November 23, 2020

Overcoming the Intensity of Temptation

“And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan;” Mark 1:13


We’ve all given in to temptation at some point. Sometimes we even concede failure the moment it becomes intense. But only those who resist temptation know how strong it actually is. Jesus understands more about the intensity of temptation than anyone because He is the only person to fully endure and overcome it. The more we understand about the temptation of Jesus, the better we recognize how He helps us.


We often forget that Jesus faced temptation as a man, not as God. This is a critical point of understanding. You see, Jesus was not a man who became God, but God who became man. That’s why the Bible tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).


His flesh and blood had to triumph over sin because Adam failed to do so in the Garden. Adam’s human weakness plunged all humanity into sin. Whereas Jesus, even in His humanity, remained spotless. So, He not only knows the intensity of temptation but also how to be victorious over it, which makes Him an informed intercessor on our behalf.


As believers, we can take comfort in Romans 8:34, “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” And also, “He always lives to make intercession” for “those who draw near to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25). When we feel the intensity of temptation rising, we can resist by drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord.


Remember, the temptation itself is not a sin. But trying to face it on our own gives the enemy the upper hand. We have a choice each day. Will we use Adam’s failure as an excuse, allowing temptation to seduce us to sin? Or will we trust Jesus to help us overcome even the most intense temptation? We find strength and wisdom by relying on Him. In fact, He is the only One who can give us victory. How will you draw nearer to Him today?