Use God’s Word in these Bible verses on temptation to learn how to resist and overcome the tempting situations in your life.
I don’t know you or your story. I don’t know what temptations you are trying to fight right now.
In fact, our biggest temptations probably don’t look the same!
For most of my life, food was my biggest temptation. My 100-pound weight loss journey was far more a spiritual/character journey than it was just about a change in my body.
It was a daily fight against my desire for food – the thing that was trying to lure me away from God and tell me that I could and should get what I wanted when I wanted it.
My food cravings told me that they were a “need,” not a want. They screamed at me to turn to food instead of God when I knew food would never fix the problems I was dealing with.
Small temptations turned into huge, character-altering temptations that destroyed both my body and my soul…but that’s not the end of my story.
Because I have a God who fought for me and made me an overcomer as I fought back against one temptation at a time.
And, whatever you are facing, you can too.
Read on to learn more about my own battle against temptation and how to fight (and overcome!) yours.
Scriptures on Temptation To Help You Resist & Overcome
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13
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
One of the most important things to remember is that temptation is common to mankind.
It’s not a question of if you will be tempted, just a question of when.
Feeling tempted does not make you a bad person or a weak Christian – it just makes you human.
But the second half of this verse is my favorite – “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
In the midst of your temptation, we often feel alone, like nobody else could understand the struggle we are dealing with. That’s a lie from the enemy.
God is with us every second of our temptation and knows how hard we are fighting. And, He is a God of grace, so He provides a way out.
Our job is not to avoid all temptation, but instead to remember to look for the way out that God is providing.
This was the Bible verse that was at the core of us creating the 3 Ps to fight food cravings. I have thought, written, memorized, spoken, and sung this verse thousands of times when I was tempted to turn to food to fix a problem that only God could fix.
2. Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Even though 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that we will experience temptation, it’s still a worthy prayer to ask God not to lead us into temptation.
This is even in a section of Scripture where Jesus was telling us exactly how to pray, so you know it’s important enough to ask!
3. Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
This verse is when Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples. He knows He is about to be crucified and He asked them to be on the lookout for Him to give him time to pray.
When He came back after just an hour, the disciples were asleep and He spoke this verse to Peter.
Jesus understands our sin nature so well. He knows that, most of the time, our intentions are good. He also knows that we are not strong enough to fight temptation on our own.
Our responsibility is to be watchful and ask God for His strength to fight temptation because we can’t do it without Him.
4. James 1:13-15
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.
The enemy is cunning and creative. He doesn’t tend to go straight for obviously sinful things to lure us in.
He starts by teasing us with little desires that seem harmless at the time. Then he continues to grow that desire slowly, almost imperceptibly, until we are all-out sinning, driving a huge wedge in between our relationship with God and others.
As I mentioned, a major sin of mine was food. It started off with “no big deal” things like eating a few extra bites. Before I knew it, I “needed” food so badly that I was waiting until my family was asleep, sneaking into our pantry, stealing food that belonged to everybody, and hiding in my bedroom in the middle of the night eating boxes of Little Debbies and fruit snacks (and then sneaking around again to hide all of the evidence).
My food problem became a character problem.
And that’s how sin so often works.
Be on guard and watch those “no big deal” desires carefully.
5. Luke 4:2
Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
This Bible verse is talking about when Jesus was in the desert for 40 days of temptation with the devil.
It’s a story I’ve heard since I was a child but when I take the time to actually envision the 40 straight days of temptation Jesus endured, having to battle every human need of his screaming out for attention each day, I am so thankful.
I’m so thankful God sent His Son here to not just know about the devil’s schemes but to experience Himself every temptation that we would be faced with.
It’s comforting to know that He understands. He went through it all. It makes me feel not so alone in those tough moments and it gives me hope.
Because He has gone through it Himself, His help is personal and relatable, not distant and disconnected.
6. Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
This is the perfect follow-up for Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.
“…we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.”
He is proof that God will show us a way out.
He is living out the promises of Scripture that we are not alone and that we can fight temptation when we lean into God’s strength.
7. Galatians 6:1
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
We live in a culture that is very accepting of sin. In fact, we are told that if we do not accept a wide variety of sins, that we are closed-minded and unloving.
But, really, the opposite is true.
This verse is not demanding that we condemn each other, beating them down or berating them for their sin.
On the contrary, it is encouraging us to restore that person gently. It’s okay to call a sin a sin. Ignoring the severity of a situation doesn’t do anyone any favors. But gentleness and restoration are key in the process.
And this is another important reminder to be watchful. When we get close to another person’s sin, it’s possible to be lured in ourselves.
The temptation to minimize, rationalize, and point the finger of blame to someone or something else when it comes to sin is always there.
