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1 TURNING DOWN TEMPTATION Matt 6:13 & Jam 1:13 INTRO A friend was late for a critical appointment ~ so he parked in a NO PARKING zone o In the hope of not getting a ticket he left a note under his windshield: I ve circled this block ten time and I have to make this appointment or my boss will be upset with me Then he added a P.S. ~ Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us o When he returned ~ he found a parking ticket and a note it read: I ve patrolled this block for ten years now and if I don t give you a ticket, my boss will be very upset with me Then he added a P.S. ~ Lead us not into temptation Today s we ll look at that ~ often perplexing ~ portion of the Lord s Prayer o We know God wants to guide us and provide for us So why do we sometimes we find ourselves in difficult and challenging situations As we study God s Word an over-riding principle that we must always apply to interpret Scripture in light of the rest of God s Holy Word o That s why we had 2 verses in Scripture Reading: Matt 6:13 & Jam 1:13 o When we first hear these two verses they seem to contradict each other SO how do we reconcile this apparent incongruity To start ~ we need to understand what Jesus DIDN T SAY o He DIDN T tell us to pray: Lord, do not tempt us 1

2 Truth is: God doesn t entice us to sin; but; He does allow the Tempter to tempt us o Important to understand how our Loving Heavenly Father operates Job 1:8 ~ 12 God didn t tempt Job ~ but He did allow the devil to try o God even treated His only begotten Son in this way: Mark 1:12/13 a Notice it was the Holy Spirit who sent Jesus He s following God s lead BUT notice who did the tempting: Satan Need to understand there are two competing reasons for the temptations we face o The devil temps us in an attempt to brings us down ~ to separate us from God God allows temptations as a test to build us up spiritually to strengthened us and, to validate our faith So today s portion of the Lord s Prayer could be paraphrased: o Do Not Let us Yield to Temptation; but, deliver us from the EVIL ONE Jack Blanco in Clear Word: Don t leave us alone when our loyalty to you is tested. Help us overcome every temptation which the evil one brings against us o Today we re going to look at the stages of temptation and strategies for turning down temptation STRAGES OF TEMPTION To turn down temptation we must always remember and apply the counsel shared in 1 Peter 5:6 ~ 9 a o Also we must also be attentive to the schemes and methods of the Evil One Let s consider the 5 stages of temptation 2

3 First Stage: DESIRE Please know not all desires are bad o God has given us good desires ~ such as thirst, rest, and even hunger But there are evil desires and the Evil One tries to get us to satisfy our God-given good desires in perverted ways For example ~ thirst o It can drive us to crave and consume water good We can also choose to drink alcohol not healthy, nor good for us Or how about ~ rest a great gift from our Loving God o When we rest on the seventh day that s a good thing But too much rest on the other 6 days results in the sin of laziness o About this time of day ~ many of us experience Hunger Notice how the Evil One used this desire to tempt Jesus Matt 4:2-4 Satan was tempting Jesus to use His Devine Power for selfish reasons Second Stage: DECEIT o The Bible shares something important for us in Jam 1:14 enticed = to entrap or allure Temptation always comes dressed in sheep s clothing o Satan tries to deceive us by making something sinful look delightful Like with Adam and Eve ~ our Enemy tries to get us to think we ll never be happy or fulfilled unless we take the forbidden fruit o There are three specific ways the Evil One entices (deceives us): 1 John 2:16 lust of the flesh refers to anything that appeals to our desires/appetites Satan tries to entice us to satisfy a craving in a way God forbids 3

4 lust of the eyes refers to enticement by visual means We see something and wanting it so badly ~~ we sin to get it pride of life (or boasting NIV) describes when pride causes us to try to impress people by bragging or embellishing what we have or done This also leads some to become work-a-lolics ignoring family and church to impress people w/prestige, position or property These are the three ways Satan can temp ~ entice ~ us: lust, greed, & pride o After His baptism ~ Satan temped Jesus in these same three ways This is why Paul offers us a powerful statement: 1 Corth 10:13 a Every temptation we ll ever face will come in one of these three forms: lust, greed, or pride ~~ and we re not alone Internal Trans ~ first comes desire ~ then deceit ~ and then: DELUSION o When we temptation long enough Satan helps us mislead ourselves We start to think what God calls sin ~~ if OK for us Yes its wrong for everyone else; but, but we re the exception o We think we can play w/ the fire and we won t get burned We can violate God s percepts ~ w/o consequences Our self-imposed delusion leads us to forget the truth in Gal 6:7 DISOBEDIENCE o When we are saturated in our delusion the next step seems perfectly right We act ~~ let s notice how Jam 1:15 describes the result of this forth stage of temptation 4

