Core Christian Value
As long as we inhabit this mortal body, we will face temptation. But, we never face it alone. God permits the test and as long as we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, Satan loses.
A comedian made that line famous but he was only kidding. Here is the truth: “. . . above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” EPHESIANS 6:16 NKJV. The devil “invites” you to do it, to sin when you know better; but the shield of faith in Jesus allows you to extinguish the fiery darts. The darts are coming, but Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit in you, will help you come out victorious.
Commit this verse to memory. You will rely on it often! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13 KJV
“…The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations” 2 PETER 2:9 NKJV
It is important to know the difference between temptation, always from Satan, and a test, permitted by God. Listen to James, the half brother (same mother) of Jesus: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” JAMES 1:13 NKJV
Solomon offers some good advice: “0′ My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” PROVERBS 1:10 NKJV
Temptation envelops you if you simply live a common existence. You do not have to look for it, it will look for you. Again James offers a perspective: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” JAMES 1:2 NKJV
You know Jesus was tempted (MATTHEW 4:1-10). That helps you understand that He understands your circumstance, a sort of “been there, experienced that temptation:” situation. I would have said “been there, done that”, but Jesus never sinned. Listen: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” HEBREWS 2:18 NKJV. Jesus is your strength!
Do you believe that Satan is after your soul? He is indeed. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;” LUKE 22:31 NKJV.
Will you ever, in this life, escape from temptation? Consider how temptations encountered can result in new found strength. Are “you” resisting Satan or is it Christ in you that is enabling you to not sin? Is resisting temptation a scenario where you can say “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (GALATIANS 2:20)? Could victory over temptation lead to pride? Whose victory is it? Can temptations lead to greater faith and personal growth?