Summary: how to overcome temptation

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Taming the Temptation:By Pastor Ohm Prakash

M.TV! No way it won’t affect my mind," the teenager barked back at his mother as he slammed the door to his room and picked up the magazine filled with images and pictures that contain the power to shape his life in a direction far from what God has planned. The world is filled with temptation and evil desire. And if left unchecked, it will rob and steal one of the most precious things you have—your mind—which is the sanctuary and dwelling place of God’s holy truth.

While many Christians grapple with the issue of how to censor what their children watch on television, countless others ignore the warnings. Thin excuses abound: "It’s just a short program; it won’t hurt them to watch it. Besides, it keeps them busy." "I know it’s wrong, but it’s funny and it portrays real life." "I get so tired of all that goodie, goodie Christian stuff. No one can be good all the time."

What we fail to acknowledge is that the material we listen to, read, and watch programs our minds and hearts. One secular writer admits to his readers: "You are what you read." This is not a new concept. Romans 12:2 cautions us "not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

our minds operate like huge computers by gathering and taking in data. They are constantly arranging and storing facts and memories. We may think we forget certain events, names, and faces, but actually until something short-circuits our mental ability, all we experience is sorted and kept. Our ability to retrieve data may seem limited at times. However, each experience, thought, and event remains imprinted on our minds. Only God has the ability to remove those thoughts that are too painful or irrelevant to where we are today in our Christian walks.

When it comes to sin and its effect on our lives, the memory is often difficult to erase. In his book Raising Lambs Among Wolves, Mark Bubeck explains how the cycle of sin and lust exploded in Solomon’s mind and life.

"[Solomon] experienced the consequences flowing from David’s most glaring sins. His failures were centered on his giving in to sensual sins. He followed a pattern of sexual sins. His sensual love for foreign, beautiful women was legendary . . . As he grew older, these foreign women influenced Solomon to follow their idolatrous practices. This spelled his doom . . . Solomon’s moral sins had a direct relationship to one of David’s darkest failures."

David helped to establish a pattern of thinking in the life of his family. He regretted his sin with Bath Sheba and did not want it to be incorporated in his son’s life. Once Solomon grew to be a man, the temptation to yield to this same sin became very great. God protects us to a certain point. However, when we disobey His will and sin against Him, He allows us to go our own way. He is omniscient, but He will not violate the limited free will He has given you. Therefore, it is illogical to pray to be pure and then pick up a lustful magazine with the expectation that God will stop you. He works in mighty ways. He warns you to stop but will not pressure you into doing something you do not desire.

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