January 19, 2018

Enduring Temptation

George Stiekes

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8

Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself when he was faced with that opportunity. It is wise to purpose in your heart prior to being faced with the opportunity and then to continue growing in your relationship with the Lord so that when you are faced with the wrong kind of circumstances, you will be strong in the Lord to be able to resist.

It is easy to see great moral failure in someone else and declare that you would never do what that person did. However, it is very wrong to think that you would never be susceptible. There is tremendous danger in depending on the flesh. It is easy to coast along in life depending on your own predisposition and strengths until you are actually faced with some great temptation. Daniel had purposed in his heart prior to being in Babylon. He then continued to grow in his relationship with the Lord so that he was able to resist the temptation with the strength of the Lord.

I have often thought that Joseph must have possessed incredible spiritual strength. He certainly recognized that the LORD was with him (Genesis 39:21). In spite of all of the trials he faced over a long period of time, he continued to trust the Lord. He knew that God allowed it for good (Genesis 50:20). We would assume that he had made some strong purpose statements in his heart that kept him from falling to the temptation by Potiphar’s wife.

When you read Psalm 23, you cannot help but think that David was spiritually strong to face whatever would come his way. And yet, he evidently failed to purpose in his heart to stand against moral failure before actually facing it. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (James 1:14).

James 1:12 is most important on this one. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

  • Never think that you will not be faced with temptation. It will come — when he is tried…
  • Endureth is the verb form of the word patience. It means to persevere under trial. James 1:3 states that the trying of your faith worketh patience. This implies victory over the temptation or trial which then proves your faith.
  • The promise of the Lord is to them THAT LOVE HIM. When you are faced with temptation, your response will determine just how much you love the LORD.
  • In the context of the passage, wisdom is sought prior to the trial (James 1:5-6).

Be careful! You never want to become self-confident in your pre-determination. It is one of the reasons I never get excited about New Year’s Resolutions. However, your spiritual commitments are very important. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5). When you make these kinds of commitments, do so recognizing that your strength will come from the power of God and the assistance of the Holy Spirit in your life. Our decisions made in advance must be biblically based and subject to God’s working in you as you determine to grow in your relationship with Him.

What kind of commitments have you made to God in your life? Are you standing fast on Biblical principles? Are you strengthening your relationship with God in His Word and prayer? God’s word to Joshua still holds true for us today. Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9).

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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