A comedian once joked, “I can resist everything except temptation!” For the Christian, temptation is no laughing matter. I know a man from a long time ago who was tempted to steal from his employer…and gave in to the temptation. He was amazed at how easy it was to get away with. So, he continued to steal from his company for years. And, then he was exposed! His crime made the news, and he was immediately fired (and faced jail time). The judge allowed the man to avoid prison since this was his first offence, but he had to pay back everything…plus a hefty fine. Maybe money isn’t our issue, but we all know our personal temptations. Even Jesus was tempted. In Matthew 4:1-11 we read of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness. God allowed this time of testing because God knew that Jesus needed to prove privately faithful before He could be publicly fruitful. Jesus had to pass the test, and He did! He refused to perform foolish miracles like turning stones into bread or jumping from the temple pinnacle to have angels save Him. Finally, He refused the offer of the devil to shortcut God’s plan in receiving the kingdoms of the world. Jesus refused to worship Satan and turned away from each temptation. In Christ, we not only find a model but also discover His power and ability to overcome our temptations. His victory is our victory! Of course, we need to do our part in overcoming temptation. We need to humble ourselves and ask for His help. Also, the proverbs teach us that we need to avoid the pathways of temptation (see Proverbs 7:6-27 about adultery). Finally, we need to love the Lord and hold God’s Word dear to our hearts. What a great help to memorize encouraging verses like 1 Corinthians 10:13: “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Let’s remember that when Satan brings us to a wall of temptation, the Lord provides a door of escape!
Pastor Mark Boucher