1 Corinthians 10:13; Various
Good evening and welcome to our nightly Bible devotional.
Last night we talked about self-control as a part of the fruit of the Spirit which is discussed in Galatians 5:22-23. This morning a friend of mine asked me to pray with him because he was having trouble resisting temptation. He mentioned that he had watched the devotions last night and was having trouble with self-control. He felt like he was losing the battle against temptation.
There are several verses that talk about temptation in the Bible. Temptation is the desire to do something considered wrong or unwise. It is a desire, urge, impulse, inclination, or enticement. But sometimes a temptation is more than just a fleeting fancy. It is a nagging and persistent desire that leads to frustration, irritation, and even anger. But even when you give in to this kind of temptation the frustration stays as we now have to deal with the guilt of sin.
James 1:24-25 says, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” So temptation, whether it is just a small urge or a full-grown monster sized, nagging desire is deadly serious.
When we give in to temptation our brain releases a number of chemicals that create a euphoria in our body. This is true of just about anything from a chocolate craving to sexual desire. Even people who shoplift often do it “for the thrill” even if they have the money to pay for the items stolen.
But that euphoria quickly fades. It leaves us wanting more. If this sounds like drug addiction you are right. The chemicals released in our body often have some of the same effects as illegal drugs. Then it takes more and more stimuli to get the same effect. And the problem is that the next time it makes it harder to resist this temptation. We want that good feeling again.
One of my favorite verses on resisting temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13. It goes like this. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And 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 endure it.” It’s a long verse with a lot of information in it. And it would be well worth your time to memorize it (I learned it in camp with a little bit of a beat).
This verse has 4 very good promises in it that will help you overcome temptations of any size:
1. The first promise is that there is no sin on earth that is new. Congratulations you have joined the human race when you face temptation. Why is that good news? Because there are brothers and sisters all over this globe who have been through what you are going through now and many of them have overcome this temptation too. That means that you can find someone at church who can help you get through this… an accountability partner or someone to pray with you.
2. The second promise is that God is faithful. Like we talked about a few days back, God is faithful no matter what. It’s in his nature… his spiritual DNA. He will always be there for you.
3. The third promise is that God won’t let you be tempted beyond what you are able. God trust you to be able to resist the temptation that comes your way. If God trust you, you can do it.
4. The last promise to me is the best. There is an escape plan. God has made a way for you to get out. You just got to look for it. It’s there.
Now this may seem a little simplified for some but for me it is just what I need when I face temptation. I like knowing that my God has figured all this out for me in advance. I just have to follow his plan. Perhaps that is why James said, “Submit to God, resist the devil, and He will flee from you” (James 4:7) When you submit to God’s plans you can accomplish much. Remember, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father God, Thank you for providing all the great things in which you have blessed me. Thank you for Jesus, and for the gift of eternal life through him. Thank you for the plan that you have given me to overcome temptation. Thank you for the promises of 1 Corinthians 10:13. Help me to resist temptation whether big or small. It is in Jesus’ name that I pray. AMEN!
Remember James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” So be strong and face that temptation on with God’s plan. Good night and God bless you. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm.