I was in a meeting with a few men talking about temptation. Some of the questions arose included:
- How do I resist?
- What do I do when I’m tempted?
- Is there a way to win over them?
As we discussed the chapter in 2 Samuel where David committed adultery with Bathsheba, here were a few things we discussed that may be of help to some of you reading this.
- GOD’S WORD
Jesus was not exempted from temptation. In Luke chapter 4, we see Him being tempted by the devil on several fronts. But at every temptation, He responded with “it is written” (v.4,8 &12).
What can we learn from this? Jesus fought the temptations of the enemy with God’s Word. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is a weapon by which we may wield to defeat our enemy.
Question. Do you know what God says in His word enough that you can pull out the sword in times of temptation to defeat the enemy? If we don’t use the weapon, we won’t be able to slay the enemy.
Staying in the circumstance when the temptation is ongoing is not the best way to handle it. Staying in the porn site while praying for God to deliver you is not the best route. Hanging out with friends who love to drink is not the way to defeat drunkenness. Talking to your best friend who instigates gossip is not the best road to stepping away from that sin. Staying on your favorite online shopping site will not cure your materialism.
Joseph was tempted by Mrs. Potiphar in Genesis 39. But what did Joseph do when he was tempted? Argued? Shared the love of God? Explained how sexual immorality displeases God?
Joseph ran. No explanation whatsoever.
I remember my friend, Pastor Marc saw another pastor of ours in a car with another lady not his wife. Right there and then, he phoned the other pastor and asked who he was with. He shared that that was his wife’s niece and was bringing her home.
Because there was permission to call out, Marc didn’t hesitate. And because the other pastor gave permission, he didn’t take offense when Marc called.
Accountability is best when it is sought and not demanded.
If I demand accountability from another person, telling him he needs to call me every Friday to report what he did and didn’t do, at a certain point, this won’t be as effective as compared to when we personally give permission to people we trust and say that they have permission to call us out and keep us accountable.
When we seek accountability, it seems more effective than us being demanded of it.
4. TRUST IN GOD
Until we come to the point that only God can give genuine, ultimate and lasting satisfaction, we will always consider other options.
I say genuine because there are fakes. The earlier we can distinguish the fakes from the genuine, the better for us. God alone can give genuine and lasting satisfaction. Every other knock-off will not fully satisfy.
While this sounds like point number 3 on accountability, I would like to make a distinction. Transparency is the willingness to be open to the people you are accountable to… even to the people who are close to you.
For the husband, does your wife know all your passwords?
For the student, does you bestfriend have access to your history folder?
For the young man, does someone have the permission to call you out?
For the young lady, does someone have the permission to check up on you regarding the struggle you currently face?
In this world, we will face temptations. But there is always a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “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.”
Let’s continue to glorify God with our lives.