When it comes to temptation, sometimes there are practical steps or activities that we may do to avoid or alleviate the problem. If we are tempted by being in a certain place or with certain people, we can obviously choose, if at all possible, to not go to such a place or be with such people.
In the case of sexual temptation we need to stand in the truth that we know about God and about what is truly fulfilling as far as sexual activity is concerned. The fact that we can use scripture to help us when we are tempted has already been mentioned.
In John 8:32, Jesus says,
“You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus is talking about Himself. If you allow Him, the Holy Spirit can strengthen and free your mind in the truth about sexuality. We need to be prepared to make sacrifices that go against our fallen human nature. This way we can really know the true joy that exists in serving God and seeking to please Him. We are brought closer to God, and this relationship with Him is absolutely special. We need to desire truth, not merely theoretically in our minds, but also practically in allowing that truth to invade our bodies and our desires, through welcoming the activity of the Holy Spirit of God.
Proverbs 1:7 says
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”
When we know the truth about God deep within ourselves, we can know true spiritual freedom and joy. There is nothing that can match this experience in life and we should have such a fear of God and respect for own happiness that we will settle for no less.
At times we can feel and sense this joy and this freedom. At other times we are living amidst the spiritual darkness that is all about us in this world, and it is a question of faith for us to hold on to the divine hope that we have. We may have memories of when God has plainly acted in our lives and these can inspire us that God is real. Our faith can still be active, despite the absence of experiencing the feeling that God is with us now, and is still at work in our lives.
These rules about holding on to hope would apply to those who are tempted to give up on their faith, as much as to specific temptations such as sexual temptations. For those of us who have always felt a distance between ourselves and God, deep faith is required. If we do not have encouraging memories to turn to, we can certainly pray to the Lord that He will allow us to experience Him now.
Pray that He will answer your prayers and that He will grant you the strength to persevere in faith and resist every type of temptation that would pull you away from His spiritual safety.
This was part of the lesson given to year 10-12 Sunday School Class @ St Barbara & St Noufer COC on 19/9/2010