When you face temptation, follow Jesus’ example
Published 8:15 am Friday, February 19, 2021
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Temptation is a troubling thing. What does the Bible teach about it? — T.T.
Dear T.T.: Temptation is exactly the same for us as it was for Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. And Satan also tempts us in the same way that he tempted Jesus — through “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). Satan’s attempt failed.
It is not a sin to be tempted, for everyone is tempted. The devil tempts, but he can tempt you only so far as God permits — and God always provides a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). The sin is in yielding to temptation instead of seeking God’s power to escape.
When you face temptation, follow Jesus’ example. Satan will say, “For a moment’s bowing of your head to me, the money, the fame, the business, the success, and the power will be yours.” But do what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t argue with Satan; Jesus didn’t debate with him; Jesus didn’t rationalize. Instead, He replied, “It is written…” Jesus responded to the enemy’s temptation with the simple but strong truth of God’s Word, Scripture. Do the same today — and always.
The Bible tells us to be on the alert, for Satan is always looking for a way to trap us. “Sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). How do we rule over it? By keeping our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. By keeping our hearts free from the things that can lead to temptation. Don’t be trapped, but tap into the power that God grants to those whose hearts are bent toward Him. “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God” (1 Chronicles 22:19).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)