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?