We all have temptations, and whether it’s for something sweet or to sin, the process is the same. We see or think of that something that we want to have or want to do that we know we shouldn’t; we then rationalize why it’s okay this time and go for it. Only to feel guilty later for having done so.
We also usually try to convince ourselves that it’s not our fault. It’s just the way we are, we can’t help it and we can’t change. This is just the way we were made. Friends, let me assure you, this is a lie straight from the pit of hell and it’s time to stop believing it! The truth is this.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
I Corinthians 10:13
This tells us that when we are tempted, God is faithful and promises us to not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and He always makes a way of escape, meaning we do not have to go through with it.
Did you hear that? You can stop this vicious cycle that leaves you feeling guilty and defeated. With the power of Christ, you can walk away!
Now let me make something perfectly clear. We are never tempted by God. James tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” (James 1:13, 14) We are however tempted by our own sinful desires and by the ultimate deceiver, Satan. It’s also good to note that these unwanted desires always fall into one of three categories, lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life.
Power of the Word of God
Jesus himself was tempted in the same way that we are and was able to withstand by the power of the Word. We can read this in Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4. Not only do we have the same power from God’s Word, but we also have a faithful Savior. Who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and will also make a way of escape. This is so freeing, because then when we are tempted, instead of our minds being filled with ways to rationalize why we should or could, we can focus on the fact that we don’t have to. God has made a way for us to simply walk away and move on.
I have put this into practice myself and trust me, God is faithful. I did it by memorizing 1 Corinthians 10:13 and then reciting it to myself when a temptation arose. Especially those habitual ones that I couldn’t ever seem to overcome on my own. Let me tell you, once I had recited the fact that God always provides a way of escape. It was very difficult to rationalize that I had a bad day, that I deserved this in some way, or that I just couldn’t help myself. At that point I was really only left with, Lord do I trust You and follow You away from this, or do I ignore You and give in to my sinful desires. Ouch! Thankfully, more often than not I followed Him out and now I’m not plagued by those same temptations anymore.
Fighting Habitual Sin
One other helpful tidbit is this, if you’re being tempted by the same sin or even the same type of sin over and over again, tell someone. Not only can this person pray with you, but Satan tends to lose his grip on you when it’s no longer a secret that he is holding over your head. I know confessing our sins to someone else is scary, but not only does scripture tell us to, but trust me, the person you’re telling has their own sins that they are dealing with as well and can most likely relate to yours. However, choose this person wisely. If they tell you the secrets of others, they most likely will not keep yours either.
Hopefully throughout this devotion I've made one thing perfectly clear. You cannot fight temptation alone and win. It must be fought with the power of Christ and His Holy Word. We were never meant to fight temptation on our own. If we could and be victorious, we wouldn't need the cross.
Faith Lived Out
Read at least one of the accounts of Jesus being tempted in Matthew 4, Mark 1, or Luke 4 and take note as to how Jesus used scripture to combat Satan.
Find a scripture that speaks to the sin that you are dealing with. Memorize it along with 1 Corinthians 10:13.
When the temptation arises, and it will, recite the verses to yourself and pray for your Heavenly Father to lead you away from the temptation. If need be, call the friend that you’ve confided in and ask them to pray with you as well.