Temptation is a need met in the wrong way. God does not look at what we do so much as what is the motive in our hearts. There is always a right and a wrong way to meet the need of a temptation. For example, someone might lust after a beautiful colleague in the office even though they are married. God’s way is to look at what the need is, then meet it within His provision: i.e. God is well able to heal the problems in that person’s marriage and help the couple to have eyes for each other only.
It is not sin to be tempted; Jesus was tempted in the desert. Rather temptation is an opportunity to strengthen our faith, to submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee. Temptation measures and trains our faith muscles.
When we look back at Jesus’ temptations in the desert we see that Jesus used the Word of God as a weapon to tear down the attack of the enemy. We have been given the Word of God as well, and when we know that our power comes from Christ alone and not of ourselves, we can take the Word of God with the same authority to defeat the enemy in our lives.
In John 16:33 (AMP), Jesus says:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
The point at which we are to resist temptation is right at the beginning, before the enemy has power to draw us in deeper. Once we have taken steps towards a temptation it is much, much harder to get away from it. Either we pass the test or we fail it. The more we pass the test, the more our faith grows for the next time, and this might be a step of faith leading to the next breakthrough.
I pray that when temptation comes, we might resist it at the onset by submitting to God and resisting the Devil. I pray that we may take the sword of the Word of God, and tear down the attacks of the enemy.
- What is a temptation?
- Jesus was tempted, yet did not sin, what was His weapon?
- At which point is it best to resist temptation and why?