I currently disciple a few young men in their early to mid-20’s and one common theme always comes up when we meet and discuss their progress, and challenges is temptation. These young men who desire to grow in their relationship with Christ always want to know useful tips to stay on track and get breakthrough in this area. While discipling we discuss “not conforming to this world, but by the renewing our minds” as referenced in Romans 12:2 and we go deep on scriptures like that. But like a lot of busy people today, they like simple things or reminders that can come in handy to assist them quickly. One of my mentors had this easy to remember set of words and so I have passed this on to the young men who consider me to be their mentor.
In the front of my bible I have written five simple words that summarize what Paul and the other biblical writers seemed to say about the subject of temptation and here they are: Fight, Follow, Flee, Fellowship and Feed. Let’s break these down and take a brief look at each one.
1. Fight. Battle the temptation as this is not the time for passivity. With temptation we have to remain on offense and not slide into defense or the battle is easily and sometimes already lost. Scripture references (Ephesians 6:11, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9).
2. Follow. Follow the example of Jesus. He was the only one in this life was spotless and blameless. Scripture references (James 4:7, 8, 1 Peter 2:21).
3. Flee. Do not remain in the presence of temptation. Sometimes men of God say they don’t need to flee from anything, but that is just not true. Sometimes the best thing you can have in your spiritual toolbox is a good pair of Nikes and the ability to flee! Joseph ran so fast from Potiphar’s wife that he ran out of his own coat! Scripture references (1 Corinthians 10:14, Genesis 39:12, Romans 13:14, 2 Timothy 2:22).
4. Fellowship. Isolation is the ideal environment for temptation. The community of believers is a safe harbor. This is why frequent discipleship and accountability is essential in your Christian walk and ability to thwart temptation. Scripture references (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, 2 Timothy 2:22).
5. Feed. The word of God is the Christian’s daily bread. God’s Word is also figuratively the breathe of God breathing His life and wisdom into us. We need to breath in the breathe of God as much as possible not to be overcome with the fumes of a sinful world. Many pastors claim that most of their church members only read God’s Word on Sunday at church and it’s like they’re doing spiritual mouth to mouth recessitation as they preach from the pulpit. We should stay in God’s Word daily and often to remain off of spiritual life support. Scripture references (Psalms 119:11, Matthew 4).
So, remember these five simple words to help in avoiding temptation: Fight, Follow, Flee, Fellowship, and Feed.
Alex Fulton—Discipleship Pastor