Temptation is a fact of life. When we are tempted to fall in any area, the reason is anxiety worry, stress, concern, apprehension, unease, nervousness, misgiving or tension. Whatever we want to call it, this difficulty stems from one main cause: fear.
I'm Not Enough
One big fear is that we are not enough. When we are afraid of who we aren't, we tend to bolster our inadequacies with something tangible to build ourselves or make us more.
Different people turn to different things, like drugs, alcohol or pornography. I turned to overindulging in food. Maybe that's your distraction of choice as well.
We need not fear our inadequacy because in God we are more than enough.
God Won't Help Me
There is another big fear that stops us. It is really the fear that God won't come through for us either in giving us the physical strength to go on or the resources we need to just live.
We trust God, but when we physically see that we don't have the money to pay our bills, we get anxious and worried. Instead of turning to God, we give in to our feelings of inadequacies.
Finally, we cry out to God, and He gives us an answer. We figure now all our worries are over. Right here, though, is the point where we will meet the biggest resistance.
Whatever form it takes, its main task is to draw us away from our dependency on God. We fear we are not enough. We fear we don't have enough resources to live.
I Can't Go Forward
Acknowledging resistance is trying to stop you is one way you know you are on the right path. Resistance will overwhelm and diminish your drive and make you feel like there is no way you can go forward. It is temptation in its rawest form. Resistance is created to make you want to run back to what you used to rely on.
"Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set you free, not partially, but wonderfully and completely free. Let us always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back to the bondage of the past" (Gal. 5:1, TPT).
Dealing with this fear in our own strength will only cause us to want to run back to whatever physical thing we have used in the past to bolster our courage. So how do we deal with this huge obstacle?
We draw our strength from God. We realize no obstacle is bigger than God. Huge obstacles are there to remind us that as a human it is impossible to move, "but with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26, MEV).
Peace Is God's Antidote for Fear
We get anxious. We worry. We stress. Then, when we are at our weakest, instead of drawing strength from God, we give into temptation. We eat to stop worrying and stressing.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing because we can't fix it no matter how much we stress over the obstacle in our way. There is only one thing to do when we are anxious, faced with resistance and circumstances beyond our control.
We pray. I don't just mean a short, two-minute prayer. We pray constantly, all the time, every single day. We thank God for what we have and for who He is. With focus on God comes peace.
"Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7, NLT).
Recipe for Overcoming Temptation
Overeating will not fix the problem you are facing no matter what it is. It won't even make you feel better because the problem will still be there when you finish indulging. Indulging only adds another layer to the issue you are facing.
It's actually fear, anxiety, worry, stress, loneliness, shame, guilt and a myriad of other emotions you are facing. However, if you're the way I was, sometimes you feel like you are eating your emotions. Instead of dealing with them, you pile them under mounds of comfort foods in order to try to make them go away.
There is only one thing to do. Take the issue to God and leave the problem, the obstacle, the person in His hands. Keep doing that until you actually let go of it.
That is when you will experience God's recipe for peace. When you have peace, you will be able to overcome temptation.
Releasing your problems to God in prayer plus thanking Him constantly equals peace, which results in the ability to overcome temptation.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and gifts.
This blog originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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