Temptation is the desire to do something wrong or unwise. When it comes, it can be like a train that is going through us and that is hard to stop. It takes us down the wrong railroads and it shows us some pretty dark regions that we shouldn’t visit. Strong will can keep it at bay at times. Prayers can get us through the passage of that train and put a barrier of protection around us but temptation can be tough to overcome. Now, I am not only talking about things that are deemed wrong. There are many things that are unwise in the eyes of the Lord that constitute temptation. Those things can seem fine to us but they are truly unwise. What do you do when temptation comes? What are the ways you cope with it and avoid falling into its trap? We all get tempted in many ways and the enemy knows how to tempt us. The unwise desires we have create a gap between us and the Lord. They take us away from Him. They often come with guilt and shame. Shame is the enemy’s weapon. If he gets us into a state of shame, he has us where he wants us. Shame makes us feel like we are not worthy of God and we would rather hide from Him. When shame and guilt are crippling us, that is when we need the Lord the most. Today I want to tell you that with every temptation that comes, there is a powerful solution from the Lord. Temptation will exist as long as we are here but the Lord Almighty will over-live it. Temptation has nothing on the Lord. Develop your faith in the power of the Lord over temptation. Don’t let the enemy play around with you. When he says you can’t resist temptation he is lying. You can overcome all temptation with the help of the Lord.
One thing I have learned is that facing temptation alone is difficult. It is almost impossible at times. It is like trying to stop the raindrops from falling during a rainstorm. Temptation comes and takes us away when we have no ammunition and no spiritual spine. In our weak moments, temptation is strong but when we are weak, God is our strength. That is the truth we should be relying on. We could be weaker than a leaf in the wind but as long as we have the Lord, our weakness will turn into strength. Turning it over to the Lord will give us the power and confidence we need to make it. There is a great need for surrender and devotion. If we don’t surrender our will to the Lord, temptation will have a stronghold on us. Yielding to the Lord means accepting that His ways are better than our ways. When temptation comes, we should be able to recognize it and tell the Lord we can’t do it alone. If every time temptation knocks on our door we answer the door even a little bit, temptation will get in faster than a breeze on a summer day. Then we are left with an intruder inside our temple and all he is doing is slowly wreaking havoc in our lives. Remember the goal of temptation is to separate us from God.
I mentioned unwise desires earlier. Those desires don’t always look like temptations but they are full blown wrong decisions. When we are led not to pray and not to praise the Lord, we are experiencing temptations in all its glory. Temptations can manifest through a lack of devotion and dedication. We are tempted to stay away from God. It can look innocent at first but then it turns into an unwise habit and eventually a mountain stands between the Lord and us. Jesus was tempted to sin way before we were and He overcame all temptations. It’s His victory over temptation that we can use today. A prayer of acceptance of the Lord’s power over temptation is very helpful. Jesus sent us a gift that will always help us when we are tempted if we trust in Him. The gift of the Holy Spirit can withstand all temptations. The Spirit of the Lord sanctifies us and convicts us. When temptation comes, the Spirit pulls us into the opposite direction. If we are close to the Lord, we will go in His direction. If we are not close enough and temptation is driving us insane, we should draw closer to God. The more we pray, the more we praise, the more powerful we will be when facing temptation. Prayer and praise are muscles we should maintain against the opposition. Flex your muscles in the face of adversity when temptation comes your way. God is your solution. God has your solution. He won against temptation. Rely on Him for all parts of your salvation including when it comes to temptation. He’s got this!
Suggested reading: Psalm 46:1-3; Isaiah 40:26; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10