A disturbing craving. A deceiving thought. A compromising situation. A compassionless attitude. A life characterized by fear instead of faith. Temptations come in many forms and generate fierce battle within us; their only goal is to stray us off the righteous path as we journey with Jesus Christ.
Temptation is not sin. If temptation were indeed sin, then Jesus would not have led a sinless life. But as the Bible says, Jesus was “tempted in all things,” yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). However, this does not mean we take temptation lightly for it is the doorway to sin. The longer we allow temptations to brew in our thoughts, the more unsafe they become. Therefore, we must learn how to recognise temptation and overcome it.
Fighting temptation is a daily battle for all of us. Even the most faithful followers of Christ face temptation (Heb. 12:1). That is why the Lord’s prayer teaches us to ask God to “lead us not into temptation”( Matt. 6:13). What then should we do when tempted?
Firstly, we need to be honest with God. At the time of temptation, never debate the issue. The longer we wrestle with tempting thoughts, the closer we get to committing sin. Flee from temptation as soon as you recognize it (2 Tim. 2:22). Secondly, recognize Satan, the one who tempted Christ, is the enemy of your life. You are involved in a battle for your very life. Our enemy the devil, “prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Thirdly, we need to resist the devil through Jesus. Pray to Christ Jesus and receive mercy and grace in your time of need (Heb. 4:15-16). Satan tries to depress us through isolation. Fourthly, give thanks to God through Jesus Christ that in the midst of the struggle, we have the opportunity to experience victory through Him (Rom. 5:1-5). Thank Jesus for providing a way of escape; with His help, we can overcome.