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Most of us naturally protect our physical property and the people in our care. We lock doors, screen babysitters, and back up important files on our computers. But how well do we protect ourselves from temptation?
The trials of life can tempt us to be less than completely obedient to God. Sometimes we don’t trust Him enough to follow Him down a hard path. Sometimes we give up on God too quickly and hastily act in our own strength.
Unshakeable Faith Trait Four:
Determined to Stay Alert and Guard Against Temptation
On the night Jesus was betrayed, He warned Peter and the other disciples about the upcoming trial and the temptation it would bring to deny Him. Of course our friend Peter emphatically insisted he would die first! But once again, Peter learned a lesson through the pain of failure.
Read Mark 14:32-41. What did Jesus ask Peter, James, and John to do in verse 38?
To “watch” means to refrain from sleep, keep an alert mind, and be aware of threatening dangers. If the disciples had combined a watchful attitude with prayer, perhaps they could have resisted the temptation to run when Jesus was arrested.
Peter intended to stand by Jesus even if it meant death. But when the testing came, Peter ran. So often we want to obey God, but when tough times come we run.
Peter may have fallen to temptation, but he learned from his failure. In turn, he wanted others to learn from his experience.
Read 1 Peter 5:6-9. Peter gives us four exhortations or “strong recommendations” for action when facing trials and temptations. Each verse begins with one. List them below.
Peter reminds us how much God cares for us in every situation. What might we be tempted to do if we doubt this?
In the NIV, 1 Peter 5:8 reads “Be self-controlled and alert.” That word alert is the same Greek word translated as watch in Mark 14. Peter was listening!
We do not have to yield to temptation. God always provides a way for us to choose obedience (1 Cor 10:13). We don’t sin by enduring trials and facing temptation, but we do sin when we reject God’s way and choose our own.
Where are you weak and susceptible to temptation? What are some specific ways you can guard yourself against these weaknesses?