Man has puzzled over the fact Jesus was tempted to sin, but that He did not sin, Hebrews 4:15. How was He able to do that?
Why is it that it is so hard for us to resist temptation? Is there a way for man to remain pure? Yes, there is a way, and God's promise is that a way will always be available for us to "escape" the temptation.
Some may say they want to be pure in the sight of God, but that temptation is always too strong for them to resist it, and they fall into sin.
Satan does not have that much power over man. James 4:7 says:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
You can "take it to the bank" that if God says we must resist the devil, then we can resist the devil. God "cannot lie," Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18.
"Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Since God has promised a "way" will be there by which we can resist Satan's devices – it will be there!
But how do we "resist the devil"? How do we find that "way to escape"?
Must Know Right from Wrong
First, we must find out what the Bible says about our life. We cannot "resist" temptation if we do not know what we should resist. The Bible furnishes us with all we need to know on this subject, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Knowing God's will reveals what we must resist. See 1 John 3:4.
Must Want to "Escape"
In other words, like Daniel, we must make up our mind that we will resist Satan's temptations. Some are not yet willing to give up their past manner of life, but until we do so, temptations will always be "too hard" to resist, because we do not have the will to resist.
When Jesus was tempted, Matthew 4:1-11, He was prepared and, using God's Word, even Satan's very best efforts could not defeat Him.
God is not going to take hold of us and make us live righteous lives. We must want to be faithful to Him, must want to "resist the devil." So, it is up to us to seek that "way."
The "part-time" Christian will always find it hard to resist temptation, for he/she is still "on the fence," not truly committed to living for Christ. That "way to escape" will always be elusive if you are not willing to give yourself to Him.
Must Practice Self-discipline
Satan tempted the Apostle Paul, but Paul tells us how he kept himself from sin, resisting temptation:
"I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified," 1 Corinthians 9:27.
Discipline – there is that dreaded word. But, if I am going to take that "way" to escape, I must, like Paul, discipline myself, say "no" to Satan and resist his temptations.
The sin is not in being tempted, but in giving in to the temptation.
Each person is responsible for his/her own deeds, and each must know that violating God's principles of moral behavior will result in certain consequences. When faced with temptation, we must make choices. God will never force us, but he will provide a "way out" of the temptation Satan puts before us, but we must take it. We can be sure Satan will tempt us, but we can also be sure that God will give us "a way" to remain true to Him.
We Must "Resist"
We may think resisting will be easy. Not so! The very nature of temptation is...well, tempting. It is said of Moses that he chose service to God rather than the "pleasures of sin for a season," Hebrews 11:23-26.
Obviously, there is "pleasure" in sin, but it is only "for a season," it is temporary. If temptation comes to us (and it will), it will be because you and I have been "drawn away" by our own desires, our own lusts, James 1:13-15. It takes resolve, motivation and determination." If you don't have those things, you will not resist. Remember Ezra 7:10.
Jesus said "watch and pray"
We have noted that Jesus was tempted, but without sin. Facing the cross, He told His disciples they too would face trials, temptations. How could they overcome them? Note:
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak," Matthew 26:41.
It was a struggle. The flesh is weak. Some failed, but they had the means by which they could overcome: "Watch and pray."
Other passages encourage being "sober", watchful, alert, so as not to be taken unawares. Satan is wily, dangerous, "..as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," 1 Peter 5:8. We must be wide-awake.
Satan is the greatest terrorist of all because he attacks our soul. The "way to escape" will be there for us, but we must seek it and then take it. What a promise!