Strategies to Defeat Temptation – Part 2

temptation Aug 02, 2023

Have you ever been in a really stressful situation and reacted so quickly that you made things worse? When we get emotional, we make some horrible decisions. You get angry and fire off that email. You get so mad, and boom, you send that text message. You lose your temper and blow up at your kids. We are tempted to hit the panic button instead of cooling off, praying about it, and thinking it through before responding.

I want to pick up where we left off in the story of David (read Part 1 here).  Bathsheba becomes pregnant, and David hits the panic button. He doesn’t talk to a spiritual leader in his life. We don’t see evidence that he prays or goes to the scripture about this decision; he just reacts.

David’s panic button reaction was to use his influence to manipulate the situation. In 2 Samuel verses 6-13, he comes up with a plan to cover up what he’d done. He orders Joab, the commander of his army, to pull Bathsheba’s husband Uriah off the battlefield and send him home to be with her. This way, no one would think anything of the fact that Bathsheba had become pregnant. But what David needs to understand is that Uriah is a pretty awesome dude. He’s one of David’s top-tier warriors, a Navy Seal. When Uriah leaves the battle, he refuses to go to his wife. His conscience won’t allow him to go home and enjoy the comforts of eating, drinking, and being with his wife while his men are still fighting the war.

David’s plan isn’t quite working out how he thought it would. He tries to persuade Uriah to go to Bathsheba by getting him drunk, but that doesn’t work either. When David realizes he can’t cover up his sin by manipulating the situation, he removes Uriah from the picture. In Verses 14-27, David uses his influence to end a life. He orders Joab to put Uriah on the front line and to pull back the troops at just the right moment so that Uriah will die. When word comes back to David that Uriah is dead, he shows no sadness.

23 The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.” 26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah, her husband, was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:26-27)

David was in a very dark place. We lose compassion when we’re in that dark place, just trying to cover up sin. We tell lie after lie and manipulate and cover-up. Eventually, you can only keep up with some of the lies. Some of you know what that feels like because you’re in it today. You’ve lied, and you’re trying to cover up but don’t be like David. Don’t use your influence to manipulate. Don’t use your influence to end a life.

David believed that the only way to resolve his sin was to cover it up, and you and I will be tempted to do the same thing. What David needed to know, and what we need to know is,

Proactive Strategy #2: Confess and Repair instead of Manipulate and Cover

When David heard that Bathsheba was pregnant, he could have confessed the sin, but he didn’t. He deceived and lied. I’m sure David was scared and felt like he had no choice. No one would know if he could sweep it under the rug. But that’s not the case.

Psalm 32 says, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long, for day and night your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”

Before confession takes place, there’s a burden, a heaviness that affects you physically. It makes you sick. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.” Confession brings healing.

So often in our life, we resist the confession moment. If you have sin in your life today, it’s heavy on your heart. I encourage you to take this step of confession. Confess to God, and perhaps you need to find a pastor, ministry leader, or mentor to confess sin and start walking the path to healing.  Confession is what David needed.


Sign up for the TSL 5 Newsletter

Bi-weekly resources delivered to your inbox.