November 17, 2003
Encouragement for Today
Triumph Over Temptation
The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations. 2 Peter 2:9 (NKJ)
Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up in a cold sweat craving chocolate. This happens just after I have dreamt about being on Oprah as the only woman who has tried every known diet in the world—without results!
It’s not my fault that I cheat on these diets. It is temptation’s fault. Each time I attempt to lose a few pounds, temptation knocks at the door selling Girl Scout cookies or chocolate bars to support the school band. I know that they look like children, but I often wonder if they are really little demons sent from the pit of Hell to keep me in bondage.
I lose all ability to reason as those so-called little people hold me hostage with their weapons made of chocolate. I figured, when sweets show up at the door for only a dollar a bar, it must be destiny! Quickly, I grab my purse and buy several—some for now and some for later. As soon as the front door shuts, I rip off the paper and stare at the rich, creamy chocolate. My eyes begin to twinkle with delight as my mouth drools with anticipation. Then, I take a bite. Oh, the satisfaction!
After the candy bar is gone something strange happens. One minute, as I lick the last of the chocolate from my fingers, I’m completely content. The next minute, I’m no longer satisfied. Guilt takes the place of my contentment when I realize that temptation has won the victory again.
I believe that there are two ways we allow temptation to win in our lives. First, temptation wins when we try to overcome it in our own strength. Secondly, temptation wins when we expect God to fix it without any effort of our own. There’s an old saying that goes, “Let go and Let God.” That reminds me of a spoiled child who wants her parent to do everything for her without exercising any effort of her own.
In Romans 8:13, Paul shares the secret to overcoming temptation when he states, “He will empower us by the Spirit as we put to death the deeds of the body, then you will live.” God has a role and we have a role. Still, God knows that we can’t do our part by ourselves; therefore, we are drawn to Him so that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” It’s about a relationship. His desire is that we do it together. Walking continually with God, is relying on His power moment by moment instead of relying on our own strength to carry us though the day. It’s only when we “let God” empower us at the moment of temptation that we can obey and “let go” of the deeds of our flesh. Through that kind of relationship, we will see God at work in our lives and experience victory over temptation.
This is a promise that involves the whole trinity! God the Father promises us that He is at work in our lives by offering us new life and forgiveness of our sins when we fall short through Jesus Christ. Next, Jesus prays for us and ministers to us daily as He sits at the right hand of the Father. Finally, the Holy Spirit promises to indwell us, empower us, convict us, guide us, seal us, and assure us that we belong to the Father no matter how we are tempted.
So, how can we be defeated by temptation when God the Father in three persons—is in us, with us, around us, and for us? We can’t! As we depend on the power of the Holy Spirit while being obedient in putting away the deeds of the flesh, we will be able to rise above our temptations, live in the Father’s presence, and experience victory in Jesus! No longer will the sign on my front door read “Welcome” instead it will read “Triumph over Temptation.”
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, thank you for your strength to withstand temptation. Help me to be triumphant through obedience instead of giving in to my desires of defeat—in Jesus name. Amen!
The next time you are tempted, stop and pray. Ask God to give you the strength to make it through. Then be amazed at your victory!
What areas tempt you the most?
If you believe Christ can set you free, why do you still struggle?
What ways are you relying on yourself to overcome temptation?
In the moment of temptation, are you asking God for help—why or why not?
Could it be that you really love the thing tempts you and secretly you don’t want to overcome it?
Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being temped, he is able to succor them that are temped. (NKJ)
Romans 6:18 For sin shall not have dominion over you. For you are not under the law, but under grace. (NKJ)
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJ)
James 4:7 Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NKJ)
James 1:2,3, 12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to him that love him. (NKJ)
Seven Life Principles for Every Womanby Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Intimate Moments with God by Various Authors Including Sharon Jaynes
How to Live a Life of Victory by Mary Southerland
Originally published Monday, 17 November 2003.