The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

What is the proper response to temptation? (PDF) PDF version

What is the proper response to temptation?

We identified two main ways through which temptation comes. One is through persecution and affliction and the other is through being drawn away through lusts and enticement. As far as the second category is concerned the right response is no other than shutting the doors which we may have opened. What is that that you so much desire? You have to surrender it to the Lord. I believe that among the desires that could create problems are not only plain desires of the old man, which in any case have no place in the life of a Christian, but also acceptable desires, which however have not been submitted 100% to the Lord. For example when I was a single I VERY much wanted to get married. Shortly after I believed, at the age of 21 I decided to wait for God to bring me my wife. Yet I thought that He would do it in the next month or so. As the months passed by I became impatient. I wanted God to bring me my wife right away. This very strong desire was actually one of those desires for which James says that they open the door to temptation. And that’s exactly what happened with me too. Because of this very strong desire I fell many times into a trap and suffered a lot. Till at the end I told God “I don’t care about a wife anymore. If you want me to have one that’s fine. But if not I will continue to love you and serve you”. Once I did this, once I gave the matter truly to the Lord, resigning completely from it, then guess what happened: I was never tempted again with it! And after some years God indeed brought my wife. What I want to say brother and sister is that if there is something that you very strongly desire (wife, husband, career etc.) you have to hand it over to God and decide in yourself that even if God does not grant what you so strongly desire, it will not be a big deal. He anyway always knows better. You will continue to love Him and serve Him, regardless of how things turn. Handing over a matter to God and accepting any outcome that He may bring shuts the door to temptation. You cannot be drawn away by lusts if you do not have lusts! To summarize: even desires that are basically OK with the Word of God, can lead us to temptation if we do not hand them over COMPLETELY to God.

If now the temptation takes the form of persecution and affliction because of the Word, then the response is again resistance, knowing that God is not far. He is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you says His Word (Hebrews 13:5). As Paul also tells us: “as we become partakers of the sufferings so also we become partakers of the comfort that comes from God” (2 Corinthians 2:1-7). And 2 Peter 2:9a tells us:

2 Peter 2:9a
the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations

Keep up then steadfast in the faith!


Anastasios Kioulachoglou