How can we escape temptations?
God never tempts us,“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” Jam 1:13 All temptations come from the devil, who is trying to lead us away from God, as he did when he tempted Eve in the garden,“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:4-5 The devil knows that all sin comes from our doubting God, leading us away from the abiding Jesus called us to,“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Jn 15:5 God wants us to understand the devil is constantly trying to get us to rebel against God’s way,“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Pet 5:8
Eve was unable to resist the devil because she had not fully believed God’s way is best. However, Jesus came and gave us the words to use when we are tempted by the devil,“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil... But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt 4:1, 4 When we abide in Him, we can reference the words we need and they begin with,“it is written.” “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matt 4:7
God has a plan, one that leads us to follow Him into eternity,“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.” Matt 9:9 His plan ends with us living in a world of love,“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer 29:11 God’s eternal kingdom of love will bring us perfect joy,“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Ps 16:11 for we will only find the fruit of the Spirit in that love,“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23 There will be no pain, suffering, hatred or tears in God’s kingdom,“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev 21:4 This is the reason we can have faith in God.
So, escaping the temptations of this world begins when we finally have the faith to believe God loves us,“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb 11:6 and has only the best gifts for us,“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Jam 1:17 &“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matt 7:11 &“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jn 3:16 The greatest gift of all.
If we want to escape temptations, we must first come to the Lord and study His Word, which will lead us to surrender to the expected end He has planned. We must decide how we will respond to temptations, before they present themselves. Then, when they do appear, we can respond to them without being lead away from the path God has seen for us,“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov 3:5-6 &“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28 &“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Jam 1:5 &“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10 &“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Rom 8:14
Of course, we humans will not be able to know all that life will thrown at us, so, we must learn to reflect on those things we have done and those things we are about to do, to determine if they are part of God’s plan, or our own temptations fulfilled,“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom 12:2 Then, those things which do not fit into God’s plan require our repentance,“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19 &“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Jn 1:9 This is how we continue to mature,“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” 1 Cor 3:2 and God calls this process sanctification,“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jn 17:17 &“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20
The proud will not repent for they do not truly believe God’s way is best,“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Lk 13:3 We are all sinners,“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom 3:23 and require God’s mercy,“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” Eph 2:4-5 and Jesus’ justification,“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Rom 5:1 True repentance requires a Godly sorrow,“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Cor 7:10 We cannot avoid temptations on our own, however, God will provide a way, if we abide in Him,“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor 10:13 for with God all things are possible,“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matt 19:26