Let's face it. We all deal with temptations. As human beings we are constantly being tempted to fall back into sin and, in my opinion, the world we live in today does not make this any easier. We must be prepared to face and deal with these temptations so that we can live completely and fully for God. But how do we do this? I'll draw on my own life as an example.
When I came to Christ and got into His word, my eyes were opened to all of the sins I was a slave to. Seeing this only strengthened my desire for change and it was then that God began the transformation process in me. Things that once consumed me I began to turn away from.
As some of you know, I am going into my third year of university in the fall. As amazing as the university experience is, it's not the easiest place for a new Christian to return to. I will be returning to a secular environment almost entirely focused on the flesh and will be surrounded by people constantly promoting a lifestyle that is far from reflecting what God wants for us. So as I'm sure you can imagine, I am going to be facing some serious pressures and temptations when I get back there. Here is where you need to be pro-active.
In my opinion, the best way to avoid temptation is to avoid putting yourself in a situation where a temptation will be faced.
1. Pray to God and ask Him to show you which sins you struggle with most and what temptations are the most difficult to overcome for you.
2. Be pro-active and think ahead- try not to put yourself in a position where you will have to face these temptations. Surround yourself with people that will encourage and support you instead of feed your temptations.
3. Recognize your limits and set boundaries for yourself ahead of time. If confronted with temptation, refuse to compromise these boundaries.
And through all of this, do not underestimate the importance of prayer. God is so willing to help you when you ask, and He will give you the strength to overcome any temptation you will face.
I applied these points to my own life. I knew that I would be facing many pressures and struggles in the coming school year, and so I made sure that I would not be put in situations that fed these temptations. For example, frosh week is an area of particular weakness for me. It's nothing but an excuse for upper year students to go wild before classes start. I prayed to God asking Him for the strength to resist so much temptation and instead He offered me a way out. I applied to be an orientation volunteer for first year students entering the university that week. So now, instead of fighting the inevitable pressures of university life, I will be having an amazing experience volunteering with other like-minded people from my school.
So be pro-active. Avoid situations. Set boundaries. Pray. God will give you the strength to overcome these temptations, you just need to have faith.