What does the devil do to try to tempt us?
1. The devil questions our identity.
You need to know who you are. You're a child of God. You are the righteousness of God. What did Jesus do? He quoted Deuteronomy. He's not making up scripture. Whatever He would have said would become scripture, but He held fast to the Word. Go back to the simple truths of the Word.
Romans 12:1-2 says "And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Bring your mind into subjection of the Word by feeding your mind the Word of God. If you're dealing with smoking and drinking - your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Get in that Word, get your mind renewed, and replace those thoughts with greater thoughts. Open your mouth. Confess any scripture you know and that will consume the thoughts that have consumed you. God has given you this Word so you can be free.
2. The devil tempts us to tempt God.
Tempting God means needing to see God do what He said He would do before we believe what He said. It's putting God in a position to prove He's God. He won't.
Jesus said it is written. It is written. It is written. And the devil left Him. Angels came and ministered to him. Satan leaves, but then you need to be ministered to. It takes energy to resist the devil. It takes persistence. It takes consistency. Build up that habit of speaking the Word.
I John 2:14 says, "I have written unto you young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you are victorious over the evil one." You're strong when the Word of God abides in you. John 15:7 says, "If you abide in Me, My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you." God takes that Word that you have abiding in you, and then He has something to work with.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. The devil wants you to think "I don't know if I can handle this temptation." But this verse says that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. So, if you find yourself in a situation, be encouraged. You can get out of it. It's not impossible.
Here's how temptation works:
Fantasy -Flirtation -Fall First, you allow it to grow in your mind. Then you begin to flirt with it. Then you fall.
We need to deal with it in the early stages - of fantasy and thought life. That way if we stumble, we can still pull back. You can't look at pornography. You have to watch over your heart with all diligence. You have to be careful where you go, who you hang around with, what you watch; because you have a responsibility to watch over your heart.
3. Peter 2:9 says, "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation." He gives us the knowledge how to avoid it ourselves. There is only one way to not be tempted - to be dead. Guess what we need to do then - be dead. Your flesh is going to give you impulses - be dead to it. I take up my cross and I die to this.
2 Tim 2:22 says "Flee youthful lusts." Run with all your might. Run as if your life depended on it. Run with them that call on the Lord from a pure heart. Eccl 4:9 says "Woe to the one who falls and is alone." Get help when you need it.
Here are a few simple steps to help you:
1. If you're born again, you are a new creature. God says "Be ye holy, even as I am holy." He says this over you. He says you already are holy. He made you in His image. If you've made Jesus your Lord, then as He is so are you in this world. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside you.
To repent is to change how you think. When you try to take a shortcut to change on the outward, you'll never be able to change. Romans 12:1-2 says Be transformed by the changing of your mind. It's your thought life. As I got my mind renewed, my desires changed. You're not going to be able to strongwill yourself into doing it. Addictions can be delivered instantly, but sometimes it's just that you need your mind renewed. It's like a pig - you can dress him up, make him look good, but when he sees mud, he's going to jump in. Why? Because he's not changed on the inside.
3. Know who you are in Christ.
4. Know that the curse is broken.
Addictions are sometimes passed down from generation to generation. The Bible says that God will visit the iniquity of the fathers up into the third and fourth generations. But you can make a decision that you can either be one of the four generations of curses, or you can be the first generation of blessings. You need to make that decision today.
How do we break the cycle of the curse of addiction?
1. You've got to sow the opposite of what your parents reaped. If they reaped negative things in their lives, you've got to sow the opposite of that, into someone else's life.
2. You've got to identify with the new blood line. I am not a part of the generation of my parents any longer. I'm a part of the new blood line. I'm a part of a new blood line. Jesus became a curse for me. Galatians 3:13 says for cursed is what hangs on a tree. When He died on the cross, the generational curses died on the cross with Him.
3. Don't retaliate. Don't react to what people have done to you. Don't try to get back at somebody, at your relatives or at your parents, or at your kids or at whomever.
4. Accept personal responsibility. It's your responsibility to drive this mountain out of your life, it's your responsibility to say to this thing be gone, it's your responsibility to say to the mountain of curses, be thou removed! And cast into the sea.
5. You've got to make different choices than your parents made. If you don't, then that stuff is going to follow you all the way to your grave. You need to be set free. Now, it's not a feeling. Breaking free from a curse is not a feeling. It's a decision. It's appropriating the blood of Jesus.
Decide to be the first generation of blessing. Decide that from today on, you choose life, and you identify with the bloodline of Jesus. Identify with what He says. He said "It is written," and you say, "It is written," He says "You are holy," and you say "I am holy." He says, "You're more than a conqueror" and you say "I'm more than a conqueror."
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." You already are made free by the blood of Jesus and He became that curse for you. Hallelujah! Receive that for your life TODAY!