Question: In our daily life, we often encounter various temptations, such as money, fame and status, eroticism, and so on. I’d like to seek how to not fall into temptations and thereby stand witness for God.

Answer: The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). From this we can see that, there isn’t a single moment that Satan is not by our side, racking its brains to use any person, event, or thing to tempt and test us, trying to get us to sink into disaster, into evil and to distance ourselves from God, to betray Him so that in the end we may be swallowed whole by it. As Christians, learning how to recognize Satan’s trickery is critical. So what can we do to see through Satan’s schemes and avoid falling into Satan’s temptations? I’d like to share some fellowship with you on three paths of practice.

1. We Must Quiet Ourselves Before God and Seek God’s Will

When faced with temptations, we must first come before God, seek and ponder God’s will, and pray for God’s help. Only through God’s enlightenment and guidance can we understand God’s will, see through Satan’s trickery, and triumph over temptations. The Lord Jesus says, “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). God is almighty and omniscient. When Satan’s temptations befall us, God is seeing all this. God allowing this is to watch our attitude to see whether we seek His will and whether we want to satisfy Him and stand witness for Him in matters we encounter. When we come before God and call on Him sincerely, God will reveal His will to us, show us the path of practice, and enable us to see through Satan’s trickery.
It was just like when Job underwent Satan’s temptation. As he suffered a sudden loss of all his cattle and sheep, his great wealth, his children, and his servants, he didn’t say a thing but instead came before God to pray and seek. By doing so, he gradually understood God’s will and knew that everything he had encountered was permitted by God and that God had given and God had taken away. Therefore, he gladly submitted to God’s sovereignty and said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Afterward, when his wife asked him to abandon God, he could see through Satan’s trickery and immediately stroke back against Satan, not following his wife in saying words of rebelling against and resisting God. Finally, he stood witness for God and caused Satan to be thoroughly shamed and defeated. Job’s three friends, however, were the complete opposite. When seeing those disasters befall Job, they didn’t pray to God or seek God’s will. Rather, relying on their notions and imaginations, they thought that Job must have offended God, and they blindly guessed God’s intentions, judged God’s work, said many foolish and ignorant things, and passed judgment on Job, thus incurring God’s hatred. All this shows us that praying to God and seeking His will is extremely important to triumphing over Satan’s temptations.

2. We Must Know God’s Righteous Disposition and Maintain Reverence

If we wish to stay away from things that are excessive and dissolute when encountering temptations, then we must come to the realization that God’s righteous disposition doesn’t tolerate offense. Quiet often we, relying on our notions and imaginations, think that God is merciful and loving and He will forgive us no matter what transgressions we commit. As a result, when confronted with Satan’s temptations, we are unwilling to put God’s words into practice even though we know God’s demands well. If we understand that God’s righteous disposition contains not only love and mercy but also majesty and wrath, then we will be able to develop God-fearing heart and dare not sin at will. When coming across temptations, we will not follow our fleshly preferences and do something that is offensive to God.
Let’s look back to the experience of David, Jehovah God’s favorite king. He fell for the temptation of adultery, having Uriah killed and then taking his wife Bathsheba. Although he only did this one evil thing throughout his entire life, it didn’t escape God’s searching eyes. God sent Nathan the prophet to speak to David and to make him aware of the sins he had committed, and then punished him according to righteousness—the sword would never depart from his house. We can see from this that God’s righteous disposition is unoffendable, and that even if people who are loved by God offend God’s disposition, they will likewise be punished. Just as God’s words say, “So I am telling you now in all seriousness: I do not care how meritorious your hard work is, how impressive your qualifications, how closely you follow Me, how renowned you are, or how improved your attitude; so long as you have not done what I have demanded, you will never be able to win My praise.
As we can see, only by knowing God’s righteous disposition and begetting true fear of God can we ensure that we don’t do things which are resistant and loathsome to God.

3. We Must Shun Temptations

It says in the Bible, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Now is the last days and also the time when the spiritual battle is most intense, and Satan is frantically devouring people. We should consciously stay away from the places, people and things that can cause us to fall into temptations, and this way we can be protected from meeting with many temptations. Just like Job in the Bible, although he possessed great wealth, he never had extravagant meals. When his children feasted, he never participated because he knew that was displeasing to God. Besides, he got away from them, who constantly sinned, and often urged them to sanctify themselves. We can see from all this that, Job lived up to his reputation—a man who fears God and shuns evil. Apart from having good humanity and a God-fearing heart, Job also practically cooperated: He stayed away from the places, people and things that could make him fall into temptations, thus leaving no opportunity to sin. This is how he kept to the path of fearing God and shunning evil.
On the contrary, if we know we have no power to overcome sin and we indulge in carnal pleasure instead of immediately shunning enticements, we will be apt to fall prey to Satan’s temptations and unknowingly do things against God, then at best we will lose the work of the Holy Spirit, and at worst we will meet with God’s righteous punishment. It’s just as God says, “[I]t seems like a world of gaiety and splendor, one that is becoming more and more so. People’s hearts are all drawn to it, and many people are entrapped and unable to extricate themselves from it; great numbers will be beguiled by those who engage in trickery and sorcery. If you do not strive for progress, are without ideals, and have not rooted yourself in the true way, you will be swept away by the swelling tides of sin.
I hope the fellowship above is helpful to you. I believe that as long as we practice in accordance with these three paths we will surely be able to gain God’s protection and overcome temptations.