Everyone faces temptations. We experience a countless number of temptations every day. But resisting this urge is what we must strive to do. Even daily activities may lead us to temptation.
What is Temptation?
Temptations are situations and desires that influence us into wrong doings. In the Biblical sense, it means to stray away from God’s love by committing sins. Temptations are generally speaking in common parlance, known as the urges that give one short term satisfaction.
Why do we feel tempted? How do we overcome it?
The Bible has innumerable passages and verses that cover temptation and rightfully so! These passages can provide insight into the life of many Biblical figures and how they resisted temptation.
Temptations are seen as Satan’s tricks to lure you away from God. These are false promises that lead to a streak of unhealthy habits.
Examples of everyday temptations:
- Eating too much or only consuming unhealthy food
- Overuse of your phone and social media
- Indulging in unnecessary expenses- excessive shopping
- Endless scrolling through Instagram
- Falling prey to porn addiction
- Engaging in provocative content which leads to the urge of masturbation
Everyday temptations are hidden and we even consider them to be normal. This is because we do not recognize them.
Examples of temptations in the Bible
Adam and Eve
The first ever temptation to be mentioned was in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God. They were special and they were to live their lives in paradise.
But temptation is found even in Paradise!
The Devil in the form of a snake slithered into Eve’s presence. It filled her mind with doubt and curiosity. She was instructed clearly not to eat from the tree in the centre of the garden.
But she fell into temptation and asked Adam to join her in sin.
This was the first act of disobedience or sin.
Temptation of David
David was a powerful King. He lived a bountiful life. He had many wives and many children from these wives. But even in his wealth and bounty, he fell prey to temptation.
It was springtime and David was not able to sleep and he awoke and walked out onto the roof. There, as the breeze soothed his senses, he noticed a woman. Bathsheba, an attractive woman is seen bathing in her courtyard and David is overcome with lust.
He is tempted to lay with her and he falls into temptation.
He calls for her to enter his chambers. They lay together and he impregnates her. David ignored the fact that Bathsheba was Uriah’s wife and Uriah was of his mighty soldiers.
David even tries to ‘wash his hands’ off the situation and tells Uriah to sleep with his wife before war. Uriah will believe that the baby is his. But the soldiers have made a pact of abstinence before war and Uriah does not comply.
This enrages David, not only did he fall into lust and commit adultery, he then plots Uriah’s death.
He commands the soldiers to leave Uriah in the frontlines without any support from his fellow soldiers. Uriah dies and David claims Bathsheba as his wife.
A baby is born to David and Bathsheba and they are about to experience God’s wrath. David is punished as he fell into temptation and as punishment his baby boy will die.
The Temptation of Jesus
The most important mention of temptation in the New Testament is ‘The Temptation of Jesus’. The Gospel of Matthew and Luke account this incident.
Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness and he was famished. The devil appeared and tried to tempt him three times.
“If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:3
Jesus answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of god that proceeds. Matthew 4:4
The devil takes Jesus to a high point and tells him to throw himself.
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.” Matthew 4:6
Now the devil is quoting the Holy Bible!
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:7
The devil then finally took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil told Jesus to bow down to him and all that he sees will be his.
For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him’”.
what the bible says about temptation?
Even Jesus, the Son of God has experienced temptation just like any other. Therefore, he is seen as the perfect example of a life lived without failing before temptations.
“No word of temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
These temptations are put forth to test you. God makes sure that you are able to handle the struggles you face.
Therefore, do not be disheartened or upset. You have all the strength in the world to fight your demons. Keep moving forward because you will receive more than what you asked for, you just have to wait a little longer.
“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. Even though he was put through temptations he did not fall. Jesus’ life is our guide to leading a life that is pleasing to God. As he faced those trials and tribulations, he is able to relate to our daily struggles.
It is in human nature to sin and Jesus lived the life of a man to understand this nature.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”
Temptation is usually seen as an external deterrent but most often it is our internal desires that lead us to temptation. Look inwards to see the thoughts that repeat itself and are calling to you in a negative way.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Temptation can be obvious to some of us. We recognize our patterns but we still continue to do so. Repent and ask for forgiveness and make a stern promise to stay away from it.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
This is a verse from the Lord’s prayer and it is taught to us through the Holy Bible.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
Temptation is from the devil and not God. God does not wish for someone to stray away from his love.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Prayer is essential to overcome any temptation. Our spirit longs to be one with God. It is a part of you that connects with God but our flesh or body that is made of the earth has earthly desires and can keep us from attaining redemption. If we decide to put our trust in god and pray to him, it might so happen that we grow beyond our physical urges.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Temptations may seem harmless but be aware that they are like roaring lions seeking for their next prey.
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”
Just like David, in all his riches he was tempted. The more you accumulate the more temptations you are open to.
“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”
Sexual desires are the easiest to fall prey to. God has brought the union of man and wife to help them satisfy their needs in holy matrimony. So that they may not waver and wander outside for love and acceptance.
Through prayer, repentance and meditating on the holy scriptures, you can overcome temptations.