Forsaking All Enticements The World Offers

Over the past millennia, human society has invented new ways to distract its members. As human beings, our world is full of enticements and distractions. Yet, you may be oblivious to any of the temptations or enticements holding you captive. If you want to know the litmus test to determine what is enticing you, look at what behaviours, habits, or desires hinder you in either your physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health. Continue reading to learn how to begin forsaking all enticements that may come your way.

Don’t Entertain Any Bad Habit

Before continuing on how to forsake the enticements of the world, you must be able to identify what they are. There must first be a diagnosis before there is a treatment.

And, you must first be confident in your relationship with God. Too often, do I hear people claim to have a good relationship with God yet not know who is God. But, to clear all misunderstandings, let’s set the record straight.

The God of the Bible knew how all humans sin. Therefore, no one is fit to enter Heaven as Heaven is only for those who haven’t sinned.

So, God came down in the flesh as Lord Jesus Christ with a ministry of healing, deliverance, and more. Yet, jealous religious leaders decided to pressure the ancient Roman government to crucify Lord Jesus Christ.

But, it was God’s plan to let Himself, Lord Jesus Christ, suffer humanity’s punishment for sin on the cross. In this way, God transferred His righteousness to those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Therefore, accept Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

Romans 10:9 King James Version (KJV)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Moving on, in the case of distractions or enticements, one can identify it by seeing how its nature affects you. If you notice that behaviour, habit, or idea comes in-between you and Lord Jesus, then, get rid of it.

Matthew 5:30 World English Bible (WEB)
30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.[a]

In fact, Lord Jesus Christ said in the above scripture, to cut off whatever causes you to stumble. So, when you see a sinful behaviour or an act of the flesh within your lifestyle, forsake it. Now, when Lord Jesus Christ said to cut off one’s hand if it causes one to stumble, He did not literally mean amputating a God-given part of your body. He just meant to immediately get rid of any sinful behaviour immediately.

Crucified with Christ for a Reason

This means that if you see drug addiction within your life, then, stop it, pray to Lord Jesus Christ, and seek the proper help. I also talk about addiction in this post. If you see a tendency to get angry very easily within your life, then, stop it, ask Lord Jesus Christ the grace to come out of it, and seek His counsel through the Holy Bible.

Start forsaking whatever appears to be against the nature of God within your life. That’s why the Bible says to flee anything so as long as it appears to be evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:22-24 King James Version (KJV)
2Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Flee all appearances of evil!

Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear to have a fear of the Lord. I talk more about the fear of God in this post. And the main thing to know about the fear of the Lord is that it is when one respects God enough to know that he/she ought not to do certain things which displease Him.

When you honour God with your entire being, you know that He loves you and by nature, it hurts you to hurt God. Since you love God, prioritize Him over all things. If He says not to hold unforgiveness towards anyone, then, start forgiving. Or if He says we ought to be kind to others because God is kind to us, then, start showing kindness to those around you.

The bottom line is that when you have the fear of the Lord, His love develops a desire within you to please Him through whatever you do. And to get that fear of the Lord, you should ask Him for it.

Proverbs 1:7 World English Bible (WEB)
The fear of Yahweh[a] is the beginning of knowledge;
    but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

Forsaking all Enticements

In conclusion, stay away from evil because you know that God loves you and you should make it your utmost priority to do what pleases Him. If there’s something that pleases you but displeases God, then cut it off, because, it will not benefit you.

Rather, do what is good and what you know is not going to hurt you physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

1 Corinthians 6:19 World English Bible (WEB)
19 Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

So, make it a constant habit to start forsaking everything you do which ain’t right.

We’re all not perfect, but as children of God, it should be our goal to focus on Lord Jesus Christ and begin forsaking every evil that distracts us.

Hebrews 12:2 King James Version (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The scripture above perfectly summarizes what ought to be our mindset concerning worldly distractions and temptations. What the above scripture means is that we should fix our eyes on Lord Jesus Christ because He fixed His eyes on the joy set before Him. His joy was to see us saved, blessed, redeemed, and His as He suffered the pain of the cross.

Remember that you were crucified with Christ and that whatever distracts you now has no foothold on you because Lord Jesus Christ already defeated every temptation on the cross.

Galatians 2:20 King James Version (KJV)
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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Freedom to Live Victoriously and Not as a Captive

Freedom to live with Jesus!

