Faithlife Sermons

Temptation Serie4

Temptation Series
Part 4
“The Door Marked Escape
1 Cor. 10: 13
“Way of Escape” comes from a Greek word meaning, “an exit.”
In every public place you can easily find doors with an “exit” sign above them. (Point to our own signs)
The moment there is a fire or some other dangerous situation, the first thing people do is look for the exit sign, a way of escape.
In the same way, God promises that in the event of a dangerous temptation, He will provide an exit, a way out that you “may be able to bear up under it.”
So, how do we recognize that door? How does it appear? How can we find it?
Three ways God provides an escape route:
The warnings of the Holy Spirit
God guides His children by His Spirit, Who lives within us.
And the Bible teaches that one of the ways He does this is by the PEACE the Spirit gives.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”—Phil 4:7
The word “guard” means “to be a watcher at the gate; to guard as a lookout; to protect.
So, God’s peace is like a guard that has been posted at the door of our heart.
The idea is that if something is from God, the child of God will experience deep, reassuring peace.
We sense that God is saying, “This is good. There’s nothing to worry about.”
But if something is not of God, the Holy Spirit takes His peace away.
Instead of peace we feel checked, we lose our peace, we feel warned.
Now the verb construction of this word “guard” means “IN ADVANCE.”
We are warned by the Holy Spirit in advance, at the very beginning of a temptation.
When the bait first comes within our line of view we are warned, before the temptation has an opportunity to ensnare us.
This is God’s number one exit plan.
The exitsign begins to flash before we bite the bait, before we initially give in, before we’re too weak to back away.
The best way to beat temptation is to respond immediately to God’s initial warnings.
Don’t debate, negotiate, or procrastinate in the presence of the Tempter.
For instance, Jesus said in Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
What should we remember about Lot’s wife?
The angels of God had appeared to Lot in Sodom. The city was about to be judged for their terrible immorality.
The angels said to Lot in Genesis 19:
"Hurry up! Get out! You and your family. If you don't, you will be swept away…”
And this perfectly illustrates God’s door of escape.
This is the way the Holy Spirit warns us:
“Hurry up! Respond now! Get out! Seize the moment!”
Next, the angels commanded the family of Lot,
“Don’t look back!
Meaning, “Don’t look back with desire for that place, make a clean break and do it now.”
But as they fled, Lot’s wife tragically looked back. The Bible records:
“But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” 19:26
The message of Lot’s wife is: Don’t linger long when God has told you to flee.
He who lingers in the presence of temptation assures defeat with every passing second.
The BEST DOOR of escape is this FIRST DOOR.
Learning to respond immediately to God’s warnings is a key to victory over temptation.
The first door of escape is the Warning of the Holy Spirit.
A second door of escape is:
Being armed and ready (locked and loaded) with the Word of God
ILLUS: Pretend that the Holy Spirit is a soldier who lives inside of you.
For the soldier to be effective, he must have access to ammunition for the battle.
The ammunition he uses is scripture—different scriptures for different occasions.
And there is an ammo room where he finds what he needs. The ammo room is your heart.
David said, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart…”—Ps 119:11
Moses told the Children of Israel:
“Therefore you shall lay up My words in your minds and hearts and in your entire being… Get them deep inside you.”—Deut. 11:18
For example, here’s how it works: (USE THE SWORD)
In a time of PERSONAL NEED, the soldier runs to the ammo room to find scripture passages about Provision that you have read, and returns placing the Sword of the Spirit into your hands:
“My God shall provide for all your needs…”
Likewise, in the TIME OF TEMPTATION the Soldier—the Holy Spirit—goes to the ammo room, grabs the passages having to do with Temptation, and places the Sword of the Spirit into your hands:
“No temptation has taken you but what is common to man, but God is faithful…”
He is able to help us when we are being tempted.”—Heb. 2:18
“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…”—Jude 1:24
“Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him…”—Heb. 7:25
But here’s the hang: If you never read the Word, there is no ammo for the Holy Spirit to access!
But if you read and meditate on it on a regular basis, then the Word of God becomes a SWORD in the Spirit’s hand by which He arms you to defeat the Tempter, thus opening a way of escape!
This is why David wrote:
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. Ps 119:9
Being locked and loaded was Jesus’ path to victory. He quoted the Word and the Tempter fled.
So, the doors of escape God provides during temptation are: The Promptings of the Holy Spirit, The Ammunition of the Word of God, and a THIRD DOOR is:
A Sudden Moment of Clarity
In Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son, He said that the day arrived when the Runaway Renegade son had a sudden moment of clarity.
The Bible says: …he came to himself…”—Luke 15:17
A moment of clarity happens when the bubble of deception suddenly bursts.
You see the temptation for what it is.
The moment of clarity causes you to ask the question, “What am I doing?”
The Prodigal looked around at the life he was living and asked, “What am I doing? My Father’s house was far better than this!”
You see what’s happening from God’s perspective in the moment of clarity.
You recognize the trap for what it is.
You understand who’s behind it.
The shades are suddenly pulled open. The sunshine of clarity floods in.
You catch a merciful glimpse of the consequences should you continue.
This moment of clarity is the mercy of God opening a door of escape, that you might do the right thing.
“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted more than you can stand, but will open a way out that you may be able to bear it.”
The Prompting of the Spirit, The Ammunition of the Word, and the Moment of Clarity are three of those doors.
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