For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Jesus faced the force of every conceivable temptation, yet He refused to give in. The writer of Hebrews in describing Jesus’ response to temptation tells us that Jesus understands what every man is facing. “Tempted in every way” indicates the intensity of every temptation. Nothing is left out. He can identify with each of us. No one can ever say of Jesus, God in the flesh, “You just don’t understand how powerful the temptation is.”
Jesus fully understands it and said “No” to it. When you are tempted, you can run to Jesus and tell Him all about it, and He will not just sympathize; but empathize. That doesn’t mean He will approve your giving into temptation; however, He will instead understand the temptation and give you the power to refuse it.
Many temptations will come your way throughout the day. As they do, keep your mind on Jesus and how He has given you the power to say “No!”
Let’s consider Temptation 101, some basics about temptation:
- Every man is tempted.
- Temptation is not a sin. Only your choice to give in can produce sin. Temptation is an invitation to sin.
- Every Christian man can take comfort in the fact that Jesus felt the intensity of every temptation that men face today.
- No one could ever say of Jesus concerning temptation, “You just don’t understand.”
- Jesus is the High Priest Who when He hears our confession can truly empathize. He’s been there!
The essence of temptation is the invitation to live independently of God. – Neil T. Anderson
A man was trying to lose weight and decided that it was best if he didn’t drive past his favorite bakery on the way to work each day. So he took an alternative route. This worked well for some time. But one day he absentmindedly took his old route to work. When he realized what he was doing, he thought, “This must be a sign from the Lord.” So he kept driving. But just to make sure he wasn’t deceiving himself he said, “I’ll drive past, and if there’s a parking spot, I’ll take it as a sign from the Lord that He wants me to buy something there.” And the funny thing was, on the eighth time around…
Don’t put yourself in the place of temptation. You normally don’t have to look for temptation—it will find you!
What temptations do you face the most Wingman? Now, ask yourself, “When do these temptations normally come?” Write it down. Next question, “Where do these normally happen?” Write it down. You are trying to determine those triggers the enemy uses to entrap you. You can say “No” to temptation!