I left my office at about noon today to run a few errands. Although I had a late breakfast that many would consider to be a large meal, I was already feeling the pangs of hunger. I decided that I would grab some lunch while I was out, after I completed my errands. The nearby Fishhook Grill offers a lunch special on Tuesdays, and I can have a delicious, healthful lunch there.
As I turned onto the main drag, the sign for Five Guys caught my eye. I love Five Guys cheeseburgers, but I haven’t had one in at least six months. A greasy cheeseburger and fries just doesn’t fit into my dietary and fitness goals. I began to reason that just once would do no harm. But after several indulgences over the past weekend, I’ve gotten a great start on this week. I knew that I would truly enjoy a cheeseburger at Five Guys, but then I would regret my lack of discipline the rest of the day. I managed to convince myself to drive past Five Guys, complete my errands, and then enjoy some grilled fish for lunch at Fishhook.
I felt great about my decision, finished my lunch, and then headed to my home office to get back to work. As I walked into the kitchen, I was all alone, and there on the counter was a pan of brownies that Cheri baked last night. It was covered with aluminum foil, but I knew what was under the foil. I decided, since I work out so diligently, and exercised great discipline at lunch, that I could indulge in one small square. It was delicious, as are all of Cheri’s baked goods, and I covered the pan and left it there. It’s still there, calling my name, beckoning me to have another. But I’ll be strong and will fight off the temptation. I’ll rely on my strength. I’m strong enough to fight that battle.
The battle against temptation to sin is much stronger that the temptation to indulge in a Five Guys cheeseburger. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind has a natural desire to sin. Making the battle even more difficult is the presence of Satan and his demons, forces that are all around us. Their goal is to cause us to fail in our endeavor to walk in the light of God’s holiness. They know that when we fail, we are not in fellowship with God.
We often attempt to fight off temptation through our strong will, through our commitment to Christ. At times, we may experience small victories, but then the attacks continue to come, and we don’t have the strength to resist. When we fail, we feel defeated and helpless. We have attempted to fight the battle in our own strength. We are not strong enough to win that battle.
The good news is that God will win the battle for us. If we try to win on our own resolve, we will surely fail. But Almighty God has the power over temptation and sin. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
When you are tempted to sin, give it to God. Tell Him that you don’t have the strength to win the battle and ask Him to win it for you. Don’t rely on your own resolve. If you will surrender your will to Him, He will win the battle for you.