~ An original BeFreeinChrist writing ~
Webster’s Dictionary definition:
noun temp·ta·tion \tem(p)-ˈtā-shən\
1: the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil: enticement
2: something tempting: a cause or occasion of enticement
When we are tempted, we should understand that no matter what the item of temptation is, if we are drawn to sin, Satan is source of the temptation.
Matthew 4:3 – the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
1 Thessalonians 3:5 – I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
He targets us, just as he did in the beginning when he tempted Eve. 1 John 3:8a – the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.
But God has given all those who call upon His Son as Savior the ability to claim victory over Satan. 1 John 3:8b – The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. And because Jesus defeated the devil, we are left with the duty to resist him to appropriate that victory. James 4:7 – Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. What an awesome promise, that our resistance will cause the devil to flee from us, just like all faithful saints of the past, present and future. 1 Peter 5:9 – But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
However, resistance is easier said than done to most of us who have struggled with sin for so long. But praise be to God that He has given us a “helper” in the person of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? And it is when we allow Him to lead us that we triumph. Galatians 5:16 – I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Along with the Spirit, we have the example that Jesus gave us. When He was tempted, He leaned on the Holy Scriptures. Matthew 4:3-4 – the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
God also tells us to rely on His Word through the author (perhaps King David) of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. And God reinforces this teaching through Solomon. Proverbs 2:1-7 – My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.
So if we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptations that come and glean wisdom from the Word of God to avoid the areas that entice us, we will have the weapons necessary to claim victory over sin. But we must embrace our responsibility to utilize the weapons that God has provided.
Battling temptation is an everyday struggle, but God is with us at all times. We are not alone!