Pray Because #9: God gives us power to resist temptation (2 Cor. 12:8-10; Lk 22:39; 1 Cor. 10:13; Matt. 26:41)
“For they who think they make an end of temptation by yielding to it, only set themselves on fire the more.”
“Some temptations come to the industrious, but all temptations attack the idle.”
Have you ever been in a certain situation you knew you shouldn’t have been in? All it took was one little decision to unravel a cascade of terrible consequences. In fact, when we’re right in the heart of the struggle against temptation we seldom see things clearly enough to make sound decisions. We’re too close to the situation by that time to see things clearly enough to get out of them.
If you’ve ever struggled with any kind of life-enslaving sin, you’ve most certainly grappled with the concept of being tempted almost to the point beyond what you can bear, or so you think. Temptation in and of itself, is NOT sin. What we DO with the temptation is what separates whether it becomes fault, which is sin, or weakness, which is not sin. Fault occurs when we’re tempted and succumb to the temptation that then leads us in to sin. Weakness is something entirely different. In weakness, temptation may still come, but we make a decision to follow Christ and what He says in His Word about battling temptation. In fact, His power is made “perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:10).”
We are able to rejoice as we suffer through temptation so that Christ’s power actually rests on us. The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6 strongly urges us to “put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.” The Enemy, horrible and crafty as he is prowls around every corner of this earth, like a lion waiting to devour his prey. He wants nothing more than to see God’s children steeped in guilt and shame, torn down and rendered ineffective! But the battle armor we are afforded (Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, Feet fitted with the Readiness of the Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith to extinguish the flaming arrows of the Evil one, Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit…which is the Word of God) gives us great amounts of strength to do battle and stand strong!
For these reasons brothers and sisters, we MUST stay alert, strong, steadfast, immoveable by the strength we receive from a gracious Heavenly Father. We must pray in all situations and circumstances against the craftiness of the Devil and his minions. I’ve said it before in a previous prayer blast, but it bares repeating, “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4).” God has already won…the ultimate victory is His. But we still live in a fallen world corrupted by sin, which is why our prayer lives are so immensely important in the battle against temptation and sin.
Take heart today, fellow believers, in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He knows your temptations. He was tempted in every way and yet was without sin, so He is the greatest person to empathize with us in our struggle against sin. Not only that, but He also intercedes on our behalf when we don’t have the words to pray. Rest assured, His prayers are always heard and are in accordance with His Father’s will. Fight temptation with boldness and in much prayer dear friends!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You have gone before me and have overcome this world. Thank You for being with me in my darkest hours of temptation and have given me a way to stand up under them. I ask now that You would give me boldness and perseverance to continue to fight against the dark, spiritual forces of this world that try to rob me of joy. Keep me focused on You. In the strong and mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
Clayton J. Elliott
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer, KMUSA