5 Internal Trans ~ That first stage DESIRE sets in motion a chain of events that results in DISOBEDIENCE and our sinful disobedience is followed by: DISGRACE o Folks who choose to sin ~ especially on a moral issue ~ usually become overwhelmed with shame They disgrace themselves their family their church and their Lord o The Bible states the wages of sin is death In addition to the death of everlasting separation from God Sin brings death to self-respect ~ reputation ~ sometimes friendships and even family relationships o Some are so overwhelmed with disgrace and guilt they literally take their own lives Center for Disease Control states suicide is: 3 rd leading cause of death for 10 to 24 yr olds 2 nd leading cause of death for 25 to 34 yr olds o Good News: all these varieties of death are avoidable The same God who condemns sin also provides us complete forgiveness and cleansing ~~ if we but ask: 1 John 1:9 Church Sign Before there was any sin ~ there was a Savior TRANS: There are five stages of temptation: desire ~ deceit ~ delusion ~ disobedience ~ and disgrace o Now let consider the strategies for turning down temptations 5

6 STRATEGIES FOR TURNING DOWN TEMPTATION We never have to give into temptation unless we want to sin ( Pause ) o Let s go back to 1 Corth 10:13 ~ a powerful 3-fold promise: First we don t face anything new ~ others {including Jesus} have encountered the same type of temptation & overcame it Second if God allows it ~ He knows we can to face it successfully God sent Moses into the cul-da-sac of Red Sea, Mounts, Egyptians Third with the temptation comes the way of dealing with it ~ parting There are three general strategies for dealing with temptations: WE CAN FIGHT o We fight by resisting the desires that are trying to entice us Jam 4:7 The example of Christ shows us that our only hope of victory is in continual resistance of Satan s attacks. He who triumphed over the adversary of souls in the conflict of temptations understands Satan s power over the race, and has conquered him in our behalf. As an overcomer, He has given us the advantage of His victory, that in our efforts to resist the temptations of Satan we may unite our weakness to His strength, our worthlessness to His merits. And sustained by His enduring might under the strength of temptation, we may resist in His all-powerful name, and overcome as He overcame. Signs of the Times, March 4, o We can fight and win because Jesus has already defeated Satan We fight by replacing the sinful thoughts with an appropriate Scripture Instead of thinking ~ I can t resist we claim: Phil 4:13 WE CAN FLEE o If fighting isn t working fast enough than we can flee Change the TV channel ~ put away the book/magazine, or turn off your I-pad or smart phone it might even require you changing jobs 2 Tim 2:22 a 1 Corth 6:18 o Want to see resisting - then fleeing - in action: Joseph Gen Chpt 39 Often the best tool for resisting temptation is a good pair of running shoes Don t deliberate nor negotiate ~~ just evacuate!! 6

7 WE shold always be FEEDING o When tempted by Satan ~ Jesus resisted by quoting Scripture Each time He said, It is written o Feeding our minds with God s Word is essential for turning away from temptation Psm 119:11 ~ V Tim 3:16/17 o Yes ~ God does allows us to be tempted by the Evil One but God provides us with a fail-proof weapons which Satan cannot withstand First the Word of God BUT if you don t have the weapon ~ then it s not very effective o No soldier would fight the enemy leaving the rifle in the tent We re reminded of another weapon in 1 John 4:4 b The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth ~ helps us understand and use the Word of God o Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit will help us recall Scripture when we need it Very hard to recall something not already there CLOSURE God has promised us provided the resources for us to turn down all temptation o He s revealed the stages of temptation we can know the Enemy s plan Desire ~ Deceit ~ Delusion ~ Disobedience ~ Disgrace o He s provided strategies and resources for We can fight ~ or flee and we must always be FEEDING on God s Word To close let s look at Matt 26:41 7