Must Practice Self-discipline Satan tempted the Apostle Paul, but Paul tells us how he kept himself from sin, resisting temptation:
“I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified,” 1 Corinthians 9:27.
Discipline – there is that dreaded word. But, if I am going to take that “way” to escape, I must, like Paul, discipline myself, say “no” to Satan and resist his temptations. The sin is not in being tempted, but in giving in to the temptation. Each person is responsible for his/her own deeds, and each must know that violating God’s principles of moral behavior will result in certain consequences. When faced with temptation, we must make choices. God will never force us, but he will provide a “way out” of the temptation Satan puts before us, but we must take it. We can be sure Satan will tempt us, but we can also be sure that God will give us “a way” to remain true to Him. We Must “Resist” We may think resisting will be easy. Not so! The very nature of temptation is…well, tempting. It is said of Moses that he chose service to God rather than the “pleasures of sin for a season,” Hebrews 11:23-26. Obviously, there is “pleasure” in sin, but it is only “for a season,” it is temporary. If temptation comes to us (and it will), it will be because you and I have been “drawn away” by our own desires, our own lusts, James 1:13-15. It takes resolve, motivation and determination.” If you don’t have those things, you will not resist. Remember Ezra 7:10. Jesus said “watch and pray” We have noted that Jesus was tempted, but without sin. Facing the cross, He told His disciples they too would face trials, temptations. How could they overcome them? Note:
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Matthew 26:41.
It was a struggle. The flesh is weak. Some failed, but they had the means by which they could overcome: “Watch and pray.” Other passages encourage being “sober”, watchful, alert, so as not to be taken unawares. Satan is wily, dangerous, “..as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8. We must be wide-awake. Satan is the greatest terrorist of all because he attacks our soul. The “way to escape” will be there for us, but we must seek it and then take it. What a promise!
Carl B. Garner