True freedom. The freedom to enjoy life is such a lovely thing and it is truly tragic when someone goes through the sways of life but is never able to enjoy freedom in its entirety. God designed human beings to enjoy freedom. It is in your nature to be free and to pleasure in the benefits of liberty. That is why I am taking the time to dedicate an entire post to the topic of freedom to make you understand its nature and enjoy the freedom to live, so continue reading.

Captivity and Its Deceptive Borders

One can live a life of normality and still live in captivity. Captivity is sometimes not as obvious as it seems. It is not always a dirty dungeon, it can be one’s fears, strongholds, and more, which makes it very hard to identify. An example of this is a rich man reaping a six figure salary yet unable to enjoy relationships out of fear that someone will take his money.

Similarly, Jesus also told a story of a greedy man and exposed the vanity of greed.

Luke 12:20 World English Bible (WEB)
20 “But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’

God reminded the greedy man when he died that his money will only stay with him so as long as he’s alive, but, as soon as he dies, he cannot enjoy that money. That man was a slave to his financial fortune.

Freedom to buy anything you want but to be enslaved by your love for money is not true freedom. True freedom as the Bible puts it, is to enjoy life and God’s gifts in the way which God knows is best for us.

And the border between captivity and freedom is very hard to pinpoint. Many have the freedom to eat anything their heart desires, but they are captive to their addiction to food. Others have the freedom to exercise like anything, yet, they remain captive to their obsession over public image.

I am not saying money, exercise, or tasty food is bad. What I am saying is that there’s a multitude of things which can enslave us as human beings and you just have to ask yourself, “Am I really free? Is there anything that enslaves me?”

Liberating the Captives

And if you know deep within your heart that you are a slave, reach out to God. Jesus offers you the promise of freedom. Freedom to enjoy your life in all its entirety.

Matthew 11:28 World English Bible (WEB)
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ, being God, came in the flesh as a man and took the punishment for your sins along with the whips reserved to make you a slave, and He bought you freedom to live as children of God.

Three days after, He rose again from the dead and is now alive, forevermore. This is the gospel of freedom which the Bible is all about and I talk more about it in this post.

Luke 4:18 World English Bible (WEB)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the broken hearted,
    to proclaim release to the captives,
    recovering of sight to the blind,
    to deliver those who are crushed,

Jesus said that He is here to proclaim release to the captives. When Jesus says that He has come to “proclaim release to the captives,” the Greek word used in the Gospel for the word, “release,” is “aphesis.”

Aphesis almost always translates as meaning forgiveness in the other verses mentioning it but in this case, God uses it to mean release or freedom from captivity.

Therefore, I believe freedom starts with forgiveness. And whether you’re struggling with addiction, pride, greed, or whatever else enslaves the human mind, you must first understand that when you turn to Jesus Christ, God forgives you.

Ephesians 1:7 World English Bible (WEB)
in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Experience His grace!

Freedom to Live a Life With God

Therefore, God has purchased and redeemed you with His blood and has forgiven you as soon as you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you were a slave under the slave owner named, “Pride,” or “Greed,” or “Addiction,” Jesus Christ is your new master. He alone is your Lord and your God.

When He purchased you through His sacrifice on the cross, He decided to no longer call you a servant, but as His friend.

John 15:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

Even more, He not only calls you His friend, but calls you into His family where you can call Him as your Heavenly Father. God grants you the privilege to be His beloved child.

1 John 3:2 World English Bible (WEB)
Beloved, now we are children of God. It is not yet revealed what we will be; but we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.

And so, you have the freedom to be God’s child and to be friends with Him. You do not need to be a slave to evil passions or sinful desires but now you are led by Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God. So, come out of the darkness and into the light to enjoy your relationship with God. Freedom was never cheap. Someone had to pay a heavy price for it.

But, since Jesus already paid for our freedom, it is now free for you to access. Now, it’s up to you to experience the freedom which God has granted to you.

John 8:32 World English Bible (WEB)
32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Psalm 119:45

Shattering the Stronghold of Addiction

No one ever starts doing something in the hopes of getting addicted. It just happens. To the addicted, addiction seems to be their life source, something which they cannot live without, but this extreme dependency is nothing less than a curse. If you are entangled in the webs of addiction, then let the Word of God shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

Addiction and the Soul

Your soul consists of your mind, will, and emotions. It is basically your human personality.

