins by stating that nowhere in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation”. However, we are told the “resist the devil” (James 4:7). Since resisting a thought doesn’t work, we must refocus our attention. Whenever we try to block a thought from taking residence in our mind, all we do is drive that thought deeper within our memory. Like isometric exercises, resistance increases strength, making the temptation stronger and more entrenched. We must turn our attention to God’s Word.
During the transition period following our ministry downsizing or career loss, the Devil attempts to deceive us with thoughts such as: (1) “A loving God wouldn’t allow me to go through this.” (2) “I don’t feel God’s presence.” (3) “My ministry or vocational calling is gone forever. I feel useless.”
In this spiritual battle, our mind is our most vulnerable organ. St. Paul gives us a model to follow in overcoming temptation:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”- 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Tomorrow’s blog- “Defeating Temptation-Part 2”