Overcoming Temptation - Week 2
The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.' - Billy Graham
Temptation is something we all face, it is impossible to have a temptation-free life. But how do we overcome it?
Last week we learned about different kinds of temptations, and how they enter our lives. Today, Pastor Thomas Idiculla continued on this topic as he led us to learn from Jesus, on how He overcame temptation. As we heard last week, temptations are three dimensional:
- Physical - Lust of the Flesh (Of the Body)
- Mental - Lust of the Eye (Of the Mind)
- Spiritual - Pride of Life (Of the Soul)
These three aspects - Body, Mind and Soul, make up the whole person. Jesus when on earth, addressed the needs and taught us about all these three aspects of a person. He, himself, being fully human was made up of these three aspects. But just as Jesus addressed the whole person, so does the devil, when he tempts us. The devil too, has a quasi-holistic approach towards us, the children of God. Therefore, temptations are three dimensional.
As we see in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, the devil tempted Jesus through:
- Flesh - "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Here the devil tempts him through His physical need, as he instills doubt in Jesus.
- Eyes - "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor." Here the devil shows him, and through Jesus' eyes wanted to corrupt His mind.
- Pride - "If you are the Son of God," he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ And Here, the devil tempts Jesus through His authority, knowing the power that Jesus has, the devil tempts and tests Him.
If the devil could tempt Jesus, he can very well tempt us. As we see the ways in which he tempted Jesus, it is important to read how Jesus dealt with it. Jesus used his wisdom and knowledge, the Word, to combat the devil. As children of God, it is vital for us to know the Word, and embed it in us, to be able to overcome the temptations we face. As temptations are three dimensional, so can our ways to overcome it be.
- To overcome our fleshly desires and physical needs - Seek first the Kingdom of God.
- To overcome being lost in the world, in our personal strength, talents and gifts- Always rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, minister in the Spirit.
- To overcome pride, personal glory and worship - Always worship God, and God alone, no matter what.
Let us seek and ask God for His strength, wisdom, and knowledge as we live our lives in a world filled with temptations. Let us grow closer to Him and His Word, for nothing else will help us in our day of trouble.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Have a blessed week!