Jesus ... Single Like Me: He Dealt with Temptation
- Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Jesus lived his life as a single adult till his death. Because he lived his life as a single adult, he understands every aspect of what you and I are experiencing today. This series examines the "singleness" of Christ in relation to our singleness with the hope you will be encouraged to walk this journey you have been given. A journey that not only leads to the cross for our salvation but to his resurrection for our future.
How many times a day are you tempted? Just this morning as my alarm went off I was tempted to sleep just a bit more. I kept telling myself that five more minutes wouldn't hurt. When I finally got up, I thought, Maybe I need two cups of coffee versus one this time. Again, another temptation for what I don't need.
The phone rang and, of course, I was easily distracted by a long conversation, knowing I had a lot of work to do today. Then came time to eat my wheat bran cereal. I really wanted a big plate of bacon and eggs with syrup. Hmmm. But I know it isn't good for me. As the day progressed I made choice after choice, resisting multiple temptations to choose poorly. I wish I could say I was tempted with good things. I never hear anyone say they were tempted to eat a big salad with no dressing or they were tempted to go walking versus sitting on the couch or they were tempted to tithe twice the amount this month.
So what is temptation? Webster's says it the acting of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil. Also, a cause or occasion of enticement. Synonyms are allurement, enticement, and seduction. Wow, depending on how you look at it, it can be something really bad or something really good.
Temptation: When It's Bad
We all experience temptation daily. Sometimes the temptation is to eat something we don't need or to say something about someone that isn't truthful or to put off cleaning our homes, etc. And sometimes the temptation is far worse, such as doing drugs, having sex outside of marriage, stealing, looking at porn, etc.
God's Word is full of scripture talking about temptation. From the beginning Adam and Eve were tempted to eat the fruit that God told them not to eat. They fell into temptation because this fruit was advertised as something more than just food. They were tempted with something they wanted or felt they needed beyond God. Something that could give them perceived power. Temptation isn't always just about that minute of control or satisfaction. The enemy uses anything he can to tempt us into changing our lives to serve him versus God.
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).
The fact that we are tempted is in itself not a sin. Temptation is a part of our lives. It's, of course, what we do when we are tempted. It's having a plan and being ready to deal with it. Jesus knew about temptation. And because he was fully human and single, too, he dealt with all kinds of temptation.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:1-11).
Here's Jesus, a single man, being tempted to have things that perhaps you only thought you could have when you are old, married or financially successful. Jesus was hungry and the enemy enticed him with food. As a single adult, what are you hungry for? Are you craving friends, a spouse, a better job, a better place to live, and/or solutions to your problems? The enemy also tempted Jesus to throw his life away for surely as the Son of God, angels would protect him from death. Jesus knew what it felt like to be tempted, to be encouraged to throw his life away. As a single, do you sometime think you are all alone? That nothing matters? That you should either give up God or give up life? Do you realize when the devil is tempting you it is because the devil is scared? The devil knows the power that lives in you as a believer. He knows the power that can be used to stop him.
Again, the enemy tried to tempt Jesus with possessions and power by showing him all he could have if he bowed down to him. Personally, I have often desired more than what I have. I have wanted to be married, have a bigger home, travel to wonderful places, have servants, have a pedicure each week, etc. Remember, Jesus had nothing. I am sure he was tempted all the time with bigger and better things. Wouldn't you have preferred a variety of food versus fish and bread every day? Maybe a nice soft bed versus the cold, dirty ground? Air conditioning? Someone to wait on you? Someone to drive you from city to city versus having to walk? Jesus knows the enemy. He knows what he tempts us with day after day. He knows the enemy watches us and is preparing an attack.
Hmmm, maybe I will wait ‘til Kris is sad about something and I will tempt her with comfort food ... that always makes her happy, even if it's temporary. Or maybe I will wait till she is tired … she will not want to exercise. I will tempt her and say she needs a break today cause she deserves it. The heavier she gets the closer to death she gets AND the less time she is on this earth to witness, the better. Or maybe I will wait ‘til she is discouraged and feels like quitting to whisper in her ear that no one cares and they never will. The more I can get her focused only on herself, the less she is focused on others and I win. Yes, that is what I will do to her today.
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