Life is increasingly daily. This statement certainly is descriptive of our spiritual life. We have the opportunity to grow daily. We have chances to help others daily. We face obstacles daily. We encounter temptation daily.
Temptation is a component of our daily life. No one is sheltered or immune from facing temptation. Adam and Eve faced temptation. Abraham faced temptation. Moses faced temptation. Joshua faced temptation. The apostles were continually tempted. Even the Christ faced temptation. Everyone with the exception of Jesus has failed in their daily battle with Satan at one point or another. Even great men like Daniel did not live a perfect life. The individuals applauded in Hebrews 11 gave in to temptation at some point in their life. We have overcome temptation at time. We have experienced moments of success. We have been in the wilderness face to face with Satan and have left victorious. We have watched Satan depart from us until another time just as he departed from Jesus. We have also failed. We are not perfect. We are sinners.
How can we get better at overcoming temptation? What can we do to get prepared for our encounters in the wilderness with Satan? Is there possibility for growth? Is there a chance for maturity so that we don’t fall into the same ditches again and again?
God has given us the tools we need to be victorious. A glance through Scripture reveals key strategies we can use to choose God in moments of temptation. All you need is a Bible, a prayer and some running shoes. Today we will look at how we can use God’s Word to overcome temptation.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is face to face with Satan. He had been led out by the Spirit to square off with Satan. Jesus faces the same temptations Eve faced in Genesis 3. He encountered the same temptations you and I continually face. Satan came at Jesus with the lust of the flesh…turn these stones into bread. He came at Jesus with the pride of life…jump from the pinnacle of the temple and be rescued by angels. Satan attacked Jesus with the lust of the eyes…all of these kingdoms will be yours if you worship me. How did Jesus resist these temptations? How was He able to choose God over the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life? He relied on God’s Word. Each time Jesus was tempted He quoted from Scripture. He quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3. He countered Satan’s attack with Deuteronomy 6:16. In the moment of temptation, He used Deuteronomy 6:13 for strength.
Jesus was able to use God’s Word against Satan because He knew God’s Word. Are you able to use God’s Word against Satan? How much of the Bible can you use in your battles with the evil one. There are 66 books in the Bible; 39 in the OT and 27 in the NT. How many of these books are in your arsenal? If each of these books represents an arrow, how many arrows are in your quiver? Can you use the book of Joshua against Satan? Are you able to use the book of Ruth against Satan? Is the book of 1st Peter a weapon at your disposal? God’s Word can help us overcome Satan…but only if we know it. Take some time to get yourself ready for battle. Read God’s Word…memorize a few scriptures. You don’t have to give in to the same temptations again and again. Follow in the steps of Jesus. Use God’s Word to overcome temptation.
Phillip Jenkins serves as Youth Minister at the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ in Mt. Juliet, TN