The following is short devotional thought I wrote for my church and was originally posted at clearview.org/prayingthrough. ___________
There is a popular worship song that has this text:
teach my song to rise to You
when temptation comes my way
It almost suggest that temptation only comes our way on occasion…reality…temptations rise often.
When you are tempted, don’t you feel isolated? …you’re the only one this is happening to. …you’re the only one that is being tempted in that moment.
When I am tempted and I let the thought build, I feel isolated.
I have come to realize that the feeling of isolation is because I am shutting God out and letting something else in. Russell Moore, in his book Tempted and Tried says this: “temptation is, by definition, subtle and personality specific, with a strategy to enter as larvae and then emerge in the fullness of time as a destructive animal force.
In the book of James the same thought is stated this way: Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
Giving time and thought to temptations is like giving power to or energizing the temptation.
So how do we walk through and not give into temptation?
Reality, we are sinful people and we will give into temptation but another reality is, we can be conquers of temptation through our relationship with God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was tempted. Jesus conquered temptation through the the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of God’s Word.
Jesus had an ongoing, vibrant relationship with His Father. Jesus spent time talking to His Father. Jesus knew scripture, His Father’s thoughts.
We can follow that same pattern: spend time in conversation with our Heavenly Father, dig daily into God’s Word. This pattern gives us the assurance that we are not alone.
Scripture makes it clear that God is on our side and wants us to triumph through temptation.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
I have put this scripture to memory and use it often. There is power in God’s Word.
If you are struggling with temptation, remember God knew that temptations would come into your life and He will help you through them. If you do give in remember God forgives.
The next two lines of the song that was mentioned above are:
when I cannot stand
You are all my hope and stay
…and it is followed with this thought Lord I need You.
…yes and AMEN.