Temptations come to us all, just as they came to Jesus. He battled satan with the Word of God and won. So can you.
It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that the enemy tempted both Adam in the garden and Jesus in the wilderness with food. It certainly is an area of captivation for many of us. Satan offered Jesus the temptation of physical food after He had been fasting for 40 days. Immediately Jesus opposed him with the Word, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God‘” (Matthew 4:4).
Victory Over the Flesh
Your victory over the flesh will not come from the perfect diet or exercise routine (not even PraiseMoves! ha!), but from renewing your mind on the perfect Word of God and cultivating the fruits of the Spirit (self-control, faithfulness and patience in particular).
When your mind is renewed on the Word, you will find yourself making choices in line with the Word. Self-control will become easier. Decisions based on love will begin to win over decisions based on selfishness. The restraints you place on your life will no longer be grievous, but safe boundaries wherein you experience freedom and peace.
Tempted to Give Up?
God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to tolerate or endure. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
That means not only the temptation to overeat, to lose our temper, to procrastinate or not exercise. I believe it also relates to the temptation to give up standing in faith.
If you are standing on God’s Word for healing or the salvation of loved ones; for prosperity, favor, or any of God’s promises, you will be tempted to quit many times. You can escape that temptation through prayer, speaking the Word aloud, thanking God for the victory, singing praises—whatever will stir your faith to believe the truth in spite of the temporary circumstances screaming the opposite message at you.
Believe is a Verb–an ACTION
While “faith” is a noun, “believe” is a verb, an action. One definition of “believe” that has helped me understand it better is this: “taking action on the Word of God.” That makes sense, doesn’t it? Since James 2:26 says, “faith without works is dead,” believing is acting on the Word no matter what the facts may say. Facts are temporary and subject to change. Truth, however, is eternal. The Word of God is truth.
What is just ONE thing you can do right now to act in faith, believing that what you are praying for is a reality? Here's a simple one I do a lot: “Thank You, Lord!” That's it! I thank God that my prayers have been heard and are coming to pass.
Jesus said “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). In the Greek the word receive is actually “take.”
What do you do when someone offers you a beautiful birthday gift? Fold your arms across your chest and turn in the opposite direction? I hope not! You reach out your hands and take what is being given to you. And then what did our mothers teach us to say? “Thank you!”
Be a Child!
I'll tell you, if you will allow yourself to be a precious, foolish child of God for a moment (which you are if you know Jesus!)–just throw your hands up in the air and say, “Thank You, Lord! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” over and over again–right from your heart.
“I thank You Lord that You have given me the way of escape in temptation. Your Word tells me that I overcome through You, because You have already won the victory for me! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I hear Your voice and follow, and the voice of a stranger I will not follow. Your will is being done in my life and I am full to overflowing with the goodness and joy of the Lord, by Your grace in Jesus' name!”
Remember what we covered in Day One (Delight in the Lord–instead of food?): “Here’s what helps me: Praise FAST!!! As fast as I can I begin praising and thanking the Lord. As soon as I feel my resolve fading, I quickly switch into focusing on the Lord and praising Him–rejoicing and delighting myself in Him, thus making myself pliable in His hands instead of conforming to the desires of my flesh nature.” This is a powerful way to overcome temptation and grow stronger and stronger in the Lord.
Feeding on the Bread of Life
These are all actions done in faith. And since “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20) and we “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12), there is tremendous POWER in these faith-filled activities–activities which lead to the fulfillment of seeing your prayers and desires made manifest.
Yes, they seem foolish to the carnal mind. Your mind wants proof and hard facts (that's why it needs to be “renewed” on God's Word, according to Romans 12:2).
Your mind and feelings reside more in the temporary, changing world of the senses. Your heart (your spirit, the real you) feeds on the bread of life within God's Word and enjoys intimate communion with the precious Holy Spirit. Since “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), those things you do in faith (praising, thanksgiving, taking action on your faith as God directs) can speed their manifestation.
Faith-filled Words in Prayer and Praise–The Way of Escape in Temptation
This is not some airy-fairy New Age-y make-believe. This is taking God AT His Word, IN His Word and THROUGH His Word–thanking Him in advance, knowing He cannot lie.
I once heard a great man of God say that the Lord told him in prayer, “I have told My people they could have what they say, but they have been saying what they have.” Don't make that mistake. Say what the Lord says you have, what He has already given you and revealed to you in His Word.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18 Paul tells us we can SEE with the eye of faith: “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Since God has already given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3), we have the answer to our prayers by faith—in Him.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will (His Word), He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
And since you know that you HAVE, what do you say? (“Thank You, Lord” ?) 🙂
Please share your comments below – And if this has been helpful to you, please share via Facebook and Twitter!
Radio Interview with Pastor Jentezen Franklin (author of “The Fasting Edge”)
DAY ONE – Delight in the Lord (instead of food?)
DAY TWO – Loosed from Wickedness
DAY THREE – Undo Heavy Burdens NOW
DAY FOUR – DO and then Feel
DAY FIVE – Oppressed, Go Free!
DAY SIX – YOU Break Every Yoke
DAY SEVEN – What are You Feeding On?