Temptation and Their Source

Temptation appeared early in the human story. Yet, when we face temptation, we may be tempted to think that it is something that is unique to us. Scripture gives us the assurance that we are not alone in our experience, and that God provides a way through and out of temptation.

Monday – 1 Corinthians 10.13
This well-known verse in Paul’s correspondence contains two truths: First, the temptations we face are common, even though they may feel painfully unique to us. Second, God will provide an “exit ramp” for us to endure and not succumb to temptation. When you’re driving on a roadway that turns into a toll road, you’ll often see a sign saying, “Last free exit before the toll road.” When it comes to temptation, God will provide an exit ramp. It’s up to us to take it.

Tuesday – Luke 11.1-4
Praying over the situations we encounter daily is key to overcoming temptation. “Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God (in prayer). Decisions demanded by work become easier and simpler when they are not made in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Review your day with the Lord as you begin this day. Ask Him for protection, insight, and courage to recognize and resist temptation.

Wednesday – 1 Peter 5.6-10
Peter addresses a reality: as Christ’s followers we will face powerful, personal forces of evil that seek to deflect and deface God’s purposes for our lives. But we don’t fight alone. Prayerfully reflect on these lyrics from Martin Luther’s great hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God: “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing. Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing: dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He. Lord Sabaoth His Name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.” He is on our side! Pray that we choose to be on His side through obedience.

Thursday – Matthew 4.1-11
Even our Lord, the Holy One, faced severe temptation. Verse 1 says that the Spirit led Jesus out into the wilderness to be tested. “By definition, God tests (intending to strengthen the believer’s moral character) and the devil tempts (intending to destroy that same character). Paradoxically, the same set of circumstances can be taken either as test or a temptation, depending on the response. Jesus responds by relying on Scriptural truth” (The Life with God Study Bible). Let’s respond to temptation by relying on truth and wisdom from God’s word.

Friday – Hebrews 2.14-17
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it. And Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows what temptation fully means. Christ is the only complete realist.” Thankfully, as Luther’s hymn states, “we have the right man on our side” who is able to come to our aid!

Saturday – Hebrews 4.14-16
What is your response when you face temptation: Pretend it’s not there? Don’t admit it? Turn away, only to turn back again? Rely on your own strength? Peter encourages us that we can address it directly and confidently with our Heavenly Father because we have an advocate who perfectly responded to temptation. As a result of His faithfulness to God, He represents you and welcomes you to address your Heavenly Father directly in times of need. What are you facing? Talk with him boldly, honestly asking for His wisdom and direction. Dare to share the challenge with a trusted friend to support you in prayer and accountability.