“And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13.
It was Oscar Wilde who said, “I can resist everything except temptation.” It would be hard to disagree with him. We are tempted every day, whether we notice it or not. The enemy doesn’t like committed Christians and will go to great lengths to persuade us to go after our own desires and wants instead of doing God’s will. Temptation is an ongoing struggle.
James 1:14 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” What James is saying is that temptation is a lure. We are being lured all day long by temptation. Temptation is not a sin. You don’t have to feel guilty about temptation. Temptation simply means you are human. Remember, Jesus was tempted. Yet, Hebrews 4:15 also tells us Jesus “faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” It’s not temptation that is wrong, it’s what you choose to do with it that matters. Temptations are battlegrounds to demonstrate what our heart desires. The key to fighting temptation is not only to avoid the temptation but to desire Christ above everything else.
The good news is we don’t have to be controlled by or give in to temptation if we choose not to. God has given each of us, a powerful mind, and when our thoughts are controlled our actions will fall in line. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” This is a powerful promise, which means that whatever we are being tempted with, God already has an escape plan. We just have to rely on His power to resist temptation. This text is also telling us that even in the midst of the enemy’s temptation, God is still in control. There is nothing that happens to us without God’s knowledge and without His consent.
Temptation will always be there in one form or another. But as we fight temptation and pursue God, we begin to love what He loves, and hate what He hates. Our confidence in our willpower fades, and our hope focuses on Jesus.
Know that if you give in to temptation, the Lord still loves you. God knows you aren’t perfect, and God still wants you near Him. Know God’s grace is new for you every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
- How do you protect yourself from the lure of temptation?
- What can you do this week to escape the lure of temptation?