A. Causes of Defeat
A. Causes of Defeat
The heartwarming fairy tale of Snow White mirrors the Genesis story of Eve’s disastrous fall into temptation in the Garden of Eden.
Although she was ardently instructed to beware of the evil queen, Snow White was drawn by her own desire to taste the dazzling apple … so drawn by its appeal that she never recognized the evil from whence it came.
You know the rest … with the bite came a sleeping death that could be reversed only by her savior, the prince.
Although a picture of innocence, Snow White had not learned to recognize and deal with temptation.
It almost cost her life!
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ()
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Satan’s Avenues of Appeal
Satan’s Avenues of Appeal
Satan, “prince of this world” and “god of this age,” is our formidable accuser and adversary.
As ruler of the kingdom of the air, he uses all his resources, including the ways of the world and the desires of our flesh to entice, allure and tempt us to follow him in sinful disobedience to God.
“You were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” ()
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
• Satan enticed Eve to disobey God and act independently of His will.
• Satan tempted Eve to act on her physical desires to … taste what is good.
• Satan tempted Eve through her natural desire to … have what is pleasing to the eye.
• Satan tempted Eve by appealing to her need for significance and her prideful desire to … “be like God.”
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”
• Satan enticed Jesus to act for Himself, independently of His Father.
• Satan tempted Jesus to meet His own physical needs … turn the stones into bread.
• Satan tempted Jesus by displaying something unusually desirable … “showed him all the kingdoms of the world.”
• Satan tempted Jesus by seeking to get Him to prove His own significance … “if you are the Son of God.”
16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
• Satan entices me to act independently of God and attempt to meet my own needs.
• Satan tempts me to follow my physical desires … “lust of the flesh (KJV).”
• Satan tempts me to go after what is visually desirable … “lust of the eyes (KJV).”
• Satan tempts me through my desire for personal significance … “pride of life (KJV).”
“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” ()
9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
In response to each offer by Satan, Jesus quoted the Word of God.
He established the pattern we are to follow.
Victory comes when you learn to stand on truth and on the promises of God.
B. Root Cause
B. Root Cause
Once Satan gets his foot in the door to your heart, holy ground is lost because your emotions are allowed to control your thinking.
“This is so tempting that right now I want it more than anything else. Although I know it’s wrong, I feel that I need it.”
Although I may feel miserable for a time, I know what God wants for my life is best. I will become more like Christ by depending on His strength to resist temptation.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ()
22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.