Overcoming Temptations

Overcoming Temptations While in College

What are Temptations?  Temptations are lures to engage in sin and in doing so, you disobey God.  He does not tempt you.  Instead, you are tempted by your own sinful and fleshly desires.  Temptations often first show up as distractions which hinder your ability to be still and focus on the more important things in your college life.  The most dangerous distraction is being distracted from God.

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  James 1: 13-15

How do you overcome temptations?  The starting point is being very close to God.  Here are some ways to be very close to God:

Choose your circle of friends wisely—those who are Godly.  As a young adult your new social support and ecosystem are your friends in college.  Surround yourself with spiritual buddies whose value system is God-based.  Hang out with them, share, communicate, and encourage each other.

Engage actively with your local True Jesus Church.  The most common reason (or excuse) for not attending church services while in college is that you are too busy with schoolwork.  Make the time for and with God a priority.  You can’t be close to God or anyone without spending time with Him.  Schedule your priorities, not prioritize your schedule.  Serve God in any capacity.  Serving God energizes your commitment and relationship with Him and other fellow members who can be part of your support system.  Sing in a choir, help with lunch duties, lead bible study groups either in church or on campus.

Be firm in saying No.  Invitations to worldly social events can be tempting, especially when you are feeling lonely.  You may even feel the peer pressure of not belonging or disappointing especially to those who have helped you out.  There are many other ways to show your gratitude and appreciation for others who have been helpful to you without being distracted from God.  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13.

Watch and pray.  Be vigilant.  Be alert.  Be prayerful especially when you feel alone.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  1 Peter 5:8-10.  

There was a young man who visited college fraternities to see what college life was like.  He saw how they were drinking and dancing and partying and felt “Wow! This is the kind of life that I want to live.”  By his sophomore year, his GPA was 1.67 and was on probation to get kicked out of college.  During all that time, all he did was party and get drunk.  Even though he thought that was how he wanted to live, he felt empty inside.  One of the fraternity brothers hung himself because he was so depressed.  All the drinking and partying did nothing to satisfy the heart.

The young man then decided to focus on his studies thinking that he would find meaning and satisfaction from his career if not his college.  It was during his career that he met someone unexpected who introduced him to God.  It wasn’t a career that was meaningful.  It was getting into the journey of pursuing God that brought meaning to his life.  He participated in bible studies and joined them in prayer.  During their prayer in the Spirit (speaking in tongues), the young man said to himself, “Oh, I will never, ever come back to this Bible Study, ever again.”  He went to the movies to “escape” from the bible study session thinking that by the time the movie was over, bible study would also be over.

The one who invited him to the bible study called him after the movie was over.  He came up with the excuse that he was hungry and unable to join them.  But she invited him over to have a late-night meal with others.  And the bible study was AFTER the meal, so he had to join them.  By the time it got to prayer time, he asked her to explain the nature of how they prayed.  He knelt down to pray, and he felt this great peace come upon him.

When he went home, he prayed again and continued to pray every night because he felt very joyful.  One night after prayer, he fell asleep and then heard a voice asking him to get up and pray.  As he prayed, he felt this power come through his head and was filled with the Holy Spirit.  For the first time in his life, he was 100% sure that God exists and that He was right in front of him.  He felt there was meaning in his life.

His wife saw this huge transformation in him—from a man with anger management issues to a God worshipping man.  He always had a smile on his face.  God moved her as well…they both got baptized together.

Whether you are still in college or getting ready to move on after graduation, may you find our Lord Jesus Christ.  Then your life can also be transformed to become more meaningful, not just evolving around temptations to seek peace, to have transformed a purpose in life.  And after this life, we have the hope to enter eternal life.

Yield not to temptation.  Come and join us to find meaning in life and be transformed into a better version of you.   Please attend our Fall Evangelical Services and Spiritual Convocation (ESSC) from September 14 to 17, 2023 at our church location as follows:

4N550 Church Road
Bensenville, IL 60106
 Google Maps

For online streaming, please click here.

For regular service hours, please click here.

Email us at ilovejesus@tjc-chicago.org