Luke 22:40 reorientates my perspective on how I stay away from temptations. Repitition jumps out at me and it is a common literary device that Jesus employs to emphasize a point. In verse 46 of the same chapter, Jesus emphasize this instruction:
If I am to be honest with myself, I am tempted frequently. When I hear friends earning more money, buying more gadgets, for a moment, I am tempted to pursue those things. My eyes are tempted too when random stories appear on instastory or facebook luring me unholiness.
But this verse is an eye-opener with two observations that I can make.
- Jesus claims that He is the one who keeps us from temptation.
- The solution to temptation is praying to Him.
As such, if I desire to grow in the ability to resist temptations, then Jesus’ instructions here are really constructive for me. I can apply this truth in 2 ways
- When faced with temptation, Jesus instructs me to pray. Whenever I start my day, knowing that temptations will come by, I ought to pray. And frequently throughout the day, I need to communicate with Him through prayer.
- I then need to, with conscious effort, resist that temptation.
- When I overcome my temptations, e.g., resist the temptation to click on a video, resist the temptation to neglect bible reading for something more “fun,” I need to thank God for being the primary source of my resistance. According to Phil 2:13, it is God who wills me to resist these temptations through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13
Father, I thank you for being the source of my resistance to temptation. It is because of your work on the cross that we who believe in You receive this source of strength to overcome our temptation.