Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011 … Overcoming Temptation

Passage of the Day: Hebrews 4: 15 … For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One Who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

My Journal for Today: Okay, … last day of the month; and the last day on this topic concerning “sin.” But obviously it’s not the last day we’ll be dealing with sin in our lives; and here we are coincidentally on a day [i.e., Halloween] that is set aside by our culture to practically glorify the dark and/or evil elements in our world. So, I’d say it’s a pretty good day to be devoting time to God about how we can overcome evil through our relationship with Christ.

And closing out on this topic for October, to deal with sin [i.e., overcoming temptation] in this life, Jesus, of course, provided us with the best model. If we go to the account in either Matthew 4 or Luke 4 where Satan confronted Christ in the wilderness, we note that the prince of evil brought three forms of sin before the God-Man, Jesus.

Satan first tried to get Jesus to doubt His Father’s provision (see Matt. 4: 3). Next the evil one tried to get The Messiah to doubt God’s protection (see Matt. 4: 5 – 6). And finally in this triad of temptation, the Devil attempted to get Jesus to doubt God’s perfection (see Matt. 4: 8 – 9). If you’ve ever memorized (and I’d recommend you do so) 1st John 2: 15 – 16, you may have noted in this review of Matt. 4 or it’s parallel rendering in Luke 4, the striking similarity with the three types of sin that God’s word says we, as believers, should avoid to show that we love God – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. So, as you see in today’s verse, Jesus faced exactly the same forms of sin that we face. … And by the way, these are the same three forms of temptations which the Serpent [i.e., Satan] presented before Adam and Eve in the garden. … In fact, all sin can be placed into one of those three categories.

So, as today’s verse trumpets, we have a Lord, Who confronted all possible forms of temptation and sin; and yet, as our model, He was without sin. And, furthermore, we note (from the accounts in Matt. 4 or Luke 4) that Christ defeated Satan with the same weapon that God provides all believers … His Spirit Sword (see Eph. 6: 17), i.e., God’s Word.

Being the Director of a ministry for Christians who deal with habitual sin, we teach that avoiding sin and/or temptation should always be our first strategic battle option (see 2nd Tim. 2: 22). However, when we must stand against evil or its agents in this world, as did Christ in the wilderness, His strategy, as our model for confronting Satan, was to use God’s word to defeat temptation; and this is a strategy that will always work, because it’s the prescription against sin recommended by God’s word itself (see a passage you also should have memorized - Psalm 119: 9, 11). And I always think (and say), “If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me (or you)!”

I pray that I, and any who read this, always carry a sharpened and well-practiced Sword of the Spirit, so that we can, if confronted by the evil one, as Jesus modeled, dispel the enemy when he comes against us. I think you know, as a Christian, that our common foe will do all he can to confront us with his temptations. So, we must always be carrying our sword, as I said, sharpened, ready, and practiced, to do battle and stand for Christ.

Jesus saves us from sin daily just as He saved our souls … with His Word. So, use it!

My Prayer Today: Hallelujah, Lord, for Your Word, … my sword in battle. Amen

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