Everyone… yes EVERYONE is tempted! Temptation and sin are universal experiences. God forgives sin when we acknowledge it (“confess” it), turn from it (“repent”) and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9)! And He helps us overcome temptation! Here’s what the Bible says about temptation…
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. 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 endure it!” (1 Corinthians 10:13) That’s really good news to anyone desiring to overcome temptation (and the resultant sin if we give in to temptation)!
God promises to help us… to sustain and strengthen us… and always provide a way of escape in temptation, if we will avail ourselves of it and use it!
Jesus was our great mentor, I believe, in overcoming temptation…
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!” (Hebrews 4:15–16)
All of this came to mind this morning during my time of “Coffee with the Lord” as I read about Jesus’ temptation by Satan in Luke 4:1-13. (You really need to read it for yourself if you’re interested in overcoming temptation – and every Christian ought to be… It’s part of their “new birth” – their new “Spiritual DNA!”) Here’s a couple of lesson from Jesus in temptation that I saw in the passage this morning…
1) Temptation often comes when we are depleted and drained physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. That’s when Satan loves to attack us with temptation. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days alone in the wilderness when Satan attacked Him with temptation.
2) Temptation comes in some of the same areas Jesus experienced… What our body wants, power issues, and esteem needs. Read it… they’re all there.
3) We need inner strength to face temptation – The Holy Spirit within empowers us to overcome temptation! We need to be Spirit filled! and Spirit led… We need to walk in the Spirit! (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-25) Notice the passage says, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
4) Finally, when we are tempted we need to apply what God’s word says to the various issues of our life in a practical way! We need to choose “God’s way” – not the “tempter’s way!” In each case of temptation, the Bible says Jesus responded to the tempter and temptation with, “It is written!”
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to spend some time meditating on how Jesus responded to temptation! I want Him to be my mentor and model! I want to overcome temptation, don’t you?