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Text:  Proverbs 7:1-27
– Cohort student that I mentor at WJU called for counsel; he’s a youth minister; drifting moral behavior; had to withdraw from school to get his life back in order.
/“How could this have happened?
Where did I go wrong?
Why did I have to end up like this?”/
The time to ask these questions is not *after* we’ve blown it and brought disgrace and ruin upon ourselves.
The time to ask these questions is *before* we’re ever faced with temptation! 
I’m not the originator of that thought…Solomon was, centuries ago when, as a father, he penned some advice to his son.
As we read chapter 7 of Proverbs, keep in mind this is a father who wants his son to turn out right.
He’s telling his son ahead of time what to expect, and what to avoid.
His words may have been written with an ink quill on papyrus long ago, but they are preventative medicine to any child of Solomon many centuries removed.
As I read them, it’s like the ink has barely dried.
This chapter is really about *compromise.*
Solomon wants his son to understand the process a person goes through when giving in to temptation.
To illustrate his point, he describes a young man who gives in to the enticements of a prostitute.
But the lessons we are going to gain from this passage go far beyond this illustration.
His wisdom will help us with all kinds of compromising situations.
Let your spiritual father, Solomon, speak to your heart about your own battles with compromise.
*I.         **7:1-5*   *Positive Exhortation Before a Negative Illustration.
A.    Solomon realizes how far wisdom carried him, so he encourages his son to hold on to wisdom.
B.    Treasure it; keep it in front of you, in your conscious thoughts; use physical reminders; memorize it; make it your close friend.
C.    How will wisdom help?
Wisdom is the skill of applying God’s Word to daily situations.
It is the *means* that will help you maintain your integrity.
D.    We need to cultivate an insatiable thirst for wisdom.
Every day drink deeply from God’s Word.
** 7:6-7*   *Compromise Flourishes When the Decision to Do Right is Not Made Ahead of Time.
A.    Right away we can tell he is headed for trouble: “A naïve youth lacking sense.”
This gives you an insight into his /moral *im*maturity./
“Naïve” means he has no clear moral standards.
He’s never made up his mind about the values he will live by.
He just goes with the flow of whatever the current is flowing beside him.
C.    It’s like spending a bonus check…you have to decide *before* you go to the store.
Overcoming moral temptations is just the same.
You have to make up your mind *ahead of time* what you will do.
D.    Satan makes sure the steps of compromise are very small so they are not recognized.
That’s why we need to decide *right now* not to live the approved norm of the rest of the world!
\\ *III.
* *7:8-9*   *Compromise Occurs When You Underestimate Evil and Flirt With Temptation.
A.    Wow!
This guy is playing with fire and the prostitute hasn’t even entered the story yet!
But you know something is coming because he’s in the *wrong place at the wrong time!* 
He has no business in that part of the town, at that time of the night.
It’s obvious he’s flirting with temptation.
There are some who say that playing with evil doesn’t have to lead to sin.
To me, that is not only *foolish*, but it’s *ungodly*!
“What fellowship does light have with darkness?”
If you are a man pursuing godliness, you make every effort to keep yourself as pure as you can…not see how much you can get away with!  It’s *always* dangerous to underestimate evil!
**  7:10-11*   *Compromise is Always Just a Choice Away.
A.    In this situation compromise lurks in the form of a prostitute.
Opportunities for compromise are everywhere.
After all, Satan is aggressive, always waiting for you, ready to pounce.
4:7  “*Desire” – /teshuqah/ – to want to take the role of authority, to dominate.
“Master” – /mashal/ – to rule, to subdue.
B.    *Prov**.
7:12  Guys*, evil is all around us, and if we play with it, it will inevitably bring us down!
There are 3 dangerous sources of evil we need to expose:  \\ 1) The World – it’s the value system *around* you that does not put Christ first in their lives.
*1 Jn 2:15-16*  \\ 2) The Flesh – this is the source of evil that is present *in* ourselves.
5:19-21  Some* of us have no trouble identifying ourselves in that list.
For the rest of you, you’re covered in the phrase “and things like these.”
\\ 3) The Devil – Satan is your sworn enemy.
He’s conniving…he works in concert with the world and the flesh to entice us to compromise.  1 Pet.
5:8  Peter said “roaring lion”…not barking poodle.
He’s on the loose, he’s dangerous, and he’s hungry!
He’s powerful, and his purpose is to *eat you for lunch!*
D.    Like the prostitute in Prov.
7, the temptation to compromise is everywhere.
It’s just a choice away.
It can happen to anyone…anytime…anywhere.
* *
*            *Think about this guys, Satan has 6,000 years of experience of bending the human mind.
He’s very patient.
It’s a plan to soften us up by gradually weakening our spiritual defenses through worldly compromise…the slow trickle of erosion that goes unseen by the unsuspecting eye.
By gradual erosion, he is diluting our moral resolve that won’t endure the real test when he come at us with a baited trap that we just cannot resist.
\\             The trap is sprung…he’s waiting for you to take the fatal step!
Is his patient plan working?
Look at the movies you watch…look at the things you secretly embrace in your heart.
What imagination scenarios do you go over and over in your mind?
What change has taken place over the last 20 years?
Will another 20 years find you being able to distinguish light from darkness?
Satan appears as an angel of light…*/but it’s only tinsel!!/*  The True Light, the bright Morning Star is */JESUS!!!/*
            Satan’s strategy is that the DMZ zone between the Lord’s side and his own side is a */wide zone/*…that way no one really knows where the */crossing-over line is!!/*
So the soldier ventures out at night, a little step here, a little step there, because the seductive lady on the other side knows his eyes are fixed on her…not on the buried land mine!!
            Is there anyone out there that sees the danger and will sound the alarm?!!  Nothing can be more compassionate than to interrupt your brother from going the wrong direction with a warning, and then fall on your knees together to ask for strength to fight the fight!!  We MUST warn one another…the DMZ zone is widening right in front of our eyes!
When there’s no guard at the post, the enemy deceitfully */infiltrates/* the camp to seduce the unsuspecting!
25:1-12, 16-18      Rom.
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