4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

In a previous post, I wrote about a Christian’s struggle with sin and 4 lies we believe about our sin. Let’s take it a step further.

4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

(Photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Neely. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to taking a defensive mindset against the lies we often believe, we need to take an active approach to sin and temptation.

Here are 4 basic strategies to help you battle the tug of temptation and sin on your heart.

Before You Get Married, Consider These 3 Truths

I’ll never forget the day a Christian woman in our church asked me to perform her wedding ceremony. After some conversation, I discovered her fiance wasn’t a Christian.

3 Truths to Consider Before You Get Married

(Photo by gcardinal from Norway, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Why would you marry an unbeliever,” I asked her, “when God’s Word says you can’t?”

“Well, I prayed about it,” she answered, “and I feel like it’s okay.”

“You didn’t need to pray. You can be certain it isn’t God’s will.”

It was a short conversation.

God’s will for you will never contradict God’s Word. You don’t even need to pray about it. (Tweet that.)

Tel Dan—Worshipping at the Altar of Convenience

Shady walkways. Cool breezes. Abundant streams. Luxuriant foliage. The Tel Dan Nature Preserve draws the locals as well as the travelers. It always has.

The high place and altar at Tel Dan.

(Photo: The high place and altar at Tel Dan. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)

In natural beauty, Tel Dan has few rivals in Israel. For the ancients, it had everything necessary for abundant living.

While the Hebrews in the south worshipped in Jerusalem, the natural beauty of Tel Dan in northern Israel offered an irresistible alternative. It was picturesque. It was convenient. It was invigorating.

And it was a complete compromise of God’s will.

Why God Allows Us to Crash and Hurt

I’ll never forget the day when one of my daughters learned to ride her bike without training wheels. (The “fall” was an appropriate season for this event.)

As she sped down a hill toward a huge ravine, I saw written all over her face the message: “I’m not in control!”

Why does God allow us to hurt?

(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)

As she raced by me, I reached out and lifted her off the bike—saving her from the ravine but causing her to fall. As the bike launched into the abyss, my rescued daughter hopped up hotter than a hornet!

“Why did you do that, Daddy?!” To answer, I simply pointed to the bottomless gorge I saved her from. But that didn’t matter. All she could see was that I caused her to fall.

Years later, I pondered how we can carry this same attitude into our relationship with God.

What Comes First in Our Relationship with God?

If Jesus told us He had a criticism for us, we’d pull out our checklist and start down it.

  • “Should I go on a mission trip, Lord?”
  • “Should I pray more?”
  • “Maybe memorize the book of Romans?”

“You just name it, Lord, and I’ll do it!”

The most important part of your relationship with God

(Photo: By Almonroth, via Wikimedia Commons)

I have discovered that slips in our relationship with God never start with the big things. They begin with the basics.

We would never consider waffling in our morality or our theology.

And yet, how often we betray a more basic element.

How to Make Decisions You Won’t Regret

How many times have we made what we thought was the best decision—and it turned out to be the worst? Lessons learned from such blunders—if we survive them—we remember and regret all of our lives.

You need to make a decision.

(Photo: By Szerkesztő: Joliet Jake (B.M.), via Wikimedia Commons)

We make knee-jerk decisions that we think will benefit us financially, or relationally, or vocationally, or physically.

But spiritually?

Lot failed to ask that question, and he lived with the regret.

But we don’t have to be like him.

How to Enjoy Fellowship with God [Podcast]

Leviticus 16-17; 23:26-32

The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) was and still is the most important day of the Jewish calendar, for it was then fellowship with God was regained though absolute and complete atonement for all the people who humbled themselves in faith.

Jesus fulfilled this principle and it’s still true today: on the basis of a substitute’s death, a believer may continue to enjoy fellowship with God.

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God Still Loves You, Regardless of You [Podcast]

Leviticus 4; 5:1-13; 6:24-30

You haven’t gone so far that God can’t love you.

The purification offering—sometimes poorly translated “sin offering”—revealed that restoration and forgiveness are available to all. The offering restored the broken fellowship between the believer and God.

Today Christians enjoy security of salvation through Christ’s cleansing (1 John 1:7), and restoration of fellowship through confession (1 John 1:9).

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Sham I Am [Podcast]

Zechariah 7

Feel like you’re wearing a mask? Then consider the question Zechariah suggests: do your religious rituals reflect a life for God’s benefit or efforts to satisfy self?

Since empty ritual reflects an empty relationship, we should walk with God sincerely . . . and shed the shams.

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