I spoke recently on overcoming temptation by looking at how Jesus overcame temptation in the story found in Matthew 4 in the Bible. Matthew tells us that Jesus was led into the desert to be tested by Satan.
Whether you believe in the devil or not, you can still learn a number of lessons about overcoming temptation from this encounter. The Bible tells us…
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:2,3
Temptation comes at your weakest moment
The devil didn’t come to Jesus on the third day of the fast…or the tenth or twentieth. He came on the fortieth day…just before his fast was over and when he was at his weakest. The weaker we are, the greater the temptation. We need to be aware of this and plan for it.
A church leadership expert asked me once what day of the week I take off and I said Friday. Then he said, Good. That’s what I recommend. And I’m like, you recommend a certain day of the week. Why? And he said, Most pastors take Monday off. But a higher percentage of pastors that take Monday off wind up in moral failure than pastors that take other days off.
That surprised me. Why is that? If you think of it, it makes sense. Monday is a bad day to take off for a few reasons. Pastors are tired after working all week and preaching on Sunday. Many feel bad because their sermon bombed. They’ve got a long list of people to see and problems to solve in the week ahead. The devil comes to them in their weakness and says, “I can make this all go away. I can make you happy” and some of them take the bait. Temptation comes at your weakest moment
Overcoming Temptation Like Jesus
When you are weak, you need strength. What did Jesus do to overcome temptation when he was weak? He leaned on God’s word. Jesus answered his three temptations by quoting scripture. God’s word gave him perspective on his temptations;
- By exposing the half-truths and lies of the temptation. Things weren’t as good as he was led to believe.
- By reminding him of what God desired compared to the temptation.
Perspective helped Jesus in overcoming temptation. The devil had no comeback to God’s word. The story ends with him leaving Jesus alone. Jesus passed the test.
My point here is to show that you can pass the test too. You aren’t at the mercies of the temptations that hit you every day. God gives us strength, through his Spirit and through his word. If Jesus relied on God’s word for strength wouldn’t it be wise for you to do the same? I’ll post again this week on overcoming temptation. Subscribe to this blog in the right column to learn more.
Question; What scripture gives you strength in overcoming temptation? Leave your comment below and “share the knowledge” by clicking a link. Thanks.