How We Handle Sexual Temptation, by Men of God
In continuation of the discussion on the power of sexual temptation, we look this week at how it affects pastors, popularly called in Nigeria as Men of God. One would have thought that being far more spiritually stronger than the average man, Men of God, are immune to sexual temptation. But many of them have fallen to it with disastrous consequences to their ministries and their families.
Those familiar with the subject even say that, indeed, Men of God are very vulnerable to sexual temptation.
The reasons include the perception of them by others as people with power and influence; their isolation and private sessions with women during spiritual counseling and prayers; and the tendency for many of them to feed on the attention and comments of others: The habit of being carried away by the approval of people rather than God.
With all that, it becomes enticing to look at how some Men of God in Nigeria handle this powerful temptation. Below are some of them in their own words, as sourced from the book Nigeria’s Men of God, by Bisi Daniels (formerly Bisi Ojediran).
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor:
Pastor Word of Life Bible Church and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria: “Yes, I face temptations, why wouldn’t I? Let me clarify my answer. In the Bible, Jesus was tempted by all things, yet he resisted sin. Temptation itself isn’t a sin, although succumbing to temptation is. For example, I’m not blind, and I can appreciate the beauty of an attractive woman when she walks past. I thank God for her life, but I don’t allow her beauty to affect my mentality or my morality. I know who I am and I know where I’m supposed to be. Consequently, I’m not going to succumb to her seductiveness. That’s why I answered that I’m tempted just like everybody else. However, by the grace of God, I don’t fall into temptation.
“Every day of my life, whether I am in or out of the country, I spend time praying. I don’t know if I should admit this, but I devote many hours to praying about all kinds of things each morning. For example, I pray that God will keep me away from any individuals who will not be good for me on that day. He should only bring people to me whom I can bless. That is one of my daily prayers. I also pray about temptation and that I will be able to overcome it before I leave my room. Sometimes when I leave my room—because I believe I’ve communed with God—some temptations will pass without even luring me, because God has already taken care of them. On the other hand, the grace of God helps me to prepare for some of the temptations. I don’t have to start praying at the moment of temptation. I recall a time during one of my flights when a man started praying diligently right before our flight commenced. I found this quite interesting, and his actions made me smile. I appreciated his action, although I had already prayed before I left my room and boarded the plane. I knew that God would ensure we landed safely wherever we were going. I have a mission. I perform many tasks every day, and I visit different places — criss-crossing territories to perform the work of God. Therefore, I know that by the grace of God, I won’t die on any day I begin with prayer.
Pastor Sam Adeyemi:
Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre: People encounter temptations on a daily basis. Money tempted me when I was very young. I have been tempted by the opposite sex. I am even more tempted by the opposite sex to be very candid. I realize that ministry is a risky profession. Actually, the fact is that the anointing attracts as well as the many miraculous tasks God accomplishes through us — the anointed. Complications arise because we’re sent to help people who are broken-hearted. If we aren’t careful while doing so, and if we don’t clearly define the boundaries, we can fall overboard. We show care and love to people who have been deprived of love. We accept people who have been rejected. We start out with only the purest intention. However, complicated emotional elements often develop over time.
A woman once confided to me that whenever she spoke to me, she always became sexually aroused. I was terrified. If I was tempted to take advantage of her, it was a powerful opportunity to do so. However, I have since learned that if you want to be in ministry, you should remain completely committed to God. Living a holy life is not something you can bargain. Therefore, when the lady spoke, it was as if I heard the devil himself. I have since learned that in order to avoid temptation, you have to remain very devoted to God. A daily prayer life and a consistent study in the Word of God help to ward off temptation.
I have also discovered that human beings are easily motivated by pleasure and pain. You will continuously do whatever you find pleasurable, and the habit dies hard. You will run from whatever you find painful. Therefore, you have to pray and read relevant portions of the Bible whenever temptation threatens. For example, regarding the area of sexual temptation, I consistently read Proverbs 5-7. The portion warns about all the dangers of sinful sex