Devotional Scripture: "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted". Hebrews 2:18
Central Thought: Temptation is a recurring experience. How we respond to temptation is up to us.
There is an apocryphal story of the devil sitting on the curbstone, crying his heart out. When asked ‘What was the matter?’, he replied, "People blame me for everything!" When you think about temptation, you have to stop and examine this subject a little more closely. There is no doubt that we are tempted by the devil, but how we respond to temptation is up to us. The devil didn't make you do it, you choose to!
Jesus was the Son of God, and he was tempted.
Hebrews 2:15-17 asserts that he was like us in the flesh. The baptism by John was followed by a 40 day fast in the wilderness, then the devil came and tempted Jesus. There were three ways he was tempted. Matthew 4:4-11 describes them as the temptation to satisfy his hunger, then with his pride to tempt God's providence, and lastly with his eyes to covet the power and glory of Kingship over the nations. So Jesus was tempted in all point like as we are (Hebrews 4:15).
There is a lesson to be learned from Jesus temptation.
Luke 4:13 says: "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season". The devil departed from him. You say 'Great!' but the last phrase says, 'for a season'. The devil may leave you, but be aware that he will come back again to tempt you with something else. James 1:14 explains this matter very well by saying that we are tempted when we are 'drawn away of our own lust', we want something and are 'enticed' - it would benefit me in some way!
What do we do when we have a problem we do not know how to solve? We look for an expert who knows the answers. You can turn to Jesus who was tempted in all points like we are. He never sinned, or gave in to temptation.
He has some good advice for you.
- Pray as the Lord taught you, 'Lead me not into temptation'. God never tempts us, but He will lead us away from temptation when we ask him. That is the meaning here. Run, don't Walk!
- Keep talking to Jesus. Jesus said there are times when you need to 'Watch and Pray' (Mark 14:38) that is good advice. Keep your eyes open to what is happening around you, the devil is described as a roaring lion, but lions usually roar after the kill, as I have observed in my life in Africa.
- Temptation may be accompanied by suffering, be ready to endure as Jesus did, if you want to get the victory over the enemy.
The devil sneaks up on you, and you have to be on the lookout and keep praying. The real Jesus can help you overcome and win over every temptation. Turn to him when you are in need.
Pray with me: "Jesus, thank you that you understand my problem with temptations. You were a man when you dealt with them, help me to be a man (or woman) of God in this time of temptation, and get the victory for your glory. Amen".