1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Matthew 4:1–11)
New Year’s resolutions don’t work for most people. An article I read said as much:
1. 95% of those who lose weight on a diet plan regain it and some gain more than they originally lost.
2. 25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolution after one week and 60% after six months.
3. The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution 10 times in a row without success. (http://drtimwhite.com/new-years-resolutions-dont-work-sorry/)
Why is change so difficult for us? Is it because we don’t know the seriousness of what could happen if we don’t change? No, the same article said that 600,000 people have heart bypass surgery each year. Do they change their lifestyle and eat healthier foods, quit smoking, reduce stress, and exercise? Only one in seven make any enduring changes after their surgery, even though they know what will happen if they don’t make those changes.
I am not going to pretend to give you the magic five steps to keep your resolutions or to make lasting changes in your life. But I do want to look at a key component in change—resisting temptation.
Why do we keep sinning, even when we know the sin is wrong? Part of the answer is obvious: because we give into temptation.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he’s also our Teacher and Model. So what does he have to teach us about temptation?