Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Draw near to God – Day 13

Draw near to God in the midst of a temptation

Bible text(s)

7So then, submit to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you.

Hebrews 2:19GNBOpen in Bible reader

13Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.’

Matthew 6:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

1 John 1:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

“Squeak, squeak …” Can you hear the mouse in your imagination? You sit up, prick up your ears to listen and then suddenly stagger back … your heart misses a beat and the hair on your neck stands up, because the squeak sound of the mouse has turned into a deafening roar. The mouse has become a dragon, ready to devour you.

This is the way of sin in our lives. Initially, we think we can handle looking at pornography or gambling or drinking a large quantity of alcohol every day. Or we believe we are in control of that “forbidden friendship” with someone outside our marriage, or our fiery temper or love of gossip. “Squeak, squeak …” and before we know it, we are stuck in the claws of the dragon that wants to force the life out of our bodies.

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He knows our weaknesses and will continue to tempt us if we do nothing about it. In Song 2:15, we read that sometimes the “harmless” foxes can cause the greatest damage in the vineyard, if they are not removed in time.

What to do about a temptation?

1) Acknowledge your weaknesses: In James 4:7 we read: “Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When speaking to God about the areas in our lives that we are struggling with, we are taking the first step to overcoming temptation. Ask Him to strengthen you in your weakness in order to resist the temptation. In Hebrews 2:19 we read: “Because He (Jesus) himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

2) Pray for protection: In Matthew 6:13, Jesus teaches the disciples to pray and said, among other things, that we should pray daily: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” There is power in prayer.

3) Flee from temptation: Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him (Genesis 39). You can and should do the same when you are tempted. For example, put down the phone and go outside when tempted to type a WhatsApp message, with the wrong intentions, to that person outside your marriage. Deliberately say something good about a person when you have a desire to share a gossip story. Or throw out the alcohol in your home, if you know you might be tempted to drink it as the sun sets.

Is there grace if you have stumbled due to temptation?

In 1 John 1:9 we read: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If you truly repent and turn your back on sin, you will experience true forgiveness and grace from God.

Let us draw close to God in the midst of temptations and ask Him to strengthen us. Let’s follow Jesus’ example by relying on His Word and resisting the enemy. Not only will we be freed from the dragon’s claws, but the enemy will flee from us. God bless.

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