Psalm 94:18-19 World English Bible (WEB)
When I said, “My foot is slipping!”    Your loving kindness, Yahweh, held me up.19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me,    your comforts delight my soul.

This is why the Bible says to love God with all your soul, and as in the above verse, it says that God can comfort your soul. So, your soul is who you are as an emotional being.

1 Peter 2:11 World English Bible (WEB)
11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Now, addiction is a fleshly lust. It affects one’s body and is a deep, irresistible desire. The Bible says it is these types of desires which wage war against your soul.

You may be experiencing food addiction, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or any other type of addiction, but they are all waging war against your soul! They are not for you, they are against you.

The Struggle With Addiction

Your mind may not want it; you may be saying to yourself, “Ah, how I wish I could stop this addiction, but I just can’t, it’s impossible.”

And so, it is clear that addiction does not care about your soul’s wishes it just strongly pulls a person to do something which is not good. This in part is because addiction is at heart, sin.

Romans 7:15-18 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good.

It is this inward struggle with sin that Paul is talking about. Although he was not addicted to a substance of any sort, he was struggling with the sinful nature that entices many people to fall into addiction’s grasp. He is writing through the Holy Spirit how even he, the apostle on fire for God, was not able to break apart from his sinful nature. But, he talks about the solution in the next chapter and that same solution applies to you if you struggle with addiction.

Shatter the Stronghold of Addiction

Romans 8:1 World English Bible (WEB)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

This is the start of Paul’s next chapter in the Letter of Romans. He says when you walk according to the Spirit, you will not be condemned.

If you believe you are condemned as a slave to whatever addiction there may be, let me tell you, there’s hope for you. Paul was just talking in the previous chapter about how he consistently failed in a certain area of his life. But, now he writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.

When you are in Jesus, you are not, “condemned,” to be an addict. No one can decide your fate except Jesus and He decided to free you. Therefore, accept what He has provided for you. Jesus already defeated the addiction that is trying to trick you into following it. Let God shatter the stronghold of addiction.

The King Who Conquered Temptation

You may say, “Andre, how would you know how addiction feels like, you don’t understand its grip on me!”

Yes, but, Jesus understands your situation. He was tempted for forty days! Yet, Jesus was tempted so that He could understand your pains. And even so, He never lost to temptation.

Matthew 4:2-4 World English Bible (WEB)
When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterwardThe tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth.’”Deuteronomy 8:3

Moreover, in those forty days, He fasted. He ate nothing. And it is in these moments that eating feels like an addiction. I am not saying that prior to this extreme temptation, Jesus was addicted to food. I am saying that He biologically like any other human being would desire to eat. But, the urges to eat must have been extremely difficult. So much so, that it is comparable to how an average person may struggle to abstain from substance addiction.

The devil tempted Him to eat, he reminded Jesus that He could turn a stone into a nice, puffy loaf of bread. Yet, Jesus resisted in obedience to the Father so you could experience the same victory over temptation!

Jesus said man shall live by every word that comes from God, so live based on what He says about you. Do not live based on the lies of the enemy. You can remind yourself that Jesus lives in you and He is the Word of God who is your source of Life.

Hebrews 4:15 World English Bible (WEB)
15 For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.

The Solution to Addiction

The moment you feel tempted, remind yourself, “Jesus already set me free, I am God’s dearly beloved child!” This is what you call resisting the devil. You are not giving up your identity to the lies of the enemy. No matter what tempts you, it cannot waver you from the solid identity you have in Jesus as the beloved child of God. As you submit to God, resisting the lies of the enemy, you allow God to shatter the stronghold of addiction in your life.

James 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Proverbs 3:34 Be subject therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

If you have not already accepted Jesus, know this: He wants you to be in a relationship with Him. When you believe in Jesus and what He did on the cross for you, there is no spiritual enemy or addiction which can condemn you. Rather, His Spirit will work in you.

Therefore, when you believe in Jesus, God’s Spirit is in you and if you think it is fate for you to fall into addiction, reject that mindset. Jesus already decided your fate and He says that your future is nothing but good, a future devoid of addiction. It is in your hands to yield yourself to His love as you submit to Him, and to stand firmly in the truth which Jesus called you to follow.