Temptation may never look the same...

You're not a freak. The battles in our mind can make us think they are a part of us. But really, most battles of the mind are apart from us. Satan wants us to believe that the slightest thought that passes through our thinking is something we need to own as coming from us, but it's absolutely not the case. Let's stake out some truth right now. You're not a freak just because a temptation floats through your mind. Even more, you're not a freak just because you battle temptation daily. 

The most hopeful truth about temptation is almost hard to get our head around. But here is the truth we need to internalize. Jesus battled temptation just like you and me. That's right, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." Jesus, the most pure person to grace the earth was "tempted as we are". Don't sanitize it and make the temptation of Christ something benign like a temptation to tell a white lie or tempted to disobey his mom. The temptation Jesus went through was as raw, graphic, disgusting, and ugly as any temptation we've encountered. In fact, if Jesus was tempted like every person in the world, that means Jesus had to shoulder more temptation that anyone who ever lived, because our collective temptations are copious. That's not a theological stretch. 

Let this sink in! Jesus carried all our sin to the cross and he walked it right through temptations like no other has ever faced. That's love like we never imagined. And that's sympathy that matters. Jesus gets us because he's walked our battle, "yet without sin". The relate-ability of Jesus just went through the roof.

So what this means practically is that the only way we can relate to Jesus is authentically. Jesus won't buy what we're selling if we glaze over the truth. Jesus wants us as we live life, in the raw. He wants to hear it just as we face it, just as we are sickened by it, and just as tantalizingly as the temptation comes to us. Do a "180 Now". Try it. Test the relate-ability of Jesus. Begin to relate to him as the friend he truly is. That's how we get victory.

Hebrews 4:15