Everyone is tempted. Jesus illustrated that; He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 NASB).
But how do we overcome the constant pull of the world, the flesh, and the devil? Is it possible to not “enter into” temptation? Is there a pill we can take? A step that will help us and help others?
Here is Jesus’ prescription (and I would think no one would know better than He would!):
Pray that you do not enter into temptation (Luke 22:40).
Jesus’ prescription? Pray. And immediately following this statement, this is exactly what He did.
Jesus’ Greatest Temptation
The greatest temptation Jesus faced was to run from the horrendous suffering of the cross. From the beginning, Satan had tempted Christ to take an alternate route.
In the next moment, Jesus “knelt down and began to pray” (v. 41). He asked the Father if He could be spared from the cup of suffering He was about to drink.
But the key to this prayer was the final sentence: “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (v. 42). The bent will is the posture necessary for believers to resist temptation.
But notice, this surrender happened in the presence of the Father in prayer. Prayer brings wisdom into the situation. In fact, prayer brings GOD into the equation.
Just like Jesus prescribes for us, prayer worked for Himself. He did not enter into temptation, and we are all eternally grateful.
Most of us think prayer is a matter of getting God to do what we want and need. But the greatest purpose of prayer is to come into the presence of my Father and align my will with His. To let heaven re-adjust my life to God’s perfect, sovereign plan.
Such praying is our best antidote to temptation. We may ask that God alleviate some of the temptation. But our greatest prayer should be that we would not “enter into” temptation. It should be our constant, daily prayer.
Can you imagine what this week would be like if you never entered into the temptations before you? How effective you would become? How clearly you would hear God? What leadership and witness you could give to others?
Use the simple antidote prescribed by Jesus Christ. It worked for Him, and it will work for you.