Can I Really Overcome Sin and Temptation?

Devotional

Can I Really Overcome Sin and Temptation?


In 1 Samuel 13:14, the prophet Samuel tells Saul, the king of Israel, that he’s being replaced because “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people.”


However, decades later, that “man after his own heart” has an affair with a married woman, resulting in a pregnancy, and successfully plots to kill her husband so that he can take the woman as his wife.


In this one event, King David broke nine of the Ten Commandments:


10: He coveted his neighbor’s wife.


9: He lied about his sin.


8: He stole her for himself.


7: He committed adultery.


6: He murdered her husband.


5: He dishonored his parents.


2: He made an idol of Bathsheba.


1 and 3: He shamed God and his name.


At least David didn’t break the Sabbath—so far as we know.


Why did a man after God’s own heart do this?


Why do we sin? How do we defeat temptation? What do we do when we don’t?


This is what we’ll discuss over the next four days.


Expect to Be Tempted


When Jesus defeated Satan’s attacks, the enemy “left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). If our Lord faced temptation, so will we.


The devil is very real, and he hates you. You are his enemy. Jesus warned us that the devil is a “murderer from the beginning,” and “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He is a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He tempts and deceives every one of us.


Here’s why: “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15).


Mark it down: sin always takes you further than you wanted to go, keeps you longer than you wanted to stay, and costs you more than you wanted to pay.


Always.


Just ask King David. Read 2 Samuel 12 for the devastating consequences.