A good example is great warfare. Remember your school days? If you wanted to learn something new, you copied a good example. The example taught you the right way to solve the problem. Then, you studied the examples to prepare for your test.
We are tested in life every day. But, are we passing our tests? In school, no one wanted to copy off the paper of a failing student. So why do we copy bad examples in the world? If we are imitating immorality, lust, greed and the like, we will get a failing grade. Jesus is our good example. If we study his life and copy Him, we can pass every test that comes our way.
1 Peter 2:21-24, Living Bible
“Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps: He never sinned, never told a lie, never answered back when insulted; when he suffered he did not threaten to get even; he left his case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!”
Though temptations may come like an enemy to sabotage our lives, we can defeat every temptation through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Keep in mind, withstanding temptation is a work of the spirit, not of the flesh. Our flesh (carnal mind or natural way of thinking) has no ability to withstand temptation. The carnal mind reasons and yields to what is normal, and not necessarily to what is right.
So how can we help our spirit win? Follow Jesus’s example—He resisted the temptation to do things His own way and instead, did everything God’s way. The devil cannot overcome anyone who is submitted to God.
James 4:7, New International Version
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Submit to God, first. Often we submit to God, last—after we have already done things our own way and failed miserably. Obedience saves so much of our time. While disobedience is a waste of time. Plus, when we do what God told us to do first, we don’t have much time left to do anything evil. We are too busy doing the will of God.
Strengthen your resolve with these 3 strategies:
- Read and feed your spirit with spiritual food. The Word of God is especially designed to nourish your spirit. Is it wise to wait until the day before a test to study? Of course not. If we study the Word of God daily, we’ll always be prepared for life’s little pop quizzes (Romans 12:2).
- Pray that you enter not into temptation. Take a little advice from that “straight-A” student, Jesus, who overcame every temptation known to man (Matthew 26:40-42).
- Deny and do not justify your flesh. Deep down you know “it” is wrong. Don’t give yourself reasons why it’s okay. That is self-deception (Romans 13:13-14).
Today’s Take-Away: If someone decided to imitate our life’s example, what kind of grade would they receive? Let’s all follow Christ, so we don’t cause people to fail.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.