I confess, I’m writing this because I need to be reminded, and I would guess that if you are trying to follow Jesus…so do you.
I’m teaching through Romans right now. It’s not a long teaching series, so I don’t get to spend a ton of time on each verse or chapter, however I’m trying to wrestle with as much as I can in the allotted time.
This past weekend I interacted with Romans 6. It is needed in the life of the Church and in the life of this pastor. Statements like this:
We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? – Romans 6:2
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; – Romans 6:11-13
So in thinking through fighting back against sin, I was reminded of how we need to identify the temptations we are struggling with and put a plan of escape together.
Have you done that?
Do you need to?
If so, here are four helpful steps that I’ve been using since my college days.
Identify the specific temptations.
The first step to putting a plan of escape together involves being honest about what you are struggling with. You may be tempted to steal at work. You may be tempted to lie. You may even face temptation toward things in your mind that no one else might see. Whatever it is, be honest about it so you know what you are facing.
Identify where you are likely to face them.
Where do you tend to face these temptations? Do you tend to face them at work? At home? Late at night? On the way home? Wherever and whenever it is, if you identify it, you can prepare yourself for those moments.
Write down someone you can call or a place you can go to take yourself away from the temptation.
I know what you are thinking – you’re not going to call someone else about this struggle. Well, I hope I can convince you change your mind.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
When we have someone else who can help us, the chances of our success dramatically increase. Who can you call? Where can you go to get away from the temptation?
Choose one verse you can memorize and fight with.
The last step that I have found incredibly helpful is memorizing Scripture. When I get in the heat of the battle, I need to be reminded of what I want most, not just want I may want right now. God’s Word reminds me of the truth.
Choose a verse. It doesn’t have to be the perfect one. God will use it to help you. Write it down on a card and begin to read it each day.
Having a plan of escape when temptation comes is critical. Sin will be killing you and your relationship with God and others if you aren’t fighting to kill it. If you want to see more from Romans 6 about why we can’t keep walking in sin as Christians, you can check it out here!