When You’re Fighting That Same Temptation (Again)
Do you have a certain temptation that you have been continually fighting? Maybe you have been renewing your mind and doing your best to resist that temptation, but it hasn’t helped.
What words do you internally rehearse when you find yourself repeatedly fighting temptation in this area? It may be something you have been dealing with for a long time.
Many of you know that I used to struggle with pornography years ago. After finally confessing this to my husband and pastors, I felt a measure of freedom from finally being honest with them. As I tried to renew my mind in this area, though, I found myself absolutely stuck. I didn’t feel like I was making much progress at all.
I kept going around and around with the same temptation.
The same temptation would hit me again, and I felt like I was right back where I started. This is when the Holy Spirit started exposing lies I had believed for many years. These lies were providing fuel for the temptations I couldn’t seem to break free from.
I had been trying to renew my mind without realizing that some of my core beliefs were based on lies I believed due to circumstances that had happened in my life. I didn’t start to see true renewal happen until I started to become aware of the thoughts and lies that I continually had about myself that went directly against the Word of God and who He says I am.
Once I was aware, I was able to directly attack those lies with the Word of God. He also started showing me I had God-given desires that I was trying to fill in ungodly ways. Squelching temptation all by itself didn’t work when there was much more going on beneath the surface.
When we believe lies such as, “I’m such an idiot”, “I will never be able to change”, or “This is just who I am” these beliefs can fuel temptations.
Whatever you rehearse in your mind and heart (knowingly or unknowingly), fighting against temptation in that area will eventually seem hopeless and pointless.
After all, how do we fight against who we believe we are?
(What if this is not who God created you to be, though?)
What lies or toxic thoughts could be fueling your temptations?
To successfully resist temptation, we often need to be aware of any lies we have been believing. Then we can reject those lies and stand firm in what God says in His Word.
Will this take practice? Yes, most definitely.
I have gone through many times in my life where I have found I wasn’t able to break free from something or move forward in an area of my life. Believing a lie was often fueling the temptation. I had to recognize these lies before I was able to find freedom and healing in those areas of my life.
Sometimes we can believe something for so long that we don’t recognize it as toxic. It just feels normal for us to think about and believe.
Until we recognize the thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves (or even about God or others), we can stay stuck in unhealthy, toxic, and even sinful patterns. This is often why it can be so difficult to resist temptations in certain areas. If we believe it’s who we are (even if we don’t like it) it is much more difficult to resist.
Do you see a pattern?
I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any lies you have been believing. Particularly lies surrounding any temptations where you feel continually stuck.
You may start to see a pattern of thoughts and even words that you speak about yourself here.
What does God’s Word say about you, instead? No, you may not believe it at first, but it is the truth.
Practice speaking those words over yourself and your life, even when you don’t believe it at first. Renewing your mind takes time.
Continue renewing your mind in this area and you will eventually start to see changes in the direction of your thinking. This will help you fight those same temptations if / when they come up again. You will be much more equipped to resist them.
Be persistent. Don’t give up! Healing and freedom are on the way, one layer at a time.
Father God, I pray for each person reading this. Lord, please forgive us for believing lies about ourselves and about You. Forgive us for turning to people and other things in areas that only You can fill. I ask that You reveal any lies we have been believing about ourselves. Reveal patterns of thinking that are not from You. We break agreement with these lies, in Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus, I command fear, defeat, and rejection to go and for strongholds in this area to break.
I pray for clarity to come to our minds regarding how we see ourselves versus how we have been thinking. Help us to reject those lies if they try to come back. We choose to grab a hold of who You say we are instead. I pray, Jesus, that You heal our hearts and set us free. Show us who You made us to be. I thank You for all of this, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.