There was a series my Pastor taught on a while back on Spiritual warfare. We had been going through a series based on the book of Ephesians. He said something in his sermon that really stood out to me. Here is what he said, paraphrased:
“There is a problem today, contrary to biblical teaching, where people are running from the devil and trying to stand against temptation.”
I immediately evaluated my own life to see if I have done this… and I quickly realized that I have! I often times find myself cowardly running away from Satan in fear of what he is capable of, and when it comes to temptation I tell myself, “I can handle this, I know what to do.” When I am tempted, I try to stand against it, but I often times fall.
I came home and looked up a few verses that explain what we as Christians are suppose to do in regards to Satan and temptation. The truth of God’s word says that we are suppose to stand against Satan and flee temptation.
Stand Against Satan
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your STAND against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to STAND your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. STAND firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:10-17
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9
“‘In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:26-27
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” – James 1:12-15
“Reject every kind of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:22
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18
I hope these verses encourage you as much as they have encouraged me. We need to meditate on these verses, asking God for understanding, and asking Him to help us distinguish between the two.
Satan has specific tactics he uses to try and tear us down everyday. He lies, he manipulates, he discourages, he puts us down with negative words. He will try anything he can to strip us, crush us, and destroy us. His darkness has spread over the earth, deceiving people daily. Wives and husbands need to be aware of his cunning ways, for Satan despises marriage. He wages war against marriage. He will try to persuade you to think things about your marriage that will cause tension. His goal is to severe our unions.
This is where we stand and fight!
Temptation is stirred up because we are sinful by nature. God calls us to be holy and set apart from this world. Temptation can be anything that lures us back into old habits or ways that are not pleasing to God. They come in a variety of ways, but we are to respond to them the same way… flee! By removing ourselves from tempting situations we remove the opportunity to sin. For example, a wife should be appropriate around other men who are not her husband and likewise a husband should be appropriate around any women who are not his wife. Be cautious of your behavior, but also your surroundings. The enemy will try to tempt you to sin against your spouse and against God.