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Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background. Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background.

Question and Answer | Tempation

Even though I am a Christian, I struggle with a very persistent temptation. What advice can you give me?

I appreciate your honesty. Temptation is a common experience in the life of every believer. While we live on this earth, we will experience spiritual battle. However, it is important to remember that temptation itself is not sinful. Even our sinless and perfect Lord experienced temptation (Heb. 4:15).

Temptation is a deceitful invitation to meet a legitimate need in an unrighteous and destructive way. My advice is to turn this temptation into a very honest prayer to the Lord. For example, if you are tempted to be angry, tell the Lord about your hurt beneath this angry response. If you are tempted to fulfill your sensual appetites in ways that violate God’s loving standards, tell Him. The devil takes advantage of our secret struggles that have never been brought to the light.

When you bring your struggle into the light of God’s presence, that is the starting point that will put you on the road to victory. This follows the command in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

As a college professor, I will never forget the day a student shared this testimony. He had been asking God to deliver him from a very ungodly habit. He said a discerning man of God came up to him and lovingly shared, “Why are you asking God to deliver you? You love this ungodly habit. You really don’t want God to answer your prayer.” My student said this was exactly where his heart was. After he expressed this to the Lord with great humility and embarrassment, he began to see the breaking of this ungodly habit. The man’s words had opened the reality of Hebrews 4:16. God has told us to approach His throne with confidence. The question is: How do we do this when we have a wrong attitude?

The key is found in the student’s example. We must come before the throne of grace in humble honesty. God does not honor deceit; He does not want us to pretend. When this student came before God in complete honesty, he was met with merciful compassion and found grace. This speaks of God’s motivation and His power that will help us overcome an ungodly habit.

BY Bill Thrasher

Dr. Bill Thrasher is lead faculty member at Moody Theological Seminary’s Spiritual Formation and Discipleship program. Dr. Thrasher is a frequent speaker at churches and retreats across the country. His books include Living the Life God has Planned: A Guide to Knowing God's Will, A Journey to Victorious Praying: Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life, Believing God for His Best: How to Marry Contentment and Singleness, How to Resurrect a Dead Prayer Life, and God As He Wants You to Know Him. Bill and his wife, Penny, have three sons: Will, Michael, and David.

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