Wise Words on Temptation

“He Can Deliver You”
And if you begin to sin, say, "Lord, I am perishing; save me!" so that you may not perish. For only He can deliver you from the death of the body, He who died in the body for you.
St. Augustine

"Temptation: An Opportunity To Do The Right Thing"
The moment you become God’s child, Satan, like a mobster hit man, put out a 'contract' on you. You are his enemy, and he’s plotting your downfall...[yet] Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice…Every time you choose to do good instead of sin, you are growing in the character of Christ.
Rick Warren

"Make No Opportunity"
Keep thou from the opportunity, and God will keep thee from the sin
Benjamin Franklin

"The Big Bluff"
I have been amazed by him for a long time, so I finally asked a friend of mine how he overcame such great sin in his life—and more than overcame, becoming a person with as pure a heart as it used to be crooked. He had an answer for me. He told me that for many years, even as a Christian, he used to think that he was more or less helpless before his sinful urges. (His was a heroin addiction, with all the deceit and other baggage that accompanies that lifestyle.) He believed that the best he could hope to do was a vicious circle of succumb and repent.

Then the Lord put him through a painful process in which he, for the first time, truly understood the meaning of Paul’s exhortation: “You also must consider [or “reckon”] yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). In a fairly epiphanic way, my friend grasped the fact that sin did not have to have dominion over him (v.14). The grace was there in Christ to say “no” to temptation (Titus 2:12). (For my part, I remembered 1 Peter 4:1, that the person who has suffered in the body is done with sin.)

Of course, sin will still try to convince you, after your conversion, that nothing has really changed, that you are still the weak and pitiful slave to him that you always were. But it’s a big bluff. And we need to call his bluff and to act on the grace that’s already present and sufficient (2 Peter 1:3). It is a very serious matter what we “consider” and “reckon” about ourselves. It is imperative that we operate out of the truth about who we are now: If we’re slaves to anyone now, we’re “slaves to God” and “the fruit you get leads to sanctification” (Romans 6:22).

Wouldn’t it be the most pathetic thing if a man drove a beautiful new Ferrari at 40 miles per hour all his life because he “reckoned” that’s as fast as it could possibly go? We have the Holy Spirit under the hood. A lot more “overcoming” is possible to us than many of us have believed. That’s why Jesus commends seven times in Revelation 2 and 3 the churches who believe they can “overcome” their sins, and do so.
Andree Seu

"Look Behind You"
“The devil’s boots don’t creak”
Scottish Proverb

"Change The Channel of Your Mind"
If you’re serious about defeating temptation you must manage your mind and monitor your media intake…choose carefully what you think about. The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you… Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else…change the channel of your mind and get interested in another idea…Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior and you act on what you felt…Satan can’t get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else…
Rick Warren

"Waiting To Be Kindled"
The fire which seems extinguished often slumbers beneath the ashes.
Pierre Corneille

“Temptation...a stepping-stone.”
Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping-stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize that it is just as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is to do the wrong thing. Temptation simply provides the choice...Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity...In step one, Satan identifies a desire inside you...Temptation starts when Satan suggests (with a thought) that you give in to an evil desire, or that you fulfill a legitimate desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. Always be aware of shortcuts. They are often temptations!...Step two is doubt. Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about the sin: Is it really wrong?...Step three is deception...”...You can get away with it.” “No one will ever know.” “It will solve your problem.” “...everyone else is doing it.” “It is only a little sin...” Step four is disobedience...What began as an idea gets birthed into behavior...The moment you became God’s child, Satan, like a mobster hit man, put out a “contract” on you. You are his enemy, and he’s plotting your downfall.
Rick Warren

“God: The Real Object of All Desire”
Lying on that study sofa…I had sensations which you can imagine. And at once I knew that the Enemy would take advantage of the vague longings and tendernesses to try and make me believe later on that he had the fulfillment that I really wanted. So I balked at him by letting the longings go even deeper and turning my mind to the One, the real object of all desire, which (you know my view) is what we are really wanting in all wants…
CS Lewis

"The Best Kept Secret"
God's commands turn out to be doorways to intimacy with Him. And the best kept secret about obedience in the face of a hard temptation is that there is a blessing waiting on the other side. Satan doesn't want us to know that. He would prefer the usual succumb-and-repent routine.
Andree Seu

"History's Biggest Battles"
History's biggest battles in the last analysis are fought in the hidden corners of our lives.
Peter W. Dickson

"Our Passions"
It is with our passions as it is with fire and water; they are good servants but bad masters"
Sir Roger L' Estrange

"Gaining Strength"
Refrain tonight,
And that shall lend a kind of easiness
To the next abstinence.

"The Tempter's Lie"
Far more important than law, the tempter would seem to say, is love. He condemns Eve’s attitude of trust in God’s command and seeks to point out to her that if she would obtain the wholesomeness and well-roundedness that should characterize a fruitful life, she must not be bound by law…She is confined by her position of trusting in God, of taking seriously His command…From this cramping position she must be emancipated and move over to a standpoint of neutrality from which she can accurately pass judgment upon God and His commands. She is foolish to continue permitting God to lay down the law for her...we can hear the tempter saying...[the human] soul is a very tender thing, and to restrain and bind it by the imposition of categorical law is to harm it. The soul should be free to develop and to express itself, and this it can do only through freedom and love.”
Edward J. Young

"When The Beloved Whispers The Devil's Suggestions"
As so often, Our Lord's own words are both far fiercer and far more tolerable than those of the theologians. He says nothing about guarding against earthly loves for fear we might be hurt; He says something that cracks like a whip about trampling them all underfoot the moment they hold us back from following Him. "If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother and wife... and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke XIV, 26).--

--But how are we to understand the word hate? That Love Himself should be commanding what we ordinarily mean by hared--commanding us to cherish resentment, to gloat over another's misery, to delight in injuring him--is almost a contradiction in terms. I think Our Lord, in the sense here intended, "hated" St. Peter when he said, "Get thee behind me." To hate is to reject, to set one's face against, to make no concession to, the Beloved when the Beloved utters, however sweetly and however pitiably, the suggestions of the Devil. A man, said Jesus, who tries to serve two masters, will "hate" the one and "love the other. It is not, surely, mere feelings of aversion and liking that are here in question. He will adhere to, consent to, work for, the one and not for the other... So, in the last resort, we must turn down or disqualify our nearest and dearest when they come between us and our obedience to God. Heaven knows , it will seem to them sufficiently like hatred...it is too late, when the crisis comes, to begin telling a wife or husband or mother or friend, that your love all along had a secret reservation--"under God" or "so far as a higher Love permits."
C.S. Lewis