day 8: response to temptation pt. 1 - STOP

I heard a pastor say one time that life is full of problems. “You’re either in the middle of a problem, you’re coming out of a problem, or you’re headed into a problem.” While it certainly may not be the most encouraging thing to hear, it’s true. But the good news is, since we’re aware that this is how life works, we can have a plan.

In Matthew chapter 4 we find the temptation of Jesus. We’re going to spend a few days on this passage and start by looking at the setting.

First, this passage immediately follows Jesus’s baptism and precedes the beginning of His ministry; it’s sandwiched right in the middle of those two events. That’s when Satan shows up and tempts Him.

As you are on your journey toward a life free of pornography & lust, this is an opportune time for the enemy to tempt you. Right AFTER you begin taking steps down this path and right BEFORE you are on the precipice of getting these things out of your life for good. Satan knows having this ongoing sin has been a hindrance for your spiritual development, so he wants to sabotage you. Also, we help him out in this as we tend to become more aware of temptations as we focus on this type of sin. We notice things we previously missed simply because we’re paying more attention. 

Second, I want to point out the last three words of verse 2, “He was hungry”. After not eating for 40 days, of course Jesus was hungry! And that’s when Satan entered the picture. For those struggling with pornography & lust, we are most susceptible to temptation when we have a need.

When we’re Hungry, Isolated, Tired, or Emotional, we’re at the height (HITE) of temptation . . . see what I did there? Anytime we can identify with any of these, we must be vigilant because that’s when we’re most susceptible to making the wrong choices.

There are two ways I would encourage you to respond to this.

First, don’t get hungry, isolated, tired, or emotional. Know when you’re headed toward any of these and do what you need to turn your course. Eat something. Don’t be left alone. Get plenty of rest. Watch your emotions.

That’s not a full-proof plan though. There will be days you’re hungry, days you are tired or isolated, and days life falls apart & you’re emotional, and such cannot be avoided.


Know what you’re going to do once isolation sets in and everyone has left the house. What are you going to do in that moment of opportunity to view pornography?

Think through what it’s going to be like when you have that conversation with your boss and you become angry, and you would normally space out and look at pictures you shouldn’t to relieve stress. What is going to be your alternate response? Think through it and have a plan.

Visualization is a technique many athletes use to help motivate them to be their best. My suggestion here is similar.

Visualize . . . imagine . . . what it’s going to be like to be at the HITE of susceptibility.

How challenging is that going to be?

What cues will you experience to know you need to stop in your tracks and find an alternate behavior?

What will you be feeling in that moment?

Don’t just visualize triumphs but also visualize struggle so you can be prepared and overcome it.

Thoughts to Journal:

  •          What does a plan look like to prevent the HITE of temptation?
  •          What will it feel like when you’re challenged with temptation?


Matthew 3:13-4:17