It is Written: Resisting Temptation

How to Resist Temptation (Like Jesus)

We all go through temptations.  Some are seemingly insignificant and some are huge.  But, a part of walking with Christ is honoring Him with our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin, and we need to act like it.  So how to we resist when temptation is so strong?

There is no better way to resist temptation than to follow the only man who’s ever done it.

So, let’s see what Jesus did.  In Matthew 4:1-11, we can see 4 key things that Jesus did to resist the temptations thrown at Him straight from the devil.

1. Be prepared. (Matthew 4:1-2) Know that overcoming temptation begins long before you actually face it.  Jesus spent time with his Father, regularly.  This time, He’d been fasting for 40 days.  Yes, Jesus was hungry, but he was anything but weak.  It’s filling ourselves up with things of the world that robs us of strength.  Fasting and praying strengthens us.  Jesus was prepared for satan’s attack, because He had spent time with His father.

2. Call on your authority.  (Matthew 4:3-4) Through Christ, we have authority, and God’s word gives that to us.  God’s word is powerful!  And it’s the one thing satan can’t argue with.  Satan is a quick wit.  If we come at him with reasons  and excuses, he will beat us nearly every time.  We have to come at him, Just as Jesus did, with all the power of God’s word.  This is why I think scripture memorization is so important!

3. Know who you are. (Matthew 4:5-7)  This is a biggie.  We have to know who we are in Christ.  Loved.  Strong.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us! We are heirs with Christ.  It’s so easy to let that voice of insecurity step in and taunt us to prove ourselves.  Satan said “If you really are the son of God…”  But Jesus knew.  He didn’t have to prove himself to anyone.  He knew.  And that was more than enough.  Furthermore, He had perspective—He knew that nothing satan had to offer would hold a candle to what He already had in His father. We have that same assurance.

4. Be strong. (Matthew 4:8-11) We cannot be wavering.  “Innocent” temptations can get out of control if given a chance.  Any crack in resistance gives satan room to get in.  “I’m just going to add my old boyfriend to my facebook friends list.  No big deal.”  A few weeks later, it becomes a simple conversation between friends.  That’s it.  Until the next thing you know, you’re having a full blown emotional and/or physical affair and have no idea how you got there.  Step by little step.  You got there because you didn’t stand strong.  Jesus didn’t consider satan’s proposals.  He didn’t waver with a “let me think about it”, or “This little thing couldn’t hurt.”  The goal is never to see how close we can get to sinning without crossing some magic line.  The goal is always to strive toward holiness.  By stopping temptation in its tracks, even on the little things, we can make sure they don’t become big things.

 Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee.  –James 4:7

Finally, remember Ephesians 6:10-18 and “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

What are your tips for resisting temptations in your life, big and small?

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Comments

  1. says

    Nice post! Satan is sneaky and knows our weaknesses and our weakest times so resisting temptations is hard but of eternal importance. One part of be prepared that I’ve been taught is to make decisions now, before the temptation and then when the situation is before you, you don’t have to consider it. We need to know our own weaknesses and make decisions now how to handle those situations and the Lord can turn our weakness to a strength.
    keep up the good work!

  2. says

    This is excellent, Crystal!!

    I think a big one for me (learning from experience) is try to avoid (if at all possible) putting yourself in a situation where temptation can overtake you — as in you have no accountability.

    This is one reason it’s important to understand why the body of Christ needs one another. :)

    • Crystal says

      Christin, I completely agree…the old adage, “It’s easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.” is so true…preemptive strike. And, accountability is huge as well.

  3. says

    Awesome! It is so hard to resist temptation because sometimes we don't even realize we are about to step in a mess. I just try to pray regularly for God to help me discern good from evil and follow His path for me.

    • says

      Temptation itself is not a sin because Jesus Himself was tempted. It only becomes a sin when we allow ourselves to give in to it. And only true, born-again believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them to help give them strength when a particular temptation comes upon us.

      I Cor. 10:13 is of great help in this area and we need to call upon the Holy Spirit to help us when we feel temptation coming upon us; in our own strength we cannot overpower satan and his demonic cohorts. They are way to strong for us, but not as strong as the Holy Spirit.

      We also need to use our spiritual weapons found in Eph. 6:12-18.

      Fortunately, some day, in Eternity, God will wipe out and eradicate all sin and temptation, but until then we need to continue to “fight the good fight” as Paul told young Timothy.

      • Crystal says

        John, just to clarify, when I say “resist temptations” I don’t mean to imply that temptation itself is a sin…but that we should resist whatever is tempting us rather than giving in to it.

        I completely agree about 1 Cor 10:13. One of my favorite verses–both inspiring and convicting. Inspiring because it’s a promise that God will help us, and convicting because it’s a reminder that every single sin we partake in is a choice we’re making to go against God…we have to actually choose the sin over God’s alternative and that’s a sobering thought.

        And, as you can see from the post I agree about the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:12-18, I just wanted to focus on Jesus’ reaction to temptation for this particular post.

        Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and joining the conversation :)

    • Crystal says

      Rosann, you’re so right. satan sneaks around…seeking who he can devour, he’s sneaky. I agree we should be constantly watchful and on guard. THanks for commenting.

    • Crystal says

      Marley, I love to hear that! Thank you for your sweet words, and I believe it IS written for you! I pray over every post that God will use it to touch whoever might need it. I pray that you’ll be blessed.

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