Resisting temptation - get help from an expert
Temptations to do the wrong thing or NOT do the right thing are common to all of us. They can sometimes be difficult to overcome. In other areas of life, when we have a problem we usually go to an expert for help. For health problems we will see a doctor, for finance issues we will see an accountant, for legal issues we will see a lawyer etc.....
But when we have temptation issues, we often just struggle in isolation.
However, there is an expert at resisting temptation, and that is Jesus. Now before you groan and say 'but Jesus was God' it is good to pause and remember that:
1. Jesus was fully human and experienced temptations - so he can relate to our situations and empathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15), AND
2. He had a track record of success in resisting temptation (Hebrews 4:15) AND
3. He is fully aware of ALL the resources of heaven that are available to assist us in our battles against temptation.
So who better to go to? Seriously, who would be a better alternative?? Before your eyes glaze over, who???
I'm not trying to be snarky. But I do want to press the point, because if we can get real clarity about the benefits of getting help from Jesus, we are much more likely to do so!
Now sometimes when we go to an expert, say about a heart condition, they will give us detailed and sometimes challenging advice about changing diet, doing exercise and having an operation. It is not often that they will say 'Just take this magic pill and all your problems will be solved'.
Similarly when we go to Jesus for help with temptations, we can expect that in addition to His grace and the presence of the Holy Spirit, he will give us detailed and sometimes challenging advice about changing our perspective on our life and our desires, reassurance about the goodness of God (and the fact that we won't 'die' if we don't fulfil that particular desire right now), and maybe some regular exercises to do.
So how can we go to Jesus to get help with our temptations? Here are some suggestions:
Simply ask Jesus for power to resist, but also ask for wisdom and insight about what you should do/change and EXPECT that over the following days you will find some wise thoughts coming to your mind.
Read the Gospels and look for how Jesus lived his life resisting temptations
Ask someone who has some experience in following Jesus, what they have learned from Jesus about resisting temptation
Make a simple achievable plan of the first step in the journey to resisting that temptation (you don't have to get victory all at once)
Ask someone or come up with some other accountability mechanism to help you follow through on your plan.
photo credit: resistor bracelets via photopin (license)
David Wanstall, 14/10/2015