We all go through temptations, most of the time this is on a regular basis. For some of us, we may struggle with an addiction, from smoking, drinking, or gambling. Some of us may be dealing with our own lies, affairs, or thievery. What do you do when you are tempted? Some of us place ourselves before our temptations while others run from them. Some of us have been tempted so long that we have accepted that we will sin while others are working on ridding ourselves of the old us and our sins.
Temptation is a part of our lives as humans, but knowing how we will handle these times of temptation is important. Jesus is a perfect example of how to handle temptation. Before starting his ministry, Jesus was tempted by Satan. He fasted for 40 days before he was tempted by Satan.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And 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 comes out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4-11
Notice that Jesus automatically refuses this temptation by Satan.
Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:
‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’;
‘On their hands they will lift You up,
So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took Him along to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him. – Matthew 4:5-11
Jesus quotes Psalm 91 in response to Satan asking him to jump off the edge of the mountain. He goes on to resist each of Satan’s temptations. He did not have the inward lust and vulnerability that many of us struggle with when we are not completely devoted to God’s word and teachings.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. – James 1:14
God does not bring us temptation. It is brought on from the outside world and when we give in to temptation we sin. The temptation may be there, luring us like Satan but if we resist God uses us for the greater good. This is the reason we hear testimonies from former gamblers who are now able to resist gambling or those who used to smoke but now despise it. These examples show us that these people have used their previous sins to teach us to overcome these temptations.
When Jesus was fasting, he was preparing for Satan’s temptation in the same way we are as we fast, immerse ourselves in prayer, and in the word. We are building a force within ourselves to the point that the opportunity no longer exists for Satan to lure us into sin. How do you handle everyday temptations? Share in the comments below.