The list is endless. Temptations can be big and evil, such as murder, adultery, or lying. They also can be small and inconsequential—at least in society’s view—such as doubt, gossip, and overeating. Regardless, our best defense is the Word of God. His Word is holy, powerful, and dependable. Let’s use it with boldness.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Our best defense
When people are desperate enough, they’ll do almost anything to survive. The pioneering Donner and Reed families, for instance, resorted to cannibalism in order to survive starvation while they were stranded without food for weeks in the snow-choked California Sierras.
Sadly, we often think we’re desperate, so we resort to actions we shouldn’t. The Old Testament tells of Jacob’s brother, Esau, who came home hungry enough to trade his valuable birthright—the right to claim his father’s inheritance—for a bowl of soup.
How easily we yield to temptation because we take our eyes off a more worthy prize. Think about Jesus when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness prior to His ministry. After eating no food for 40 days, He naturally grew hungry. He could have commanded the stones under His feet to become bread, as the devil tried to persuade Him to do. Instead, He used God’s words to counter the temptation. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
When tempted to lay claim to and prove His authority by jumping off a cliff so angels would rescue Him, Jesus refused, again by using His Father’s Words. The devil’s third temptation appealed to man’s perceived need for things. Imagine Jesus, creator and owner of everything with His Father, aware of having been stripped of life’s comforts and possessions. Yet again, He fought the temptation. Rather than giving into the devil’s request to worship him, for the sake of regaining all He’d lost, Jesus quoted Scripture.
“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:10)
We can be mindful each day of Jesus’ example of using God’s powerful Word against any temptation we face. Whether we’re hungry, lonely, disappointed, in distress or bondage, we don’t have to give into or resort to the devil’s temptations. His answers will always, always leave us short-changed and wanting something better. And God promises us something better in the form of righteousness—right standing with Him—and the undisputed peace and joy that come from it. Nothing can top that.
What is your defense against any temptations you face? Let’s follow Jesus’ example and use the powerful Word of God, with which we can overcome every one of them.
Lord, thank You for Your Word which strengthens us against temptation. Give us the wisdom, will, and perseverance to use it in every situation. In Jesus’ name, amen.