First, you must have the right strength. Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” If we try to combat temptation in our flesh we will fall prey to it every time. To effectively fight temptation you must be a Christian. By this I mean someone who has repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus alone for salvation. Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:” David knew in himself he could not fight temptations but he needed God in his life to be his strength and to teach him to fight temptation. For the Christian, the Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 that there is a war going on inside of us. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour the “old us” still wants to control our actions but the “new us” wants Jesus to control them. So, who wins? That is up to you. Whichever person you feed the most is the one that will be strongest.
That brings us to the second point; you must have the right standards. The Bible tells us in Psalm 101:3 “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” David gives us the proper standard to combat temptation. Most people will fight certain temptations over and over again and the reason they never have victory over the temptation is that they keep the temptation around them! If you have a problem with pornography why do you keep watching movies with nudity in them? If you have a problem with alcohol why do you hang out with friends when they’re drinking? David says that the way to fight temptation is with the right standards; don’t put the wickedness in front of you and don’t hang around people that do those things you struggle with.
The third thing we must have to overcome temptation is the right stamina. Temptation will not stop attacking just because we defeat it once. When Joseph was sold into slavery his master’s wife tried to tempt him to commit adultery with her. Joseph told her no but the Bible says in Genesis 39:10 “And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.” She came back every day to tempt him again. To Joseph’s credit, and for our example, Joseph never succumbed but instead he ran away from the temptation. To overcome temptation you must fight it every day, sometimes you just have to run away from it.