Resisting temptation doesn’t seem too popular these days, but we are commanded to “resist the devil and he will flee.” (James 4:7). How do we do this when the devil masquerades as an angel of light and quotes Scripture! In Matthew 4, Jesus shows us how to resist temptation when the devil knows Scripture, too. There are three ways that he models this for us.
Three Ways to Resist Temptation
- Fight fire with fire. Jesus didn’t hesitate and say, “Yeah, you know, Scripture does say that.” Instead, he quoted other passages that rebuked Satan. This is why it is important to read the whole Bible and not just our favorite parts if we are to know how to resist temptation.
- Remember who you are. Satan tried to goad Jesus by saying, “Well, if you are the Son of God, then you will . . .,” as if the God of the universe needed to prove anything. How many times does the devil come to you and say, “Well, if you were really a Christian, you would . . .” or “If God really loved you, He would . . .?” Do you need to prove anything to Satan? No. Do you need to prove anything to God? You can’t.
- Look at the timing. Satan came when hunger struck Jesus. He offered quick solutions. Jesus resisted him using the tools above, but how often does Satan come to us when we hunger and thirst? How often do we fall for his quick solutions that lead to disaster? Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Matt. 4:1. If God leads us into desert places, won’t He lead us out? God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor. 10:13b. But, we must look for him and not fall for easy, quick solutions.
Are there other ways that you are able to resist temptation? Please share below.