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Lesson 07 - Handling Temptation

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INTRODUCTION

 

1.      Who among us can say we have NEVER been TEMPTED

a.       TEMPTED to THINK wrong THOUGHTS

b.      TEMPTED to SAY wrong WORDS

c.       TEMPTED to DO wrong THINGS

2.      Temptation is as OLD as MANKIND

a.       Temptation STARTED with Adam and Eve in that beautiful GARDEN

b.      Temptation still is USED by SATAN to wreck CHRISTIAN lives

c.       As my boy would say ‘same ole, same ole’

                                                              i.      Same ole TEMPTATION

                                                            ii.      Hasn’t CHANGED in all these thousands and thousands of years

3.      How then do we handle TEMPTATION?

a.       How do we TURN DOWN temptation?

FIRST:  WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW SATAN USES TEMPTATION

 

1.      Satan uses TEMPTATION to lead us into SIN by getting us to think NEGATIVELY about God’s WORD

a.       In the FIRST temptation Satan came to Eve in the form of a SERPENT

                                                              i.      The SERPENT, Satan, suggested:

1.      That GOD was just too STRICT

2.      That GOD was just too CONFINING

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

                                                            ii.      Isn’t that the MIND set today

1.      That GOD is just too STRICT

2.      That GOD is just too CONFINING

                                                          iii.      Satan is saying that it sure is AWFUL that God is so HARD on you

                                                          iv.      Oh, you poor little thing

                                                            v.      Satan is getting Eve,

1.      Satan is getting US on our little PITY party mood

b.      In Satan’s bag of TRICKS, he is trying to get EVE to think NEGATIVELY about God

                                                              i.      Suggesting that God is somehow HOLDING out on her

                                                            ii.      Suggesting that God is somehow DENYING her happiness and pleasure

                                                          iii.      Suggesting that God is so NARROW minded that He FORBIDS enjoyment

c.       ACTUALLY what God told Adam and Eve was very POSITIVE

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

 

                                                              i.      Freedom to have at it

                                                            ii.      Freedom to ENJOY yourselves

                                                          iii.      BUT with FREEDOM comes a limit

                                                          iv.      Their FREEDOM came with only ONE exception:

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

d.      Satan has NOT changed in all these years

                                                              i.      He still TRIES to get us to FORGET all the POSITIVE that God gives us

                                                            ii.      He still TRIES to get us to think NEGATIVELY about God’s Word

                                                          iii.      He still TRIES to get us to think that God is ROBBING us of our happiness

                                                          iv.      Oh, you poor little thing

e.       When those thoughts CREEP into our minds – and they WILL – we need to recognize the SOURCE

                                                              i.      SATAN

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

 

f.       We need to recognize too that EVERY command in the Bible is in there for a REASON

                                                              i.      God LOVES us

                                                            ii.      God wants us to be HAPPY, HEALTHY and HOLY

g.      Satan got Adam and Eve to think NEGATIVELY about God

                                                              i.      Satan got Adam and Eve to QUESTION God

h.      Satan is STILL working on God’s people

                                                              i.      Satan is STILL trying to get Christians to think NEGATIVELY about God

i.        And when SATAN succeeds he gets us to SIN

                                                              i.      That is Satan’s GOAL

                                                            ii.      BUT if this TACTIC does NOT work, Satan has more:

2.      Satan uses TEMPTATION to lead us into SIN by getting us to think LIGHTLY about God’s WARNINGS

a.       God WARNED Adam and Eve NOT to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

                                                              i.      IF they do -  they will DIE

                                                            ii.      But Satan TELLS Eve:

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

                                                          iii.      Satan tells Eve that GOD is just playing a MIND game with you

                                                          iv.      Satan tells Eve that GOD will NOT let you DIE

                                                            v.      Satan tells Eve NOT to worry about God’s WARNINGS

b.      The Bible is FULL of COMMANDS

                                                              i.      Commands are GOD’S LAWS

                                                            ii.      IF a law has NO penalty - then IT is just a SUGGESTION

                                                          iii.      SORRY, the Bible is NOT filled with God’s SUGGESTIONS

1.      It is filled with God’s LAW

c.       Adam and Eve believed SATAN

                                                              i.      So, they ATE

d.      What happened WHEN they ATE?

                                                              i.      They IMMEDIATELY died in SPIRIT

                                                            ii.      They IMMEDIATELY became SINNERS

                                                          iii.      They IMMEDIATELY began to die PHYSICALLY

1.      Eventually their bodies would return to DUST

2.      Eventually they would return back to the very elements from which God CREATED them

e.       Jesus still WARNS us about SATAN

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

                                                              i.      Satan is a LIAR

                                                            ii.      Satan wants to DESTROY our HAPPINESS

                                                          iii.      Satan wants to DESTROY our HEALTH

                                                          iv.      Satan wants to DESTROY our HOLINESS

f.       Satan is still MAD at God for throwing him out of HEAVEN

                                                              i.      Since Satan can not HURT God

                                                            ii.      He goes after the NEXT best thing – those whom God loves – Christians

                                                          iii.      Satan tempts us to think NEGATIVELY about God’s WORD

                                                          iv.      Satan tempts us to think LIGHTLY about God’s COMMANDS

                                                            v.      But Satan still has MORE tactics:

3.      Satan uses TEMPTATION to lead us into SIN by getting us to think only of PLEASURE

a.       Satan certainly does NOT want us to think about any LONG TERM effects of sin

                                                              i.      NO, Satan wants us to think only of the MOMENT

b.      Satan wanted Eve to think only of that ONE forbidden tree

                                                              i.      Of the thousands of TREES, to think only of that ONE

                                                            ii.      Forgetting about all the REST

                                                          iii.      Forgetting about all the PROMISES of God

                                                          iv.      Forgetting

c.       When Satan is tempting us to FORGET that is when WE need to REMEMBER

Prov 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

 

                                                              i.      Satan wants to make FOOLS of us

                                                            ii.      Satan wants us to focus on that which is FORBIDDEN

                                                          iii.      Satan wants us to become OBSESSED with that which is FORBIDDEN

d.      HOW then does Satan TEMPT us:

                                                              i.      Satan TEMPTS us to think NEGATIVELY about God’s WORD

                                                            ii.      Satan TEMPTS us to think LIGHTLY about God’s COMMANDS

                                                          iii.      Satan TEMPTS us to think only on momentary PLEASURE

                                                          iv.      We looked at some of the TACTICS of Satan

HOW THEN CAN WE GET A HANDLE ON TEMPTATION?

