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How to battle temptation

April 29, 2010

James 1:12 : Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Many years ago a well known Christian leader I had some dealings with was caught out having an affair.  He had been seeing another woman in secret for more than 4 years. It really rocked me and the other Christian men in my network.  We asked questions of each other, how could this happen?  How could he allow himself to get into this situation?  Why didn’t his faith challenge him to stop?  And then a young pastor friend of mine said to me, ‘Mark this could happen to you or I, we need to be vigilant.’  I have never forgotten this.  Temptation is ever present in my life, this is part of life, and not being tempted is unrealistic.  But I am no victim drawn towards sin without little choice!  There are some precautions, some things I can do to avoid sin that are outlined in this amazing James 1:12 reading.

The first is to love God, which in the greek is agapao, meaning to be devoted.  So I counter temptation and sin by spending a huge amount of time thinking about God.  Reading His Word, in prayer, chatting with others: making God a major focus in my life.

The second lesson from James 1:12 is the importance of enduring.  Just keep going, stay on the path, being determined not to give up, even when other have departed.  Stand firm!

The third help I find in James 1:12 to reduce the affect of temptation, is to desire the crown of life.  The crown is a reward given by a king, and that king is God, and the reward ceremony will be in heaven!  This is something I really need to work on, desiring my reward in heaven.

And the final help is to yearn to be blessed.  Blessed refers to God’s favour, of God working through my life in amazing and wonderful ways –  oh I want that!

So how do I reduce the affects of temptation in my life?  I seek to be devoted to God, to endure through the hardships, to desire after a reward in heaven and to yearn to be blessed.  Praise God!!

God bless,


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  1. Delia Rodriguez permalink

    Thank you so much for this Bro. Mark. This is great! I totally agree with you. We need to focus on God and meditate on His Word every day. We will receive great joy and peace as we fellowship with Him through His Word. And we will get to know Him and He will know us. We won’t want to sin. When we have seen that God is good, we won’t ever want to stray from Him. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  2. lucy ng permalink

    When one is not serious with GOD temptation seldom steps in ..It becomes easier when one does not hear or know his WORD!!!Immediately when I decide to live a holy & blameless life the evil one comes to tempt me.The only way is through constant prayer…to ward off.
    I once had an experience trying to ask my nephew to say the sinners prayer. He could say all the words except for the word JESUS!
    See how temptation works??

  3. sheryl permalink

    I love the picture, it tells a thousand words. I think God wants me to read Genesis today.

  4. Mary permalink

    Look at Peter who literally walked with Jesus. “Lord, I love you. I will never forsake you.” Then later. “I never knew him.” If Peter can yield to temptation. How much more can we? We have to stay “prayed up.”

  5. Karen - Omaha, Ne permalink

    These goals – I seek to be devoted to God, to endure through the hardships, to desire after a reward in heaven and to yearn to be blessed. – are beautiful. Keep on keeping on with Jesus.

  6. tabitha permalink

    I have enjoyed your writings recently and this one was very good and timly for me. Thank you for thaking you time to spread God’s word this way.

  7. When God happens in your life you don’t have to ‘make God a major focus in your life’ it comes FIRST in your life, naturally. Everything becomes a complete second. There’s a natural immersion that doesn’t have to be forced. Getting back in THE WORD starts a process or renews that foundation from which everything else springs. Temptation will flee.
    THEN spouses can start to mend their relationship as well using scriptural healing passages.
    Just saying.
    Sometimes we get all wrapped up in the world and try to follow their outline. Exhausting and incorrect. Been there, done that. Failed miserably.
    Be in the world but not of it.

    • Shalondra Jackson permalink

      I love your comment. This is so on time for me. I am dealing with MAJOR temptation in my life and I’m trying my best to “slay my flesh”. Not doing too well with that. Been back in the world and it’s time to get back to God. I’ve tried everything else, so I know it’s time to “let go and let God”

  8. Thank you for the work you do! Everyday is a great devotion. I have added you to my blog roll, I hope others will visit and become encouraged. Temptation is such a hard thing to deal with!

  9. Joann Guevara permalink

    WOW! mark, i feel as if this devotion is speaking to me, literally! cause am actually having some issues with temp these days, and this has come at the right time, thanks for the insight….god bless.

  10. Thanks Rev. Mark, i learned so much from what you have shared with us today… so clear and true. God bless you!

  11. Oluwaseunfunmi permalink

    Mark,temptation has eatin deep & redirect believers of our days even I but with the little testimony i pray God will see us tru d challenges of life.

  12. Kam permalink

    Hi Mark. I read with interest your article on temptation. To ground your references a little, the Bible says in I John 2:16; “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” This is ground zero where temptation originates. Each day we have to deal with our lusts that can draw us into temptation. Your friend who cheated on his wife for four years was tempted long before he acted. We must learn to turn away from these three ‘lusts’ in order to be strong against temptation.

