Title: Dealing with Temptation Wisely
Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 10:13
Supporting Scriptures: Matthew 4:1-8 | Matthew 5:28 | John 10:30 | James 1:13 | Hebrews 13:5
Temptation has been part of human existence ever since Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. Even Jesus was tempted when He walked this earth, but He was the only one who successfully resisted every time. Although none of us can achieve His perfect record, God has not left us to fend off the devil’s attacks on our own. To aid us in standing firm against fierce temptations, He’s given us a powerful verse of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” If we want to respond wisely to temptation, this verse must become part of our armor of protection.
Temptation is the enticement of our natural, God-given desires to go beyond God-given bounds. We can blame our failure to resist temptation on others, Satan, or God Himself, but in reality, we are the ones who choose to indulge.
The nature of temptation is:
- It’s common to everyone.
- It’s built upon fantasy and visualization.
- It’s different from trials.
False ideas about temptation:
- Temptation is not a sin.
- We don’t fall into temptation.
- The Lord isn’t displeased when we’re tempted.
- We can’t always run from it.
The process of temptation:
Thought > Imagination > Meditation > Will > Choice > Consent > Sin
There are steps we can take to avoid temptations, such as taking responsibility; focusing on the big picture; identifying areas of weakness in our life; avoiding HALT (letting yourself get Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired); visualizing doing the right thing; finding an accountability friend; reading God’s Word; and making prayer a vital part of daily life.
Being tempted is not, in itself, a sin. But failing to adhere to the boundaries that God intended is a sin, and will certainly bring adverse consequences.
In order to wisely counteract the pull of temptation, we must guard our minds and bodies with the whole armor of God. Scripture offers us wisdom, while the Holy Spirit gives us discernment and forewarning in the difficult times.