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Victory Over Temptation
By W. B. Walker
The Way Of Escape In Temptation
Let us settle the matter forever God
is faithful. Paul says, "God is faithful ... also to make a way of escape" (I
Cor. 10:13). He is not only able, but He will do it if we will seek His face,
and trust in His blood. While He does permit the enemy to hedge us about
occasionally with what seems to be insurmountable walls, yet, He will never allow
him to place a roof over our heads.
Thank God, the Christian can always look up
for there is help from above. When all other ways are closed, thank God, the
upper way is always open! David said, "Many are the afflictions of the
righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all" (Psalms 34:19).
While there is no promise of immunity from temptation, yet, there are promises of
strength. "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy
strength be" (Deut. 33:25). Paul seems to emphasize the words "a way of escape."
We will never need to endure that which we cannot endure, seeing "God is
faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that ye are able." The way
of escape does not always appear before entering into temptation, but it will
come in the midst of it. God could have delivered the three Hebrew boys before
they were cast into the fiery furnace, but such was not His plan
the deliverance was granted to them in the midst of the fiery flame so that
even a heathen king was compelled to acknowledge the presence of "the form of the
fourth is like the Son of God" Who was with them. (Daniel 3:25).
I think that one
of the thrills of Heaven will be the privilege to interview Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego. If we should ask them about their richest experience while on
earth, they would doubtless say it was at "the time when they made it hot for us"
seeing the furnace was made "seven times" hotter "than it was before and God
delivered us." At times the way may seem bleak with darkness, but let us
remember that the tunnel is simply the short cut to desired destination. The
greater the conflict, the greater will be the victory. And the more intense is
the temptation, the more glorious will be the deliverance. Jesus plainly told us
that "in the world ye shall have tribulation; Be of good cheer: I have overcome
the world" (John 16:33).
We are not always shielded from temptation, but "He
giveth more grace" (James 4:6). Paul was praying for deliverance from the thorn
in the flesh, and Jesus said unto him: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Cor. 12:9). The Apostle Peter says,
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve
the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (II Peter 2:9). And the
mighty Isaiah said, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the
Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isa. 59:19). What are the weapons
that a Christian should use in escaping temptation? While we cannot escape the
fact of temptation, yet, we need not despair nor be defeated. Thank God, there
is an escape a marvelous deliverance. How shall we meet temptation in order to
escape it? This escape does not mean it is a by-pass to temptation. For Paul
says, "Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution"
(II Tim. 3:12). No, there is no royal road around temptation, but, thank God,
there is a marvelous escape, or deliverance. What weapons shall we use to
defeat our foe?
1. Watch and pray. Jesus said, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not
into temptation" (Matt.26:41). To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Be careful
to keep off of the devil's territory. We fear some people actually tempt the
devil to tempt them, by trespassing on his territory. They see how near they may
walk on the danger line, and by so doing expose themselves to
unnecessary temptations. We cannot prevent the enemy from assaulting us, but we
can frequently avoid the occasion for temptation by keeping out of the danger
zone, and attending strictly to our own business. To play with temptation is to
invite defeat. While the Lord delivered Daniel when he was cast into the lion's
den, yet, we do not believe that he would have thus been delivered, if he had
deliberately jumped into the lion's den, as an experiment. We should be as wise
as serpents, and as harmless as doves. The weapon of prayer is tremendous in the
hour of temptation. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh
receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be
opened" (Matt. 7:7, 8). James said, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous
man availeth much" (James 5:16). It has been said, "Satan trembles when he sees,
the weakest saint upon his knees." By prayer, we receive strength, for the
conflicts, and. final deliverance in the hour of temptation. Like the little boy
who was being taunted by his schoolmates, and knew that he could not withstand
them alone. But having an elder brother in an adjoining room, he would run and
call on his big brother for assistance. It is needless to say, that when the big
brother appeared on the scene, the tormenting schoolmates would all disappear.
We, too, have an "elder brother", and when we call upon Him in prayer, He always
appears on the scene, and the enemy is soon discomfited and put to flight.
Here is the reason: "Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the
world" (I John 4:4).
2. Study your Bible. Jesus met temptation, and triumphed
over the worst that Satan could hurl at Him. How did He do it? He met Satan with
these words: "It is written." His only weapon of defense was the Word of God
which is "the Sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17). Human arguments and human wisdom
are not sufficient. He who is thoroughly equipped and fortified by the Word
of God, has the surest way of escape. David said, "Thy word have I hid in my
heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psalms 119:11). To meet temptation
with a "Thus saith the Lord", and with an unwavering faith in the promises of
God, is the surest way to discomfit the foe, and to bring us to certain victory.
Again, the Psalmist says, "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler" (Psalms
91:4). If we will study the Word for soul food, we can be assured of victory over
3. Have faith in God. Paul says, "Above all, taking the shield of
faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked"
(Eph. 6:16). The fiery darts from Satan, are missiles thrown, as the javelin,
spear, arrow, or stone from a sling. The fiery darts perhaps refer to the
combustible arrowheads that would set fire to the fortifications, ships, houses,
and even the shields of the enemy that was made of wood or leather. To quench
these fiery darts, the shields were covered with metal. As applied to
the Christian warfare, they refer to evil thoughts, lusts, passions, and
temptations of various kinds. This shield of faith is of vast importance to the
Christian. We are not only converted and sanctified by faith, but this is the
victory that overcometh the world, even your faith (I John 5:4). There has never
been any artillery invented in earth or hell, that can penetrate "the shield
of faith." Ever since the Master said, "According to your faith, be it unto you",
this has been the victory that overcometh (Matt. 9:29); (I John 5:4).
All the mighty warriors, whose portraits are hung up in the gallery of fame the
eleventh chapter of Hebrews obtained their "good report through faith"
(Hebrews 11:11-39). Jesus said, "With God all things are possible" (Matt.
19:-26), and "All things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). Thus
you can see, that faith couples us up with the arms of Omnipotence, and assures
the Christian of triumph over the foe. Peter said, "kept by the power of God
through faith" (I Peter 1:5). The "shield of faith" makes the Christian
invulnerable, invincible, and unconquerable. "By faith we stand" says Paul (II
Since there is a way of victory over temptation regardless of
the circumstances there can be no reasonable excuse for failure or defeat.
Again, let me remind you of what Paul said: "God is faithful, who will not suffer
you to be tempted above ye are able but will with the temptation also make a
way of escape" (I Cor. 10:13). With this assurance, the soul that is buffeted and
beaten by Satan, can meet temptation in "quietness and confidence," knowing that
the greater the conflict, the more glorious will be the victory. So then, with
Paul, we can say, "Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in
Christ" (II Cor. 2:14). Let us remember that regardless of the severity of the
temptation, we can lean on Jesus. The poet expressed this wonderful truth in
these beautiful words: In every condition in sickness, in health; In poverty's
vale, or abounding in wealth; At home and abroad; on the land, or on the sea, As
thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be. Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be
not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will give thee aid; I'll strengthen thee, help
thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. The soul
that on Jesus still leans for repose, I will not, I will not desert to his
foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never,
no never forsake.