The Strength to Stand Against Temptation
He was determined, focused and ready to begin a new healthy lifestyle. His blood pressure was too high and his weight too much. During the first weeks, he remained committed to the diet and exercise regimen his doctor recommended.
But one temptation remained — doughnuts.
Each day on his commute, his favorite doughnut shop seemed to stare at him as he drove by.
The day came when his mind wandered about the sugar-filled treats he previously enjoyed. While driving home from work, he began to justify in his mind that he deserved the small indulgence a doughnut could provide.
He thought, “If there is an empty parking spot in front of the store, I will take it as a sign that it’s OK to get a doughnut.” To his disappointment, when he drove by, there was not an empty spot to be found. However, on his eighth trip around the parking lot, one came open!
Sometimes we find ourselves facing temptation unexpectedly. Other times, we rush headlong into it. You and I must be prepared to ask ourselves if we are prepared to stand when the time of temptation comes. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
The good news is that we do not have to yield to the snares and temptations of the enemy or this world. God has given us every resource we need to be victorious and faithful in our Christian life.
Standing against temptation is a spiritual battle. (10–13)
Two key themes in these verses are the topics of good and evil. When tragedy strikes in our society, you will notice much of the media will avoid the word “evil.” Saying evil denotes a spiritual element, and many are not prepared to do that. The wrong we see in our society may be done by human hands, but evil is at the core.
While others may test or even harm us, the battles we face are spiritual and can only be won with spiritual help.
Standing against temptation necessitates God-given equipment. (14–16)
I recall the happiness I experienced when I was younger by putting on a basketball jersey, a batting helmet or shoulder pads for football. When facing temptation, my only prospect for victory is to suit up with the Lord’s armor. More important than any earthly game, if I am not equipped for battle, I am doomed.
We cannot overcome temptation in our own strength and with our own resources. God freely gives us the supply we need if we are willing to trust Him.
Standing against temptation requires God’s word and prayer. (17–18)
The measure of time I spend in prayer and Scripture intake can be a direct gauge of how effectively I will withstand temptation when it comes.
When spiritual battles and temptation are raging, the words of God I have hidden in my heart will become the prayers that help see me through.
Satan hates the truths of God’s Word, and he will flee at the sound of His name. We each face daily temptations in this world, but no matter what you encounter, God is able and willing to help you.
Who knows? Maybe you can celebrate what God has done in your life with a doughnut.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi