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When Do You Overcome Temptation?

Had some technical difficulties earlier in the week, but if you’re seeing this now, they’ve been resolved! This was supposed to go out on Tuesday, but here we are… Thanks for being part of the conversation!


I recently read this quote in Herbert Lockyer’s All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, and I can’t get away from it.

“Never was there a life so united within itself to one clear end,” says Dr. John Macbeth. “Undivided and undistracted He moved toward His goal, resisting every temptation to disturb the consistency of His devotion. Neither fear of foe or flattery of friend tempted Him aside. The surrender of His life was not merely His final act in the article of death, it lasted through all the years.

Life was one consecrated whole, one surrendered piece… In this sense ‘Christ is made unto us Sanctification.’ He is the pattern and power of the pure heart and the perfect life.”

In other words, Jesus didn’t wait until temptation was beating Him over the head and destiny wasn’t happened upon frivilously. His perfect surrender to God’s will, heart, and purpose was well ahead of that.

We often fail to follow Jesus’ pattern, which is probably why many times temptations get the better of us.

Years ago when the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets were so popular, my father-in-law made a good point that if you’re in the middle of fighting off a temptation and you’re asking “what would Jesus do?” then you’re already too late.

Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name. —Psalm 86:11

That’s not a prayer you pray when you’re knee-deep in choosing sin or purity, compromise or integrity. Teaching implies that there is learning, growing, building of concepts. Having undivided loyalty to the Father and what He’s called you to do requires bringing broken pieces into healing and allowing Him to make you whole.

A life of surrender is reinforced by the choices you make.

If I begin to understand the calling and purpose He truly has for me, I can’t wallow in bitterness, be devastated by disappointments, or allow impurity to have free rein. I won’t back down at adversity, cower at roadblocks, or give up when it looks impossible.

Jesus may have understood death and suffering were part of His mission, but He trusted His Father to see it through because the glory He received as well as the sons and daughters He released outweighed the negatives (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Can you imagine though if Jesus neared the day He knew execution awaited and then tried to muster up a surrender? Or feeling the pressure from His disciples, His friends, to go back on what He knew to be true?

Instead, over and over, the choice was made in accordance with His surrender so that when the time came—it may have been difficult—but He overcame.

Because He overcame, you can overcome.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever fought off temptation when you felt ill-prepared? Do you or how do you prepare beforehand?

6 Comments

  1. I love the comment your FIL made about the WWJD bracelet -- so true! If we have to ask, our feet have already slipped.
    Blessings, Jason!

    • Yeah, funny how fashion choices don’t often make for the best life lessons! 🙂 Thanks so much, Martha.

  2. It is a total God thing that you wrote about this. I dont give into temptation normally. I give into the temptation to cry or be mad at the circumstances Im in instead of letting God be in control. He always sees the bigger picture and gives us the guidelines we need to be seekers of Him. It is hard sometimes but if we follow Him we can have help and peace during those times. Thank you Jason! Psalm 33:20

    • For sure. That’s a struggle for all of us I think. We want to take up our cause, but He is the best Defender. He’s so good to us. Thank you, Jaylynn.

  3. This is a great point. Once the battle is on us, it’s too late to put on the armor. Thanks for the reminder and lesson, Jason. Most excellent one.

    • Yeah, this is kind of where I find myself living and meditating these days. He’s so good to bring us into the understanding we need. Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth. Thanks Floyd.

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