Getting Victory Over Temptation... Even Pizza
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV)
I woke up and felt ready to take on the day; ready to take on my diet, ready to overcome my gluttony and idolatry of food. I had been struggling since having my second son to regain my composure with my eating habits, and I felt like today was finally the day I would get it together.
Suddenly, a thought came rushing in like a freight train: Today, we are having a pizza party in the office. I toiled and paced. I can’t skip pizza. How am I going to say no to pizza? Pizza is my comforter.
Pizza is my friend. I can not overcome Pizza. Pizza is my kryptonite.
I’ll never forget hearing the Lord so clearly say to me, “Pizza will never die.”
It hit me like a left hook to the double chin– this temptation will never go away. It will always exist. If I was waiting for pizza to stop existing before grabbing a hold of the victory God wanted to lay out for me, I could be waiting a long time, and meanwhile, the change that I desired hung in the balance.
That was when I realized: The reality of the “deliverance” that I was waiting for had already happened. I was completely misunderstanding what victory in the Lord really looked like. I was taught completely wrong. I usually sit around and wait for my desire to change to just happen... All the while crying out “Daddy, please take this from me.”
If I was going to win this war against my desires– and many others– I would first have to conquer this seemingly small battle of the mind. The only comfort I had was that the Lord already has the ultimate victory, and the voice of the Holy Spirit leads us, step by step, in walking it out.
Unfortunately, when we come to the Lord, the temptation to sin does not just simply disappear. Instead, it becomes a battle to suffer the loss of our flesh desire for the sake of Christ. God calls us to be set apart and holy. The Word encourages us to walk in the new person that God already sees in us.
This can be extremely hard when all the same temptations and people exist from our lives before the love of Christ. The reality is they aren’t changing, but that does not mean that we should not. We should not waste a drop of Jesus Christ’s precious blood. He gave it all so that we would have victory over everything that exists in our present.
In order to change something in ourselves, we have to react differently to the things that happen around us. Our habits form from our everyday actions, which flow from our thoughts, which flow from our beliefs. If I believe that I cannot change without someone else treating me better, or my circumstances changing, or that pizza has to cease to exist, I will only think about how those things need to change before I am able to address what needs to change in me.
I can’t justify my sinful actions by making my change dependent on something else other than the power of Jesus Christ. Most likely, that person or circumstance will never change. So does that mean you should never change? That only creates a sinful bondage and acceptance of things that God has died to give us victory over.
We were meant to have life and life abundantly. It is for freedom that we have been set free. Being born into a life with Jesus Christ makes you an heir to His promises, and that means that we can change no matter what is going on around us. We can take victory over every area of our struggle, despite the unchanging nature of the environment we find ourselves in.
That is real freedom: freedom from the power of influence, freedom from the power of oppression– real freedom from anything controlling us.
So if there’s something you’ve been waiting on to change, then let Jesus be the variable that gets you to finally you to do it.