Tempted in Every Way Part II
Key Verse: Luke 4:2a
… He was tempted by the devil for forty days…
Additional Reading: Luke 4:1-13
In yesterday’s devotion, I promised that we would look at the different “way outs” that God might give us as we face temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a great promise and I hope you memorize it and claim it in your life.
No matter how close we get to God in this life, the devil can present temptations to us. He did so to Jesus, and he will do so to every saint that walks on this earth. Don’t let the devil make you feel guilty because of the temptation he presents to you. Remember, being tempted is not the same as giving into the temptations. The evil one is very good at making us feel shame because we even thought about the stuff he throws at us. The good news is that God is on our side, will never let us be tempted beyond our ability to overcome it, and always provides a way out of that moment of temptation.
The first “way out” that I believe God often gives us is to remind us to run! I’m sure you have heard of an Old Testament character named Joseph. His story is told in Genesis 37-50. At one point in his life, a very powerful women seduced him. Joseph could have come up with many excuses why he had to give into this woman, beyond his own natural human desires. However, Joseph simply ran from her; that is right, Joseph physically ran from this temptation. There are times when that is one of the way outs that God will remind us to do — run. In other words, remove yourself from the temptation as quickly as your legs will carry you.
In many temptations, physically running is not possible, so God gives another method of getting out of that moment of temptation: verbalize His many blessings! That is what Joseph did. When his master’s woman seduced him, Joseph told her how much her husband trusted him, and he had given him authority over all of his household. Joseph told her boldly, “how can I sin against this man by sleeping with his wife”. Joseph also verbalized out loud what a terrible sin this would be before his God. There are times when simply saying out loud all the things that God has blessed you with, will be enough to get you out of the moment of temptation.
I’ll mention one other way: although God has many unique ways of helping us in our temptations, this one is to remind us that we should not flirt with a temptation. Once again, look what Genesis 39:10 says about Joseph: “She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.” In other words, Joseph was avoiding the situation as much as he possibly could. He refused to entertain the slightest notion about the woman’s desires. There are times when we give ourselves permission to get close to a temptation, telling ourselves that we will only “look” or “taste” but won’t give in completely. When we allow ourselves to take steps closer to the devil’s plan, we set ourselves up for defeat. The Holy Spirit will give us warnings, ahead of time, to not go there or not continue to look or think about the temptation. It is during these early warning signs that it is the easiest to defeat the devil’s plan; heed the warning!
Someday, this will all be over. If we are faithful we will see Jesus face to face and never experience temptation again. But until that glorious day, fight the battle and remember the rewards to those who continually say “yes” to God and “no” to the devil.
Father, I praise you for not allowing any temptation to be more than I can handle. Help me to look for the “way out” that you promised to provide. In Jesus’s Name, amen.