Freedom and contentment are found when we learn to overcome temptation.
I already covered the First Step in Winning Against Temptation. Today, I want to talk about another principle to help you untangle yourself.
Let Go to Break Free
A few weeks ago, Craig Groeschel in a sermon at LifeChurch.tv said:
Those God uses the MOST are the ones who hold on to the LEAST.
~ Craig Groeschel
There are several reasons why this is true, but I believe a BIG reason is that people who hold on to little are a lot less likely to fall to temptation.
The more things of this world that you clench near and dear to your heart, the easier target you are to tempt.
So, if you want to break free, LET GO.
Let Go of Your Stuff
We miss the mark and fall into sin when we cling too tightly to our stuff (or our neighbor’s stuff).
“Our stuff” covers a pretty broad spectrum of possibilities.
It can include physical things like:
- A business
- Even our relationships
It can also involve intangible things like:
- Our reputation
- Our dreams
- Our fleshly desires
- Our rights
- Our opinion of ourselves and others
If you want to gain freedom and contentment, then you have to learn to let go. Surrender these things to God.
How to Let Go and Overcome Temptation
God spoke this to me recently:
The reason you are easily tempted is because you significantly overvalue that which tempts you.
Get your mind right about “your stuff” and you will more easily overcome your temptations.
The Bible tells us to copy Jesus:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Philippians 2:3-8 NLT
Look closely at the attitude of Jesus that we need to imitate. He didn’t cling to status. He gave up privileges (that were rightly His). He took the humble position of a slave who owned nothing. He obediently accepted what God required Him to do even submitting to a criminal’s death on a cross despite being 100% innocent.
Jesus obviously didn’t cling to much of what we and the world consider important. Therefore, He wasn’t vulnerable to temptation.
If you want to emphasize this truth to yourself, take a moment and read again how Jesus was tempted by Satan. He quickly and easily defeated each temptation because he didn’t consider the things He was tempted with as important.
Maybe this is one of the reasons Jesus tells us:
If you try to hang on to your life [your comfort and security], you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Matthew 16:25 NLT amplification mine
The less you hang on to, the less the enemy has to tempt you with and the more freedom and contentment you will enjoy.