The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Well, we’re ready for the fifth and final step in our journey to conquer temptation, especially that temptation that has repeatedly tripped you up. Remember that Step 1 is to acknowledge your weakness daily. Step 2 is to avoid the wildernesses–those places of weakness that increase your chances of stumbling. Step 3 calls us to choose the escape–the available exit that God provides in the early moments of the temptation. Step 4 is to run with God’s Word as you flee the moment. Now, Step 5 calls us to escape the wreckage!
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8
There’s an amazing relief that comes with saying “no” to temptation. It’s a bit like almost being in an accident, you know, that sudden realization of how close you came to disaster. You’re heart races as you think of what might have been. Your gratitude to God pours out, and if its a car wreck you just avoided, you drive a bit more cautiously.
But don’t stop with relief—learn from this moment and increase your strength. First, Release the Trigger. Consider these questions: How did this situation arise? What wilderness was I in? What was I feeling? Triggers are those things that launch us down a particular path. Let today’s near miss teach you wisdom for tomorrow
Next, Refocus the Thought. How did I take the exit? What helped me see it and choose it? Job talked about making a deal with his eyes not to look lustfully on a woman. How did I do that this time? I’ve heard guys talk about “bouncing” their eyes away from the moment to see something alluring. How did I do that? What thought replaced the tempting one? The more I can learn about a victory over temptation, the better chance I have of applying those lessons again.
Third, Reveal the Trial. Who can I tell about my victory? Find a supportive friend and talk about the event. This is the best kind of accountability – not checking in, but discuss truth and the lessons I’m learning. When you have a friend who cares deeply that you find God’s best for your life, talk to that friend about the temptations you face. When you Satan’s dark schemes into the light, they tend to lose their power over you.
Finally, Resist the Tempter. Your determined effort to resist will eventually weaken Satan’s potential for victory in your life. Here’s the truth—all of us either feed the Spirit or the flesh. If we seek God passionately, we feed the Spirit within us. If we succumb to fleshly temptations, our flesh gains strength. Whichever one you feed will get stronger, so every time you yield, your resolve becomes weaker. But every time you win, you gain confidence and strength
So there you have it–five Biblical steps for conquering temptation. Use them to begin winning where you’ve been losing and don’t give up. God wouldn’t have called us to a victorious life if it weren’t possible to live one. Let the truth God has offered and the strength He promises to provide lead you to start conquering what’s been conquering you.