Enjoying the Journey
One of Satan’s lies is that the besetting sin in your life (you know the one) will always defeat you. “That’s just the way you are and it will never change.” Remember that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44). The God of truth says something quite different:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
A way to escape. There it is – God makes a way to live in victory if you want it.
Satan’s weapon is despair; Christ’s weapon is truth. He is greater than any sin! Look at the Perfect Man’s example in His own temptation. In each of the three attacks He endured in the wilderness we find “a way to escape.”
Lesson #1: Meditate on the Word. In the first temptation, to satisfy His hunger through a means outside of God’s plan, Christ responded with, “It is written...” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). In fact, He responded that way every time! There is no victory over the flesh outside of the power of God’s Word. This is more than mere memorization or the quoting of verses. This is living in the truth of those verses and obeying the principles of Scripture. If you want to flee temptation, run to the Word!
Lesson #2: Remember the warnings. When Satan challenged Jesus to claim God’s promise while ignoring His purpose (See Matthew 4:6 and Psalm 91:11-12), our Lord quoted the warning found in Deuteronomy 6:16. Warnings are not negative – they are positive! They show us what God wants for His people. John Owen wrote that one strategy for conquering a “prevailing sin” was to “treasure up every warning from Scripture related to your temptation.” Think on the lasting consequences of your sin instead of the immediate pleasure of it.
Lesson #3: Live in an attitude of worship. The climactic temptation was conquered with this simple truth, “worship the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:10). True worship cures every false way. Consciously acknowledging God’s nearness will help you to see sin differently. There are things we would never do in His holy presence.
You can live in victory through the power of Christ and His truth, and you will if you follow His example. It is not bad when you battle sin – it is bad when you stop fighting. There is “a way to escape.”