 

1.      Yes people and places CHANGE – but TEMPTATION has NOT changed

a.       Satan is STILL working on our MINDS and HEARTS

b.      The BIBLE gives us some TOOLS to help us get a handle on TEMPTATION

2.      FIRST – REDIRECT your thoughts

a.       Remember, in order for Satan to get us to do WRONG, he has to get us to THINK about IT

                                                              i.      That is WHY Satan got Eve to THINK about the Forbidden Tree

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

                                                            ii.      And WHEN she thought about IT enough – she ACTED – she SINNED

b.      Everyday Satan uses the MEDIA to get us to THINK of sin

                                                              i.      Be it magazines, books, internet, videos, television

1.      The list goes on and on

                                                            ii.      NOT all of these medias are BAD in themselves

                                                          iii.      But we need to FILTER that which ENTERS our mind

                                                          iv.      We need to DO what the Psalmist DID:

Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

c.       Satan got Eve to think that IF she ate the Forbidden Fruit, her eyes would be OPEN

                                                              i.      In other words she would be ENLIGHTENED

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

                                                            ii.      In other words God is HOLDING back on you Eve

                                                          iii.      In other words God wants to KEEP you in the DARK Eve

                                                          iv.      BUT that is NOT what God’s Word says:

Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

 

                                                            v.      If we are to get a handle on TEMPTATION we must REDIRECT our thoughts

3.      SECOND: to get a handle on TEMPTATION consider the CONSEQUENCES

a.       Just think about it – TEMPTATION never looks like TEMPTATION

                                                              i.      When Eve LOOKED at the Tree she FAILED to see it as TEMPTATION

1.      The Tree did not look EVIL

2.      The Tree did not look HARMFUL

                                                            ii.      When Eve LOOKED at the Tree it looked GOOD

1.      It looked PLEASANT

2.      It looked DESIRABLE

3.      SO – she ATE

b.      When we FOCUS on the PLEASURE of temptation we become OBLIVIOUS to the CONSEQUENCES

                                                              i.      Came across a story of a MANAGER in a historical mansion in Florida

1.      He was having a problem with tourists TOUCHING the bedspreads and curtains in one of the master bedrooms

2.      The DO NOT TOUCH signs only seemed to encourage the tourists to TOUCH them

3.      So, he changed the SIGN to read WASH HANDS IMMEDIATELY AFTER TOUCHING

4.      Now people thought that the materials were TREATED with some HARMFUL preservatives

5.      The tourists STOPPED touching them

                                                            ii.      The tourists thought about the CONSEQUENCES of their action

c.       Satan can ONLY lead us into sin if we are incredibly SHORTSIGHTED

                                                              i.      Sin is TEMPORARY gratification with LONG TERM consequences

                                                            ii.      Bible tells us that there IS short term pleasure in SIN

                                                          iii.      Bible tells us that SIN is fun for a while

1.      If it weren’t - Satan could NOT tempt us to SIN

                                                          iv.      Moses could have ENJOYED every imaginable sin had he stayed in Egypt

                                                            v.      But that was NOT Moses

Heb. 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

1.      Moses RESISTED temptation

                                                          vi.      To RESIST temptation we must REDIRECT our thoughts

                                                        vii.      To RESIST temptation we must consider the CONSEQUENCES

4.      THIRD:  Pray asking God’s HELP

a.       TWICE Jesus tells us PRAY about TEMPTATION

                                                              i.      In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus TEACHES us:

Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

 

                                                            ii.      Jesus also tells us to:

Matt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

1.      Jesus tells us to ALWAYS be on ALERT

2.      Jesus tells us to BEGIN every day asking God’s HELP

3.      IF we do, God has a PROMISE for us

1 Cor 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

4.      God will NOT allow us to be tempted BEYOND what we can RESIST

5.      God will ALWAYS make a way to ESCAPE

                                                          iii.      If we WANT God to help us RESIST temptation, we must ask for His help in ADVANCE

1.      To RESIST temptation we must REDIRECT our thoughts

2.      To RESIST temptation we must consider the CONSEQUENCES

3.      To RESIST temptation we must seek God’s help

CONCLUSION

 

1.  Temptation – a problem we all face

a.       We look at some of the TACTICS Satan uses:

a.       Satan TEMPTS us to think NEGATIVELY about God’s WORD

b.      Satan TEMPTS us to think LIGHTLY about God’s COMMANDS

c.       Satan TEMPTS us to think only on momentary PLEASURE

b.      We also looked at the BIBLICAL tools God gives us to handle TEMPTATION

a.       To RESIST temptation we must REDIRECT our thoughts

b.      To RESIST temptation we must consider the CONSEQUENCES

c.       To RESIST temptation we must seek God’s help

2. What should we do when we give in to TEMPTATION? REPENT

     a.  When we REPENT, the slate is wiped CLEAN

     b.  When we REPENT, we have a FRESH start

c.       No matter how MANY times we have failed, GOD FORGIVES if we REPENT

 

 

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