Keep your eyes wide open and fight hard against it!
8. Galatians 5:16-17
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
You know those cartoons where the character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other?
I feel that so often – that battle in my soul.
Both characters have a voice in my head but they are in conflict with each other.
“You are not to do whatever you want.”
Those words really stick with me. In our society, doing what we want when we want has become a “human right,” so denying ourselves our momentary desires has become something labeled as cruel.
But God has a bigger plan for us than those momentary desires. He has a bigger purpose than us just simply pursuing what feels good.
And that plan involves us telling that alluring devil voice to hush and intentionally choosing to walk in the Spirit in those moments of temptation.
9. James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This verse in James goes right along with the last Scripture from Galatians.
When we resist the devil, he will flee.
We are children of God. It was not a one-time choice to follow Christ and surrender ourselves to our Savior.
It is a choice we make again and again, every single day, every time temptation creeps in.
10. Hebrews 2:14-15
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
This is where the best news comes in. It’s great that we have Someone who can understand what we are going through, but the best part is that He is also our Savior who cut off the power of the devil in our lives.
It’s because of Jesus that we are free to choose what’s right in the face of temptation and be able to overcome it.
This isn’t a matter of willpower or personal strength. It’s a matter of Who you serve and we have a God who can take away the fear the devil uses when he tempts us (fear of not having enough, fear of not being enough, etc).
11. 1 Peter 5:8-9
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.
1 Peter 5:8-9
This is one of my favorite verses on temptation because it creates such a powerful visual that sticks with me.
You respond much differently to temptation when you look at it for what it is – a prowling lion waiting to devour you – instead of what it feels like in the moment (something that will make you feel good).
Most of us would fight for our lives without hesitation but in those moments of “little” temptations, it doesn’t feel like it’s a worthy fight.
Every temptation is a worthy fight, my friends.
Resist and stand firm in your faith.
12. Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
This is the other part of temptation that is tricky. As much as I love the visual of the prowling lion, I’m not fighting an animal for my physical safety.
I’m fighting against evil in this dark world for my soul.
Temptation often comes in the form of physical things – a tempting food, a charming man, an irresistible TV show that we can’t miss…but our struggle is not against those things. That’s just the surface level.
Our struggle with temptation is our fight against our selfishness.
13. James 4:17
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
We often think temptation has to look overtly sinful, like the 7 deadly sins.
But that struggle against our selfishness seeps into every decision we make throughout our days.
I can’t even count the number of times I knew I should have chosen differently. I saw an opportunity to love or to serve and I missed it. I didn’t act when I know I could have.
It’s easy not to feel guilty about those because it sure doesn’t feel like sinning when you’re not actively pursuing something sinful.
But that’s the sneaky part of sin! You can sin by missing those opportunities to do good, too.
Another good reason to be on guard and watchful, making the most of every opportunity.
14. James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
And, remember, this is such a worthy fight.
Every temptation you fight, no matter how small, was a worthy battle.
There is no such thing as a “no big deal” temptation when you are dealing with matters of your heart and soul.
Don’t give up fighting, even when it feels like you fight the same battle 100 times a day (I use these Bible verses on endurance to help when I feel like giving up).
Persevere and the Lord has promised you the most beautiful of rewards.
15. Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
This verse is one of my favorite because it hits temptation at its core – your heart.
When we are taking delight in the Lord, our heart desires good things and our walk with Christ overflows with joy.
When we take delight in ourselves, our heart craves things that destroy us piece by piece and we end up feeling bitter that God is withholding things we love from us.
I don’t know about you, but I want to choose the life overflowing with joy, not bitterness and jealousy.
16. 2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
This verses encourages us to, not only run away from those tempting desires we have, but to pursue good.
This isn’t about just sitting put and saying no to things all day every day.
It’s about running away from those harmful desires and running into the arms of Christ.
Pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace are some of the best ways to fight temptation.
17. Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Which is the same thing this verse emphasizes.
Overcome evil with good.
Your good, godly choices make a difference. It’s one of the best ways to fight this battle.
18. 1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17
This verse describes such a clear differentiation – you either love the world or you love the Father.
Continue to challenge your choices, your motivations, and your heart to make sure you continue to stay on God’s path.
19. Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I’ve mentioned the “battle” and “fighting” all throughout this post, but these verses lay out the best way to prepare yourself for this battle.
Put on the full armor of God.
Arm yourself with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
Don’t let these verses go in one ear and out the other.
Clothe yourself with the armor of God and fight.
You are not alone. You can take down whatever temptations are in your life because You have an Almighty God fighting right there with you and for you.
If you need some “fighting” music, this is the song I use to fire me up, kind of like my Christian version of “Eye of The Tiger” – “Surrounded” by Michael W. Smith.