“When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.” – Luke 4:13
You had that bright red, juicy apple flashed before your eyes by the enemy? The temptation to indulge in something you know you shouldn’t take part in? The urge to keep on watching something you should have kept your eyes from? And yet you turned away, ran from the temptation, confronted the enemy and stood your ground. Found victory with Jesus. Good job! Give yourself a pat on the back, a gold star, a round of applause… but be careful – because this victory won’t last long.
See… Satan doesn’t just tempt you with something once and then after you fail to obey him he gives up. Oh no.. that is far from the truth. He may leave you for a little bit. Just like he left Jesus for a little bit. But don’t hold your breath for too long. Because like the scriptures point out – he left… but only “until the next opportunity came”. Satan does not give up easily. You didn’t fall victim to one of his evil tactics to tempt you? That’s ok. For him, there is always a next time. An opportunity that will soon arise when he will once again flash something tempting in front of your eyes. The Bible says we must be self-controlled and alert – because Satan prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for the moment when you are alone, when you are vulnerable, when you are weak and he can have one more shot at devouring you and making you give into temptation.
Our enemy is not passive when it comes to tempting us. He is always looking for new ways to tempt you, new things to flash before your eyes, new opportunities to use for his benefit, not yours, and definitely not God’s. We should not be passive when it comes to temptation, because although it may not be occurring at this very moment, believe me – when you least expect it, it will come once again. And if you are not actively preparing yourself for it now, well… it will be just a little bit hard to resist it then.
The enemy is actively waiting to tempt you right now. What can YOU do to actively resist him when the time comes?
First, you need to read the Word of God. Jesus resisted Satan, how? By throwing out a scripture for every temptation the enemy sent His way. If you know scriptures, you have a powerful sword to use against Satan during times of temptation. God’s Word will help your mind stay on track. It will help you decipher the lies of Satan. It will help you fight back with the words written in the Bible.
Second, you need to stay out of the places where you already know temptation is most likely to occur. Joseph’s temptation came when he found himself alone in Potiphar’s house with no one watching him and Potiphar’s wife knew she could secretly try to seduce him. What did he do? He avoided being alone in the house with her. He stayed away from the place where he knew he would most likely be able to fall. We all know what those “places” may be in our lives. Where exactly we may find ourselves the most vulnerable to temptation. We must be careful to follow Joseph’s example, and stay FAR away from those places.
Last, if the temptation does come, there’s only one thing left for you to do: RUN!!!! Don’t sit there and stare at that beautiful red apple and give yourself time to start doubting the poison and sin that you know it holds inside. Don’t stop and stare at the beautiful woman who is enticing you to sin with her. Don’t even leave yourself one extra second to stop and think. One extra second for the enemy to use against you. One extra second to keep on looking and getting swept away by desire. David fell into sin with Bathsheba. Why? He looked a little too long. He gave himself that extra second to arouse the desire within him. And that’s all it took for the enemy to get him where he wanted him to be.
When it comes to temptation, you must prepare yourself for those moments by reading God’s Word. Avoid the places where it’s most likely to occur. And RUN as fast as you can when that time does come… and once again, that victory will be yours 🙂 Be blessed!!
Genesis 4:7 – “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
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