Someone once remarked, “I can resist anything except temptation.” Many of us can relate to that comment. Temptation isn’t just a 21st century issue. Temptation is basically the same for us in 2015 as it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The tempter, Satan, tempts us today just as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. From the very beginning a battle has raged for the souls of men and women and temptation has been one of the enemy’s weapons in that battle.
Genesis 39:1-23; James 1:14; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Timothy 3:1-4; 2 Peter 2:9
You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out. Then you will be able to deal with it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIRV
This is one way you can define temptation: Temptation is the inner urge to do wrong that hits us in the place of our own personal weakness. This definition emphasizes that temptation ultimately comes from the inside. The stimulus for temptation may come from the outside but the urge to do wrong comes from inside us. Temptation is an inside job! Joseph’s life in Genesis 39 provides five truths that will help us in our personal struggle with temptation in whatever form it comes.
Truth #1……….When things are going well be on guard.
Truth #2……….When you’re tempted you must remember who you are in God.
Truth #3……….When you’re tempted you’ve got to react fast.
Truth #4……….When you do the right thing don’t expect a reward.
Truth #5……….When you do the right thing God will honor you.
Have you ever been tempted to do something that God says was wrong? Have you ever blamed someone else or some situation or circumstance for your temptation? Do you think temptation is an inside job? Do you think knowing who you are in God makes resisting temptation any easier? Looking back, do you believe you had a “way out” of your temptations even though you may have overlooked it? Have you ever been tempted to deny the harmful effects your sin would have on others?
Make a commitment to embrace the five truths of Genesis 39. When the inner urge to do wrong and sin comes, I will seek a way out which has been provided by God. I will remember that I belong to God and thus I can serve Him anywhere and win over any temptation.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know temptation is an inside job and that I’m capable of sinning against you and others. Help me to be like Joseph and say no to each and every temptation that comes my way. In your name I pray, Amen.