  13. abraham permalink

    God bless you this article really helped me a lot

  14. Marivic M. Naval permalink

    Godbless you Mark, Thanks a lot for the Word of God, that you shared this morning, you are very right that we should always focus to our God pray and meditate His word. I am so blessed, This word is very encouraging for me. God is really alive coz this word is for me. Thank you very much and GODbless you always. Please always send for me some God words everyday.

  15. Marty permalink

    I have trouble with temptation. This has been an eye opener for me. Thank you for writing this. I am sure it will touch many people as it has touched me.

  16. sal permalink

    The other things to save us from temptation, are without a doubt, accountability!, daily reading and praying, or for the most part anyhow, and involvement in living life together, like a small group that discusses the Bible and so on!:)

  17. Wanda Legler permalink

    Thank youl so much. You have know idea how much that I needed to hear that today.

  18. Lynn Gerstenkorn permalink

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these daily reflections! Please keep them coming. I want to know the meanings of words, the history behind the scriptures, and these reflections provide that. THANK YOU Mark!

  19. Jukjuk permalink

    Yes! Thank You for these tips brothers and sisters.Ü Let’s keep our faith burning in our hearts. Thank You Jesus.Ü

  20. Marianne permalink

    you know when a husband or a wife falls prey to a temptation of cheating on one or the other long before they do there was already the lack of interest to one or the other so the temtation came easy when they made that vow to each other they made it to god we should see god in one another then its easy to say no to temtations of that nature

  21. phoebe permalink

    I struggle with anger and i am tempted all the time to lose my temper . thank you pastor Mark for letting me know i ain’t the only one .

  22. We really have to press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ.
    Temptation is all around us everyday and like that pastor we can never think that we’re strong enough to resist.Many times we are caught off guard but if and when we are grounded in the word the Holy Spirit will convict us so be on your guard my brethren,even Jesus Himself was tempted by the devil.

  23. Britten permalink

    It’s amazing the way God provides confirmation when He is trying to get a message accross to His disciples. The last few days in my quiet time spent with Him, He has been showing me the significance of being deeply in love with Him. When we are in love with someone, we are totally committed to that person. We long to spend time with that person and use every opportunity to do so, and when we cannot be – we think of that person and do things that make us feel closer to them. Our love and committment toward God includes the desire to be faithful to Him and not allow ourselves to get caught up in sin and spiritual infidelity. Mark, your message is true, we are all capable of falling into to sins that we never thought possible, but thank the Lord we are supplied with everything we need to fight temptation and overcome sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit. And of course when we do stumble – b/c we are human, God is ready and willing to accept our humble apology and help us get back on course!

  24. R. L. permalink

    I see the Christian life as a pathway walked with Jesus. And, I see temptations as enticing things just within reach by the sides of the pathway. To avoid the “stumbling” or “falling” one must keep his/her eyes on the pathway and keep in communication with Jesus who is right by our side. But what happens IF we stumble or fall? I personally have done so and it pains me deeply within when I do. But what choices do I have when I do so? Only one that I have found. That is to get up, brush myself off, ask the Lord’s gracious forgiveness and continue on down the pathway. I know that as I continue on without giving up, He will develop me and nurture me into what He wants me to be. That’s the gracious work of the Holy Spirit within us. Perhaps I am wrong but that is how I see it at this point.

    • Shalondra Jackson permalink

      I find that this is helpful because we do stumble sometimes. I often feel so ashamed when I do fall and feel like I can’t continue on with God. But thanks so much for this. This lets me know that I most certainly can.

  25. Sandy permalink

    thank you so much Mark!! this is very timely to me!!! I’ve been dealing with tempation lately and I needed to read your writing today!! thank you so much!!!
    God bless you!

  26. James permalink

    With summer coming on, there are a lot of women that wear clothing that can be tempting. I find a quick glance away, and an instant prayer can rescue me from any lustful thinking.

  27. You are truely a Blessing to me each time I click on….
    Spreading The Love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we are called to do and you are doing a Fantastic job……
    God Bless


  29. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Psalm 42:2-3 As the deer longs for steams of water, so my soul longs for you O God. My being thirst for God , the living God. When can I go and see the face of God? It is so true that keeping a constant closeness with our Lord helps us to get over the temptations that come our way. I too, want to be favored by God. When I decided to follow Jesus, I prayed for the outpouring of his Holy Spirit to help me for it is very hard in this world we live in,with so much going on. It is a battle but with Jesus with us, we could conquer all. Praise the Lord.

  30. Chandrashekhar permalink

    Praise the Lord! This message is simple and very effective. Thanks!!

  31. feyisara permalink

    A word in due season

  32. Bobby permalink

    Thats an amazing word of God – Thanks for sharing – I always thought about it – never got somthing in kind…. God Bless…!!

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