God’s plan for turning temptation into triumph isn’t for us to endure temptation, but to escape it. That calls for us to do two things: 1) Don’t get into a tempting situation. If we know we struggle with a particular temptation, we should avoid going where it’ll be right in front of us. Temptation is all around us, so we need to ask God for the discernment and wisdom to recognise when we’re heading towards a tempting situation, and for the strength to turn away before we get there. In The Message, we read, ‘I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things’ (Psalm 101:3 MSG). We need to set ourselves boundaries and then stick to them to avoid getting caught up in temptation. 2) If we do get into a tempting situation, we need to get out of it quickly. The Bible doesn’t say we are to fight temptation, it says we are to flee from it. Paul tells Timothy, ‘Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts’ (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT). He warns the Corinthians, ‘Flee from sexual immorality’ (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV). Potiphar’s wife repeatedly tried to seduce Joseph. ‘Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice…and said, “Come to bed with me!”’ (Genesis 39:6-7 NIV). But Joseph fled, leaving his coat behind. There’s absolutely no shame in running away from temptation in order to protect our moral and spiritual health. Whenever we find ourselves in a tempting situation, we need to pray for the strength to run away from it. ‘The Lord knows how to save those who serve him when troubles come’ (2 Peter 2:9 NCV).
Get the list you made yesterday. For each thing on it, write how you can avoid being in a situation where you’ll face that temptation. At the end of your list, write something like ‘If all else fails, run.’ Keep your list as your strategy for escaping temptation.
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