Power to not yield to temptation does not come from stuffing our minds with scripture verses, making vows, spending hours in prayer, fasting or even giving ourselves over to a great spiritual cause. These things are all commendable and normal for Christian growth, but that is not where our victory lies.
The simple secret of bearing up under any temptation is to break the fear of Satan’s power. Fear is the only power over man Satan has. God does not give us the spirit of fear, but man is afraid of the devil, frightened of demons. We are afraid of failure, afraid our appetites and habits can’t be altered, that they will erupt and control our lives.
Man is afraid that he can’t quit his sin. He credits Satan with power he doesn’t have. Man cries out, “I’m hooked and can’t stop. I’m spellbound and in the devil’s power. The devil makes me do it!”
Fear is a torment. As long as you are afraid of the devil, you can never break the power of temptation. Satan thrives on fear, and Christians who are afraid of the devil have little or no power to resist. It’s all based on the lie that Satan has power to break down Christians under pressure. Not so! Jesus came to destroy all the power of the devil over blood-washed children of God. I have often wondered why God allows spiritual people to be so tempted. Scripture says, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV). Why doesn’t God remove all temptations instead?
The answer is simple. Once you learn how powerless Satan is, that he can’t make you do anything, that God has all power to keep you from falling—from then on, you can “bear up” under anything Satan throws at you. You can go through it without fearing you will fall.
We are not delivered from temptation but from the fear of the devil to make us yield to it. We will keep on being tempted until we come to the place of “rest” in our faith. That rest is the unshakeable confidence that God has defeated Satan, that Satan has no right or claim on us and that we will come forth as gold tried in the fire.