- “When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation (Luke 22:40).”
- “Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation (Luke 22:46 ).”
When I usually read these scriptures, I focus on the prayer part. It is important that you pray to help you deal with temptations.
However this time, I focused on three words “enter into temptation.”
I suddenly saw it as like going through a door. You are in a place of safety when suddenly temptation’s door opens, inviting you to come in.
I want you to imagine a door opening up behind you; hear that door turning on its creaking hinges.
God told me that it is important to shut these doors. Some days, you will have many doors open up that will try to lead you astray. Others, you will have few.
But no matter how many doors you have to deal with, decide that you will be faithful to shut each one.
Jesus also teaches how and why it is important that you shut the door to temptation:
- “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38).”
In these scriptures, Jesus has asked the disciples to watch and pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. But they fell asleep. What he said to them is a great lesson for us!
First, he says that failure to watch and pray will lead to you going through temptation’s door. I’ll tell you what to watch for in just a moment.
In the second part, Jesus says that you may want to do the right thing but your flesh opposes that because it is weak.
Your flesh is the door through which the enemy tries to gain access into your life. He wants to take a bite out of your flesh. 1 Peter 5:8 warns:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
How can you guard yourself against this vulnerability? Galatians 5:16 gives us a strategy:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Now let’s cover 4 areas to which you need to shut the door of temptation. You need to watch out for them because these are ways in which Satan tries to get you to go through temptation’s door:
1. Spiritual dryness (Spiritual hunger and thirst): You can be vulnerable to temptation if you are not taking time to feed your spirit man daily. As a follower of Christ, you need prayer, praise, worship, and spending quiet time in God’s presence as much as you need physical food.
You cannot have victory over your flesh without it. Remember, you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh to the degree that you strengthen your spirit man daily.
2. Lying thoughts: Lying thoughts are those that not in line with God’s word. In order to recognize them, you need to spend time studying and meditating on God’s word to see what it says.
A good starting place is the book of John because you learn about Jesus and His love. Then the epistles (Romans to Philemon).
These were the apostle Paul’s letters to the church to teach you how to live victoriously in Christ. You are called to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.
3. Emotional manipulation: The enemy knows exactly what emotional strongholds you have (such as unforgiveness, depression, anxiety, frustration, past emotional wounds, feeling unloved, lonely, etc) that will drive you to go through the door of temptation to comfort your pain or to gain pleasure.
The enemy can sometimes play with your feelings as skillfully as a virtuoso plays the violin! He gets great amusement in driving Christians to emotional extremes.
So it’s important that you submit areas of emotional vulnerability to God in prayer for healing and comfort. Stop allowing yourself to be the enemy’s entertainment source!
4. Environmental suggestions: In this case, you are either making it easy for yourself to practice negative behavior (such as keeping trigger foods around you that make you overeat). Or else, someone around you is putting temptations before your eyes.
Many people don’t want to give into temptation, but still want to keep the source of it within view or else, keep temptation’s phone number!
However, managing your environment is one of the simplest, yet most overlooked ways to prevent yourself from entering into temptation.
Ordering your environment to make it easy for yourself to do good and stop making provisions to enter into temptation is one of the most empowering steps you can take. It eliminates a lot of stress too.
When you shut temptation’s door, you will see more daily victories in your life! Put Jesus’ words into practice: Watch and pray.
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Are you ready to grow stronger Spiritually and heal emotionally as you achieve your ideal weight? Let the Take Back Your Temple program be your guide. God’s way is change from the inside out and once you are changed His way, you are never the same!