James 1:16-18 Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the first fruits of His creatures.
Temptation is all around us. It seems like the closer we get to God, the more the enemy is attacking us with it. Being tempted isn’t wrong. But the longer we consider a temptation, the weaker we get. So how do we deal with the pressure of temptation? The truth is that we can’t do it on our own….not for long anyway. We must draw upon the good and perfect gifts God gives to us. God provides what we need to live righteously, and resist temptation. A few of those provisions include…
A relationship with Christ—We may think we are helpless to resist temptation, but as a child of God, the power of Christ within us gives us victory over sin. As Christians, we are called to be holy and blameless. Because we are a children of God, we CAN be successful in resisting temptation. The power of the Holy Spirit lives within empowers us. So repent, and call on God’s power to live like a Christ-follower.
God’s Word—Even Jesus was tempted. When He was, He responded to the temptation with scripture (Matt. 4:4). If Jesus did it, shouldn’t we? What better way to overcome the pressure of temptation than obedience to the Word of God…who knows us better than we know ourselves? When we digest and memorize God’s Word, we have the ability to give the right answer at the right time. God’s Word becomes our personal defense system (Ps. 119:11).
A Way Out—The promise from 1 Corinthians 10:13 is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. God provides a way of escape and helps us face any temptation we face. God promises to provide us with the ability to resist temptation. God’s way out may be a doorbell, a whisper in your conscience, or a friend holding you accountable. But God does’t stop us without our participation.
We need to call out to Christ for help. The Holy Spirit within us was sent to be our helper. We must also pay attention to God’s provided way out and not walk past it. Being proactive in doing things that make us stronger will also help in our escape. The pressure of temptation is great—but God is greater! He has provided us with all that we need to resist that pressure.