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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

A Reader Asks: What Verses Help You Fight Temptation?

How to fight temptation

Last week a reader wrote asking what verses to use to fight temptation.

I thought I’d post his note (with his permission) — share what verses help me — and then invite you to share what verses help you.

This way we can learn from each other.

His question about fighting temptation

Hi Steve Fuller,

In a blog post you wrote this:

[God] wants us to start by considering the greatness of the reward — the joy of seeing Jesus Christ face to face — knowing Him, fellowshiping with Him, worshiping Him.

I was just wondering, do you have a scripture [to help with] this?

I think this point is really good but I struggle to “consider the greatness of the reward,” especially when I sin automatically or reflexively, without thinking.

I have found that sometimes there is no temptation period for me; I just respond with impatience or entertain lustful thoughts or become anxious in a second, with no time to stop & realize I am sinning or to consider the rewards of future grace.

Does anyone else know what I am talking about?

I was wondering if maybe anyone had some scripture that they used (by meditating on it & reciting it to themselves and trusting it throughout the day) to consider the greatness of His rewards, & thus, find empowerment by the Spirit to destroy sin.

Anyone have any thoughts about this?

In Christ,

A Reader

Here’s my response —

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your helpful question.

I, too, experience sin rising up before I even have a chance to think.

And I agree — meditation on Scripture ahead of time can keep this from happening.

I find that when my heart is already full of joy and peace in believing God’s promises (Rom 15:13) —  sin does not rise up so quickly.

But when my heart is in neutral, or empty, sin can give me a sucker punch before I can get my gloves on.

So here are —

Verses that help me avoid temptation

Let’s start with verses I use to pursue joy and peace in believing —

Gen 15:6 — by faith alone I am counted completely righteous in Christ.

Jer 29:11 — God has unstoppable plans to bring me heart-satisfying and never-ending joy in Him forever.

Gen 50:20 — No one can do anything to disrupt God’s plans for me.

2Cor 9:8 — God will give me all the grace I need to do whatever He calls me to do.

Isa 41:10 — I have nothing to fear, because my Sovereign, Loving Father is with me.

James 1:5 — God will give me all the wisdom I need for every decision I face.

When I abide in those promises, my heart is filled with the Spirit, and temptations can’t get a  foothold.

But I don’t always abide in God’s promises.

Too often my heart becomes empty — and temptations gain entrance into my heart and need to be fought.

So here are —

Verses that help me fight temptation

Even though temptations come in different shapes and sizes — they all have one thing in common.

They all promise that something else will satisfy me more than Jesus Christ.

So the battle is to see and feel once again that Jesus Christ is infinitely more satisfying than anything else.

This happens as we pray for the Spirit’s help, and think deeply about Scriptures.

So here’s Scriptures I pray over to fight temptation —

Psa 16:11 — in Your presence is fulness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forever.

Isa 55:2 — why do you spend your money for what is not bread, and your labor for what does not satisfy?

Jer 2:12-13 — my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Mat 5:8 — blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Mat 13:44 — the parable of the man who discovers the treasure in the field, and sells everything so he can buy the field.

Phil 3:8 — I count everything to be loss for the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Col 1:16 — all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus.

Heb 1:3-4 — Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory.

Rev 1:5 — Jesus loves us and freed us from our sins by His blood.

Rev 5:12 — Jesus is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

When I cry out to Jesus for help, and pray over Scriptures like these, in time the Spirit gives me a taste of Jesus’ glory.

And when I taste Jesus’ glory — temptations shrivel up and die.

I hope that helps you with your question.

In Christ,

Steve Fuller

So what verses help YOU fight temptation?

Share them in the comments section below.  Thanks.

And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —


(Picture is from everystockphoto by US Army Africa.)

Category: Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Stories about Other People


6 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    Hey Steve,

    Your list of verses is pretty complete, I don’t think I could add another that would be the silver bullet for this brother to fight against temptation. But what is temptation at it’s core? Trusting something in this world to satisfy our heart other than Christ, right? This is why Jesus beckons us to pick up our cross and follow Him, He tells us we must die to this world.

    Death to this world, to the unregenerate soul seems like a prison sentence, when actually it’s the most freeing thing a person could experience.

    Die so that you may live, in Christ there is true Life, but the enemy has blinded people from this truth. Most followers of Christ are not shining examples of a person full of Life regrettably, they pretty much look and act like everyone else. There should be rivers of living water flowing from our lives, but is that what folks who don’t know Christ experience when they get to know us?

    In most cases I think not, including myself a great amount of the time, it’s a battle to find my joy in Christ, my flesh wants to satisfy itself with something other than Christ constantly. Real faith is a fight, if we don’t think so, we are fooling ourselves.

    Staying dead to this world is hard work, but the reward of knowing Christ is worth the effort. This brother needs to surround himself with other believers who are fighting the fight of faith, to be encouraged to battle against this world that can only make promises, but can’t deliver true Life.

    I might suggest a body of believers named Mercy Hill.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Once again, helpful and strengthening words, Paul. Thanks for stopping by and sharing them.

      I love how you say that real faith is a fight. SO TRUE. And that the reward of knowing Christ is worth the effort. YES.

      (And your comment about Mercy Hill made me smile. God surely has blessed us. Let’s pray and labor to see even more of this zeal in our body!)


  2. O'Neil says:

    I really enjoy reading the list of verses which could help in the battle against temptation. However the one that pop-up at me most when am in a tempting situation is jer2:12-13. Leaving the fountain of living water that satisfies to hew out broken cisterns that can hold no water. I have also memorized psalms 1 and normally recite it when am being tempted.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hello O’Neil — good to meet you. Thanks for visiting the blog and for leading your thoughts.

      Jer 2:12-13 is also one of the Scriptures I find most powerful — since it reveals exactly what’s going on when I am being tempted — and how foolish it is to turn from Christ.

      I had not thought about using Psalm 1 — but can see now why that would be helpful. Thanks for sharing it!

      He is worth it all —

      Steve Fuller

  3. joe says:

    Hey I have a question I have been praying about healing with my two diseases for about 6 months and we have this prayer night thing and I took a step of faith and stood in the middle and asked to get prayed for my two diseases and still nothing I wanna know why

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Joe,

      I am so sorry that you were not healed. I’d suggest you check the posts under “Check Here For More Help,” under the category “Help For Prayer.”

      I have some posts there dealing with unanswered prayer that you might find helpful.

      You could also post this question in the Forum section to hear from others.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

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