I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it. – Mae West
A large part of living out our faith in Jesus is navigating how we are supposed to handle temptation. Just what are we supposed to do?
- We can flee it. (2 Timothy 2:22)
- We can fall into it. (Matthew 26:41)
- We can be aware of it. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
But how are we supposed to overcome it? Especially when it looks different for each of us.
When I was 5 years old, my Sunday school teacher brought a glove and a Bible to class one day. He set the glove on the Bible and told us this glove was a very special glove – it could pick up the book. “Glove,” he said, “pick up the Bible.”
Again, he said, “Glove, pick up the Bible!” Nothing.
The third time, he slipped his hand inside the glove and said, “Glove, pick up the Bible!” Sure enough, the glove lifted the Bible off the table.
“I told you this glove was special,” my teacher said.
You can imagine a room full of 5-year-olds waving our hands while talking out of turn, “Mr. Stracken, that wasn’t the glove! That was your hand!”
In the same way, overcoming temptation isn’t about our ability to copy what Jesus did. It’s about the strength of the Spirit who lives in us. If we are in Christ, then the Spirit is in us. And by His strength, we can overcome temptation.
I want you to memorize this “If, if, then” statement:
If it’s true that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, and if it’s true that Jesus indwells every believer and lives through us, then His life in us today will look like His life among us then.
We can overcome temptation in our lives today because Jesus did it in His own life so many years ago. Of course, the next question will be “How? How did Jesus overcome?”
God, my Strength, Your Spirit operating as my strength is so simple when explained. I lay down my need to be both the glove and the hand. What a privilege to be the glove – a visible expression of the life of Your Spirit in this world! I surrender to Your strength so we can work together as one. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com