Jesus ... Single Like Me: He Dealt with Temptation
- Tuesday, October 12, 2010
So the enemy knows our weaknesses, our fears and our struggles. He wants us defeated because he knows the power that is within us. So if this is true, then can temptation, meant by the enemy to destroy, actually build us up in Christ? Can it make us stronger? Yes!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us … (Ephesians 3:20).
Temptation: When It's Good (Being Tested)
So can temptation be a good thing? Yes. Often when I am tempted, I wonder sometimes is it temptation by the enemy or testing by God. God himself does not tempt us, but he does test us.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone … (James 1:13).
Sometimes, just like with Jesus, temptation can be a good thing. It can draw us closer to God. With Jesus, the fact that he was able to quote back scripture (the truth) to put the devil in his place was a good thing.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance (James 1:2).
Also, to be able to experience making the right choices when tempted is a good thing. We can remind the devil (and even others) of why we are on this earth and what God is doing in our lives (of course you need to know why you are on this earth). That what the devil meant for harm, God can turn for good. The more we are tempted and make the right choices, the more we are giving the glory to God in those choices. We have shown that we are growing. Of course, if we do fail (fall into temptation) and sin, we still have to deal with the consequences. We must quickly ask forgiveness and turn from the sin. We need to make every effort to learn from those consequences.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Action Steps :
PRAY: That you will not fall into temptation. You know yourself and you know the areas in which you struggle. Pray and ask God for his help.
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak" (Matthew 26:41).
BE IN GOD'S WORD: Simple and easy solution to temptation: be in God's Word more to help battle what's coming—not only to know the truth but also to speak it back to the enemy. Use God's Word to bind the enemy for he does not have any power except what you give him.
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
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 (Ephesians 6:12-13).
FLEE: When we are tempted, the Word says to flee. Don't mess with it. I mean, if you struggle with donuts, run. Just run!
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).
PLAN AHEAD: If you know you struggle with certain things, plan ahead to avoid the temptation altogether. If you struggle with sexual thoughts, what are you watching on TV that could be tempting you? Maybe it's time to stop watching TV or movies. Personally, I don't own a TV-—not because TV is bad, but I had a hard time with watching too much of it. Also, a lot of it is very sexual or has bad language, violence, etc. If you know you struggle with buying things you don't need at the store, pray about everything you put in your buggy to see if God says you can have it. I have been known to put everything back that was in my cart. Have a group of friends who hold you accountable.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
TAKE TIME: If you are not able to flee, take the time to ask God to help you make the right choice. I know we can't always flee a big buffet dinner or something the boss wants us to watch or being caught in the middle of a bad joke, etc., but we do have a choice on how we react to it.
And remember, HE WILL BE BACK, SO BE READY. The enemy will continue to find ways to tempt you. That is who he is, so be ready.
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time (Luke 4:13).
Because Jesus was single like me, he was tempted. He suffered just like we do. He knows what we are going through, and he encourages us each day to stay the course, choosing what is best versus what is now—to learn from our mistakes and to help others in their journey.
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