Death, Taxes, and Temptation
Bible Reading: James 4:7-10
Humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Sasha put her head in her hands and sighed. “I just thought it would be different,” she told her Bible study leader. “I thought it would be easier to get along at home once I became a Christian. But I still feel like I’m always fighting not to be bad.”
Here’s the truth: The only Christians who don’t face temptation are the ones in heaven. The rest of us face temptation every single day of our life. The fact that you’ve become a Christian won’t make Satan stop picking at you. In fact, your problems with temptation might hardly even begin until you start responding to God’s Holy Spirit.
That’s cheery news, isn’t it? Actually, knowing Jesus gives you great power to handle temptation. When you face temptation, here’s how to fight back:
• Be on your guard. Expect temptation. Benjamin Franklin was wrong when he said, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” There’s at least one more for-sure fact of life: temptation.
• Hit back at temptation quickly. The biggest danger in temptation is telling yourself how much fun evil is instead of dealing with it right away. That’s like playing with a lion cub—fun for a while, deadly when it grows up and tears you to pieces. When Jesus was tempted (see Matthew 4) he responded to each temptation quickly-as in immediately!
• Submit to God. Wise temptation fighters get to their knees and pray about their situation. It’s not enough to turn away from the temptation—you need to turn to God. Tell him about your troubles. Ask for his help, the exact help he promises in Hebrews 2:18.
• Resist the devil. How? Once you recognize a temptation and ask for God’s help in overcoming it, put on your running shoes and get out of there!
And once God has helped you overcome, don’t forget to thank him for keeping his promise. After all, he’s the one who “will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
TALK: Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t leave you to battle temptation on your own? How does he help you?
PRAY: Father, thank you for your presence and the strength you give us to resist temptation. Help us remember to pray at the first sign of temptation.
ACT: What are the biggest temptations you face? How do you deal with them? Talk with a friend or someone in your family about how to make an even better plan!