10 Ways to Fight against the Temptation to Sin

10 Ways to Fight against the Temptation to Sin

Temptation is one the most frustrating challenges of being a Christian. We know the truth. We also know God and how much He loves us. We love Him back and desperately want to show it in our actions. However, no matter how long we’ve been in a relationship with God we all face the temptation to sin against Him. If Jesus was not exempt from temptation in Matthew 4 then neither are we. I do want to make it clear, however, that temptation to sin is not the same as sin. Sin is when we give into temptation. Thankfully, God has graciously given us everything we need to overcome.

1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (ESV)

So how can we practically fight against the temptation to sin? Here are 10 ways:

  • 1. Check Your Thinking

    When facing temptation, if our thought is always “I’m going to fail,” we probably will. Our thoughts are very powerful and temptation has a way of making us feel completely helpless. But feelings are not the same as the truth. Our Bible tells us: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT) With the power and strength of Christ we can overcome, so let’s think like it.

    When you find yourself thinking about sinning or thinking about failing to not sin, speak truth out loud. Tell yourself, “This is not what Christ wants for me.” There is a powerful connection between our tongue and our heart. Speaking truth can help our hearts fall in line with truth and keep us from falling into temptation.

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  • 2. Pray

    God offers us His strength, but many times we don’t utilize it because we simply don’t ask for it. “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:2-3 ESV

    When tempted, we immediately think of what we need to do better and forget that God is right here ready to help us. Praying when we are tempted helps to keep our mind on our greater God. Asking God to help us overcome temptation is a prayer He loves to answer with ‘yes!’

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  • 3. Fast

    Before Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He fasted. When we fast, we sacrifice in the physical to give more attention to the spiritual. Why is this important when we are facing temptation? Because this is a spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:12 tells us: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (ESV) Spiritual battles cannot be won with physical weapons; fasting is a great way to build our spiritual muscle and again keep our eyes on Christ. 

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  • 4. Fight with the Word of God

    Speaking of building our spiritual muscle, the Word of God provides a great way to do just that. If you are struggling in a particular area, I suggest finding Bible passages on that topic and taking time to study each, meditate on them and even memorize them. God’s Word has the power to change lives and help us in our weakest moments.     

    Read: 25 Verses to Help Us Stand Strong in Uncertain Times

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  • 5. Find an Accountability Partner

    When fighting a reoccurring temptation, it’s not good to do it alone. Enlisting help from a spiritually mature and trusted friend may help greatly. Galatians 6:2 tells us “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (ESV) Encouragement and wise counsel can go a long way when it comes to our fight against temptation. If you notice our greatest temptations are usually faced when we are alone. The enemy knows this is when we are weakest. To fight this tactic we must resist the urge to think we can fight by ourselves and ask for help. 

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  • 6. Don't Be So Hard on Yourself

    As I stated before, temptation is not the same as sin. Still, sometimes when we are in heavy seasons of being tempted we beat ourselves up out of frustration and think there is something wrong with us. But being too hard on ourselves only intensifies the situation. Remember that no matter what, God is with you and there is no temptation that can separate you from that love. Romans 8:39 tells us: “nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)

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  • 7. Connect with Someone Who Overcame the Same Temptation

    Speaking with someone who has been tempted in a similar way as you and has overcome provides a great source of encouragement. It reminds us that victory is available and gives us hope. If you can find a book or blog by someone who has overcome the same temptation as you, that’s great too. Reading their story will serve as a reminder that if God can do it for them, surely He can do it for you. 

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  • 8. Fill the Void

    Temptation is trying to fill a void that we have, usually an area that only God can fulfill. Its purpose is to get our eyes off God and to get us to think we can find true satisfaction somewhere else. For this reason, temptation works best when we’re empty of God and our souls are dry and thirsty. However, if we make sure our spiritual tank is always full we give temptation less power when it comes. We can do this by praying, reading our bible, and fellowshipping with other believers. Overall, we simply need to ensure we are consistently developing and nurturing our relationship with the Lord. 

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  • 9. Throw Off Everything That Hinders

    Some temptation is out of our control and other temptations come into our lives because we let them. Avoiding this type of temptation is as simple as cutting out things that increase our desire to sin and decrease our desire for God. Pray for the Lord to reveal these things to you and ask for the strength to cut them out. Maybe it’s a TV show, a certain type of music, a relationship, or group of friends. As Hebrews 12:1 instructs us “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (NIV)

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  • 10. Rest in God's Grace

    When we are tempted we cannot forget that God is gracious and we need to rest in His grace. It is His grace, not our works that empower us to overcome. It is his love, not our effort that gives victory. Remember, it’s not all up to you. God is right in the battle with you giving you everything you need to win. 

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    Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

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