Oct 17, 2018
Because Jesus himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Heb 2:18
Temptation doesn’t lead us to sin, we sin by not seeking Jesus in the temptation.
You may not know this, or want to hear it, but you’re not strong enough to defeat temptation.
Decades ago, a comedian by the name of Flip Wilson coined a phrase: “The devil made me do it.” People laughed and he used it for incredible parodies to show how we tend to excuse ourselves for sinful behaviors. Unfortunately, it was both true and terrifying. The devil is excellent at tempting us, and we let him dictate our actions way too much.
The challenge of temptation is not having the strength or discipline to overcome it ourselves, but having the humility and dependence to seek Jesus in the midst of temptation. Jesus is the only one who gives us the power to overcome temptation – whether that’s through His intervention, or His instruction, or His discipline. Sometimes He works through the help of others, and sometimes He does the work Himself, but you and I don’t overcome temptation without Him.
By the same token, we also can’t blame the devil for our failures. It’s our choice whether we pursue the help of Jesus or not. We have the ability to call on Jesus to help us. We can pursue His Word to teach us, and follow His example to lead us. It’s still our choice whether temptation is permitted to rule over us, or whether Jesus is. Jesus is ready to help, but we must make the choice. Jesus knows how to win!
Best of all, Jesus endured temptation just like we do, so He knows how we feel. That’s as important as anything else about Jesus. He understands our struggles, because He faced them. Jesus knows our pain and loneliness, because He endured it like us. That makes seeking Jesus much easier, because we don’t just pursue a far-away God who is disconnected from our situation, we call on a friend who understands our situation. Getting Jesus to help is like calling a sponsor or phoning a friend. We get help (not a lecture).
Get it clear. We can’t overcome temptation on our own. We are just as susceptible to sin as every other person around us. Our only answer is to call on Jesus, and get His help. He has the power to overcome it with us, or take it from us, but we must choose to pursue His help.
So what are you waiting for? Seek the help of Jesus, and you’ll have a friend who can help you win!