We all face temptation, but how are you fighting against it?
If we want to confront our disobedience, there is no better example to imitate than that of Jesus. Not only did he live his entire live devoid of sin, but he also showed us a powerful strategy in combatting Satan.
In Matthew 4:1-11, we watch how Jesus defeated Satan and avoided succumbing to temptation.
After Jesus had fasted forty days and nights, he was undoubtedly spiritually prepared, but he was also undeniably physically weak. Satan intentionally came to him at such an opportune moment (Luke 4:13). After no food for almost six weeks, Satan decides to tempt Jesus with bread. What was Jesus’ response? He never qualified his desire, but he quoted God’s Word. Through three temptations, Jesus quoted three verses. You probably have it in a footnote in your Bible, but here is the list:
- Matt. 4:4 – Deut. 8:3
- Matt. 4:7 – Deut. 6:16
- Matt. 4:10 – Deut. 6:13
Jesus’ victory over temptation was partly due to his ability to rehearse God’s Word in those moments.
As Satan learned his strategy, he even attempted to employ Scripture, but he took it out of context and used it for his own agenda (Matt. 4:6; cf. Ps. 91:11, 12) – an appealing yet hazardous practice you need to avoid.
The best way to fight temptation is by the power of God’s Word.
In those moments of temptation, the Spirit will remind you (John 14:26) of those verses you have memorized, and you will have the clear line of obedience to motivate you. With the Spirit of God and the Word of God, you do have the power and stamina to withstand temptation’s attacks.
Thinking through your current dangerous areas of temptation, find 2-3 verses per sin that you will memorize in order to combat temptation.
You can even use this website to put in a sin issue in the search bar and it will give you a list of Bible verses of which you can memorize.
Write those verses down. Begin working on the first one and pray that God uses that Word during moments of temptation.
Don’t lay down. Get up and fight.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.