Many Christians struggle from various forms of temptation that have held them bound as a result of addictions formed from habits they counted as insignificant in time past. The flesh is weak especially in fighting temptations and in the wake of satisfying it’s desires, it drains a man of all his dignity and his Spirit suffers the blow for days or even years.
These addictions are easy doorways the devil uses to access the lives of Christians; he uses it to make us see ourselves as less than who we are and torments us constantly with our weakness.
A very common addiction the devil has used to get hold of our generation today is Masturbation. Some people will tell you it is right, after all, it’s just a way to release yourself, but it is a web, it entangles you and enslaves you. Sex is the most successful weapon of the devil today and masturbation is only a way to make it look good. However, we have a merciful God that has promised us a way of escape for every temptation that comes our way.
Temptations come in many forms but usually walk through the open doors of addictions. Addictions are formed habits and habits are formed from the little things we simply cannot take our minds off. It’s much easier to kill a habit than an addiction.
When you are faced with such addiction, here are some tips you may like to consider;
1. Temptations do not just happen out of the blues, there are various things that lead up to a man being tempted that must be avoided at all cost. I like to call them triggers. They may differ for different situations. Masturbation is a massive addiction that entangles its victims in a web, clouds your mind and distorts your thoughts. However, there are several triggers like pornography, subtle sex scenes, sometimes it could just be the way people look at you, touch you or funny sounds. The idea is to take note of what triggers these feelings and needs; it will differ according to individuals. Even smokers and alcoholics have triggers, find them, take note of them and avoid them like a plague.
2. If you are struggling with Masturbation, please do not keep it to yourself. Tell someone you can trust someone you can be accountable to, someone who will pray for and with you rather than mock you. This will help you a lot on your way to recovery. It is very natural to be ashamed of your addictions, but it’s very dangerous to keep it a secret because the devil will take advantage of that. He will torment you with funny notions of shame, rejection and the fear of people looking down on you especially if you are respected as a holy and perfect Christian. If you do not tell someone, it will keep eating into your life until it finally destroys you and people eventually get to know. However, when it is no longer a secret, the devil has lost some amount of power over you because confessing a sin is the road to deliverance and total healing
3. As a result of our imperfect nature and the weakness of the flesh, sometimes, we would fall or fail. There are days you will succumb to temptation and when this happens, we are quick to condemn ourselves and hide from God; we shut God off totally and wallow in self pity. This is the pleasure of the devil, he immediately kicks in with self condemning thoughts of unworthiness and eternal condemnation. He twists your knowledge of the Love of God in your heart and condemns you to hell. The devil sees our withdrawal from God as a chance to pull us right into darkness. You must understand that it’s at the point where you fall that God wants to hold you the most, to pull you in his arms, away from the lies of the devil and whisper his undying and unconditional love into your ears. God is love and there is nothing you can do to make him love you any more or any less. He only wants us to honestly come before him for mercy. No matter how many times you fail, keep trying but never hide from God. Don’t be scared of the devil, his horns and tail even that fork he seems to carry around are nothing compared to the weapons of God, let him know his lies are crap speak the word of God to his face and send him running off to his mama(if he has one). Remind him that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ. You’ll see that he’s not so scary after all
4. Before going for a battle, you must prepare. Whether there is a war or not, the army are always in training in anticipation of any war to avoid being caught unawares. Their weapons are constantly with them and their minds are always alert. This is the way to handle temptations. You must prepare for them before they come, the devil never sleeps, every victory over temptation makes him furious and he keeps planning new ways to attack. You must arm yourself with the word of God and be ready to speak boldly in his face. You must travail on your knees in the place of prayer in order to stand victorious.
Finally, pray for the Grace of God, without Grace your battle is in vain. Flee all appearances of evil even when the devil puts it right under your nose, hold your breath and stand your ground. Find the nearest way of escape and RUN, that’s why you have two legs. We are on the battle field and we cannot afford to be distracted or taken unawares. We must fight; we must be prepared at all times and consistently upgrade our weapons by growing in the knowledge of God’s word. We must abide him God at all times. The truth is when we fully immerse ourselves in God, the things of this world along with its temptations and limitations grow dim and slowly fade away in the light of his Love.