How Can we Handle Temptation?
It’s not sinful to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted. Natalie reminds us of God’s promises to provide a way of escape from it. E V E R Y time. Through His power.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Talking about how to fight temptation might not be the most fun topic, however it is where we witness the power of God at work in our lives. When we talk about temptation it is important we go straight to the source – to the person who intimately knows what it looks and feels like to be tempted.
Scripture says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Our High Priest, Jesus, was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) When we look at how Jesus combats temptations, we see a few practical truths that we too can use when we are being tempted.
- Know where it comes from. James 1:13-18 says, “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 desires and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” Jesus was intimately aware of this truth, which allowed Him to address the source of His temptation, the Enemy, head on. If we can examine the source of temptation in our own life, this can help us know how to pray and flee specifically.
- Pray and use the Word of God to combat. “It is written.” This is the phrase Jesus uses when the Enemy tempts Him because Jesus knew the power of combating lies with truth. What if we had scripture hidden in our hearts to be able to use whenever we are being led astray.
- Walk by the Spirit. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Jesus knew that as humans we were going to need a Helper to walk in the fullness of life. He knows nothing can stand against us when we’re living by the power of the Spirit. This is a truth I am deeply thankful for because I know I can’t count on my own ability or strength to withstand temptation, but I know I can lean into the Spirit who is already working.
In the midst of experiencing temptation, I am deeply thankful the Savior has gone before me and has revealed how we can walk faithfully through anything we encounter. He is not surprised by any temptation, and He will always provide a way out. Think about that one more time – He will provide a way of escape for any and all temptation!
Read the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) Think about ways you have experienced temptation…consider your surroundings, company, and thoughts just previous to the temptation. In relation to the story, what do you see Jesus doing that you can apply in your own life?