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Son of God Bible Study: Rick Warren gives steps to escape temptations

Jesus was tempted in every way
Jesus was tempted in every way
Margaret Minnicks

Temptation is the desire to perform an action that a person may enjoy immediately, but the person would probably regret it later. Temptation is not a sin. It becomes a sin only when you act upon it.

Because Jesus was tempted in every way, we too will become tempted throughout our lives. We will never outgrow temptation. Because Jesus was helped, we can follow His example to deal with our own temptation. Jesus was tempted because He was a threat to the devil. More than likely, you will be tempted after every mountaintop experience because we are tempted for the same reason Jesus was tempted. The devil sees some godly qualities in us, and he tempts us to distract us and to keep us from doing the will of God. After a spiritual high, you can expect a spiritual test.

In his "Son of God Bible Study," Rick Warren gives seven steps to escape temptation.

Step 1: Get into the word of God. It is our only defense. Jesus used this method by quoting scriptures to the devil when He was tempted in the desert after He had come down off a 40-day fast. We should use the word of God pertaining to our situation and say, "It is written..." just as Jesus did.

Step 2: Identify your vulnerabilities. A vulnerability is the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment. In other words, it is being susceptible to something. Therefore, you should watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Pay close attention to when you are most tempted, where you are most tempted, who is with you when you are most tempted and how you feel when you are most tempted. Figure out what triggered the temptation.

Step 3: Plan in advance what you are not going to do. According to Proverbs 4:26, "Avoid evil and walk straight ahead. Don't go one step off the right way." Plan in advance to stay away from people, places, or circumstances that cause you to be vulnerable to temptation. Plan what you're not going to do, and than stick to your plan.

Step 4: "Guard your heart because it affects everything you do," according to Proverbs 4:23.Temptation is an inside job. Make sure you have a pure and clean heart.

Step 5: Pray for deliverance from temptation. As is stated in the model pray, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:13)

Step 6: Refocus your attention. Whatever gets your attention gets you. Therefore, when you are tempted, don't focus on the temptation but on something else instead.

Step 7: Find a friend. Having a close friend will cause you to be accountable for your action. "Two are better than one because together they can walk more effectively," according to Ecclesiastes 4:9.

If the above steps are followed, one is likely to yield not to temptation for yielding to temptation is sin just as the song says.

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