Temptation is something that each of us faces. It has been around since Adam & Eve’s encounter with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Paul writes that every temptation is common to man. It’s important to realize that temptation in and of itself is not sin. Remember that Jesus was tempted by the devil and Jesus is sinless.
A proper understanding of the nature and objective of temptation is vital. Our temptation has its source in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The ultimate goal of temptation is self-gratification in disregard for the revealed will of God. It’s the sifting process of which Jesus told Peter (Luke 22:31).
When the process of temptation goes full cycle, the result is always death, that is, alienation from Jesus Christ. When Jesus cried, “Why have You forsaken Me?” it was because the Father had removed His presence the moment Jesus became sin for us. Of course Jesus didn’t become sin literally, but the Bearer of our sin, and the Father’s action against Him revealed His hatred for sin and the effects it has upon us.
The focus of every temptation is myself. If I yield to this or that, it will make me feel good; it will ease the pain; it will put a few more dollars in my pocket; etc. However, when we by the power of the Holy Ghost resist temptation, our chief concern then becomes pleasing the Lord Jesus. So our response to temptation either develops or damages our character; it either enhances or negates our witness for Jesus. Temptation is a way that leads either to life or corruption.
Victory isn’t the absence or elimination of temptation, but it’s the resolve to say “yes” to Jesus and “no” to the tempter. When our response to temptation is, “It is written”, then victory is certain.