Resisting temptation is a tough and constant battle, and one we must continue to combat with good intentions and the strongest of fortitudes.
Temptation comes to us in all forms, functions, and situations.
We are hit with temptation when we see our successful friend or brother or sister living an extravagant lifestyle and traveling throughout the world. We are hit with temptation when we experience peer pressure to agree with or go along with something we feel strongly against. We are hit with temptation when we see a desirable commercial on television.
Temptation is indeed incessant, and is all around us, and we are forced to make decisions that resist temptation on a weekly, if not daily basis. Granted, we do not have the luxury of having special powers or knowledge to resist such temptation, but we do have our knowledge and moral compass of Scripture and our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are instructed by Jesus to pray to God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Through God, we have the strength, fortitude and willpower to resist any and all temptations, no matter how powerful they may seem. We must realize and acknowledge that the tempter’s power is very real, and these temptations do exist, but that power is limited.
If Christ was able to resist such strong and powerful temptations in such a weakened state of fasting after remaining in the wilderness for forty days, I am sure we are more than capable of doing the same. This is true, especially while battling whatever unhealthy temptation we have vowed to give up throughout this period of Lent. So, if you are hungry, yes you can wait, and experience the attribute of patience.
Our primary goals should be to resist temptation, exhibit self-control and to expose temptation’s traps and deceitfulness to the world. Anytime a plant has its roots exposed, the plant struggles to remain alive. That exposure can occur through us, relying on Scripture and our closeness to God to reveal the ways to us.
The temptation traps are all around us, we just need to rely on ourselves, one another and God in order to avoid them. The power to resist lies in God, in the Bible, in ourselves and in our church community and friends, as long as we are open to listening.
The will and strength to resist might meet us on our weakest of days, but we still have to remain strong—if for no other reason than to simply say that we have stared temptation in the face and we have conquered it.