Tag Archives: overcoming temptation

Fighting Temptation with 3″ x 5″ Cards

download (1)Do you ever experience those moments of intense temptation to sin (whether it’s worry, anger, lust, etc.) and find that, although you know you need to set your mind on Christ, you cannot think of the biblical truths necessary to do battle in your heart?  In those moments you need God’s concrete promises, the specifics of the gospel, but for one reason or another everything that enters your mind is like a cloud coming of the coast that dissipates in the summer sun.

I have found that the best way to handle those moments is not to waste valuable fighting-time wandering around in your mind until you find something solid and pertinent to your struggle, but rather to create a stack of  3″ x 5″ cards that help you make war with your sin.  I know this is old school (I’m sure you can do this with an app of some kind if you’d like), but I find that I need to act fast when I’m being tempted and these pre-written truths help me cut through the ambiguity.  In order to do this it would, first, be helpful to know what sins you struggle with most, so you can better tailor the cards to your precise needs.

Here are the categories of cards that I am using currently:

  • Bible verses – Remember, these verses do not have to use the name of the sin you struggle with in order to help you.  So, don’t just look in the concordance in the back of your Bible and copy down the verses under “fear” or “bitterness”.  Use texts that remind you who God is and what Jesus has done for you.
  • Wise words – These are pithy statements of wisdom in reference to my sin struggles that I have collected from Christian books or blogs.
  • Instructions – These are simple, direct instructions to myself (based on Scripture), telling me to do something specific in service to Christ.  Often times, battling temptation keeps us so focused on the fight that we are hindered from practicing active obedience to God, when that may be just what we need to draw near to him in faithfulness.  Tip: make sure that if your heart is not in the “doing” that you ask God’s forgiveness and prayer that he would bring it in line with your actions.
  • Prayers for others – Since sin is ultimately proud and selfish, praying for others can helps direct our focus away from ourselves.

What To Remember When Living For Jesus Seems Impossible

The Christian life is hard.  We are called to deny ourselves daily, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus all the while we face a crafty and powerful three-fold enemy: Satan, the world, and the flesh.  Some days are easier than others, but we’ve all experienced those days when the battle is fierce and we allow ourselves to be overcome because it feels like there is no other option.  We are all familiar with those occasions when it seems like the reality is that sin has the upper hand and surrender is inevitable.

During those times, what truth do we need to remember so that we rise above what feels real and rather act on what is real?  I ran across an awesome text in Ephesians 1 that I think we would all do well to memorize: “that you may know…  what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (vv. 18-20).

What is Paul saying?  He’s saying that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, have the same power that God used in raising Jesus from the dead and seating him at his right hand in heaven.  This is the power we have to deny our enemy and obey our King!  Power like this cannot be found in this world.  We’ve created machines and weapons of cataclysmic energy, but no one has accessed the power to raise a dead man to life.  Paul says his prayer is that the Ephesians may know that this is the power that God already gives them, which means they (and us) don’t have to go on some kind of long, epic quest wherein they must battle treacherous conditions and ferocious beasts to find it.  No, it’s already ours in Christ and we have access to it now.  So, no matter what your enemy throws at you today, you have the power to choose God’s will and honor your Savior.  No matter how strong it may feel, having the power of Christ’s resurrection means you can always overcome temptation.

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