“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Temptation… we all experience it. It’s not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted more than anyone, yet was without sin. It’s only when we give in to temptation that we allow sin to consume us and lead us away from God. How can we stand up against this daily onslaught? How can we resist the Devil and his schemes to lure us away from God?
As Christians we must remember one thing… no one forces us to sin. It’s a choice we make.
We Can’t Say – “The Devil Made Me Do It!”
The devil can only suggest something, offer an alternative pathway, knock on the door. It’s our choice if we let him in or follow him. It’s not easy though, for he knows what entices us. He knows our weaknesses and where we are vulnerable. He will prey on that. So it’s important for us to identify where we struggle, so that we know where the enemy will attack and be ready.
Temptation and therefore sin always starts with a thought. The battle takes place in our minds, for it dictates what we allow ourselves to entertain. It won’t work to try and consciously resist a bad thought or feeling. The more we do – the more it will consume us.
The Devil Will Run Like a Coward
Instead we must refocus our thoughts. We must make the conscious choice to focus on God’s truth and plans for us, diverting our attention from corrupting thoughts. Otherwise associated emotions will flare up and the enticement will become that much stronger. We must resist the devil and his schemes by using God’s Word against Him. Stand firm in God’s truth and power and the devil will run like a coward. But if we try to defeat him on our own, he will have the victory.
We mustn’t be discouraged under the weight of temptation, for God allows us to go through temptations to help us grow in character and to test how much we love Him. Our love for God is measured by our obedience to His Word (Jn 14:15). Let’s use the temptations we face as an opportunity to show how much we love God by turning from them. As warriors for God, those who are more active in living for Him must expect the most intense, yet subtle opposition. But it’s on the front line of the battlefield where we can more satisfyingly see the enemy running in defeat, if we stand firm in God’s strength! God is faithful and will give us what we need.
So what temptations are luring you away from God? Where are you vulnerable? We mustn’t think we are above temptation and foolishly place ourselves in a vulnerable situation. God has given us the wisdom to know what to avoid. In what environment do you find yourself being tempted? Will you make the conscious choice to avoid it? We must listen and follow God’s faithful voice within, otherwise we will buckle.
Against God the Enemy is Powerless
Remember the enemy has no power over us apart from what we allow him to have. We can stand firm (Eph 6:13), but only in God’s power and through the encouragement and accountability of our fellow Christians. So let’s stand firm together, growing as Christians and enjoying the sweet victory we have in Christ!
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.