How to Live Victoriously (2)

W. Terry Varner
November 11, 2012

Living victoriously does not just happen.  It requires of each great effort as we deal with the various distractions that would cause us to live otherwise.  We have already considered two important aspects of victorious living:  1) the source of our temptations and 2) being familiar with the various types of temptation.  Both of these points are serious and if neglected, we will fail to live victoriously.  Consider also:

Third, definite benefits come from being tempted or tested.  It is not temptation that destroys our victorious living, BUT it is what we do with our temptations.  The Bible is clear—definite benefits result from events which try our faith.  The Bible teaches that such events allow us to prove our faith.  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3, ESV).  Our faith is proven to be real faith when and after we pass the testing of it.

The story is told of a railroad company who tested a new rail bridge at full speed, then pulled the brakes stopping the train mid-way across the bridge.  They left the engines running full throttle for several hours.  This allowed the vibrations (testing) jar the foundation of the bridge.  The bridge stood firm and none doubted the ability of the bridge to carry a heavy train load of goods.  The bridge was tested and passed.  It is easy for Christians to pretend their faith.  The real test of faith comes when we must put into practice our faith under testing.

Four, the Christian can triumph over every temptation.  Often times Christians reason that they could do not less than fall into sin.  However, the Bible teaches, “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (I Corinthians 10:13, ESV).

The Bible lists a series of ways to handle and to escape our temptations.  We list seven but could add many more.  1) We must accept the way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13).  2)  We must trust God for “He is faithful” (Revelation 3:10).  3) We must use prayer as Jesus commanded, “Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).  4) We must pray for God’s wisdom and then use His wisdom (James 1:5).  5) We must rely on the Bible and use it properly.  When tested by the devil, Jesus quoted the Bible three times (Matthew 4:1-11).  We are told, “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).  6) James said we must resist the devil, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).  7) We must flee situations of temptation rather than trying to be conquering heroes.  Paul told Timothy “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” (2 Timothy 2:22, ESV).  Joseph fled Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7-18).  8)  We must become close to God.  “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

There are many additional thoughts we could set forth based on the Bible which teach us how to live victoriously.  The above thoughts show clearly that our life’s goal is not the satisfaction of self, but God.  One wrote and I believe he is biblical, “No place, no company, no age, no person is temptation free; let no man boast that he was never tempted, let him not be high-minded, but fear, for he may be surprised in that very instance where he boasteth that he was never tempted at all.”

Our living victoriously is not from our strength, but from our relying on and using our strength from God.  “God is our refuge and strength, and a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear…” (Psalm 46:1-2a, ESV).