Summary: Temptation is something that we battle on a daily basis. What is temptation? Temptation is a pivotal moment in time when we have the choice to do right or to do wrong based solely on our own choices. Temptation does not come from God. James tells us in 1:
Temptation is something each of us faces everyday! Temptation is something that we battle on a daily basis. What is temptation? Temptation is a pivotal moment in time when we have the choice to do right or to do wrong based solely on our own choices. Temptation does not come from God. James tells us in 1:13-14 this about temptation: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
We must remember first and foremost that temptation is a tool of Satan against our lives. Satan is the great tempter. He is the one who tempts us in order to make us stumble and fall. He is the one who tempts us and causes us to compromise our testimonies as believers and/or embarrass the name of Jesus. Temptation is an ongoing battle of evil within our own lives.
However, Rick Warren says this about temptation: “Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.” In other words, when we as believers understand temptation and overcome it, that temptation or that tempting moment in our lives can actually become a stepping stone toward spiritual maturity, rather than a stumbling block into sin. The truth about temptation is this: Temptation is as much an occasion to do the right thing as it is for us to do the wrong thing.
While Satan is using temptation as a weapon of mass destruction in your life, God allows temptation in order to develop your spiritual life. What God is doing is developing our character! Character development always involves a choice. Temptation provides that opportunity of choice for us every day when we have to choose between what is right and what is wrong, or when we choose whom we will follow. What God’s Word teaches us is that every time we overcome and defeat temptation, we become more and more like Jesus!
Today we want to learn to deal with temptation by learning to comprehend temptation. In other words, we want to discover how temptation works in our lives. Next Sunday, we will learn how to conquer temptation.
This morning we are going to learn to comprehend Satan’s pattern of temptation by looking at Genesis 3:1-13. This is where it all began. At the first moment of temptation in the garden, there was a failure to conquer temptation. Today, let’s learn from the mistakes of Adam and Eve in an effort to comprehend temptation. (READ PASSAGE).
I want you to understand first and foremost today that Satan is very predictable. His pattern and strategy for tempting us has not changed since the garden of evil. As we look at this pattern of temptation we can see the same pattern in the life of David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, we can see it in the story of Achan who hid the treasure beneath his tent, etc. on and on we could go seeing this pattern. Mainly, I want you to see how Satan uses this pattern of temptation in your own life to cause you to stumble and fall!
From this passage, we learn that Temptation always follows a 5 step process:
Steps of Temptation
I. THE STEP OF DISOBEDIENCE (3:6)
Disobedience . . . none of us likes to think ourselves to be disobedient, but we are. None of us likes to see ourselves as the defiant child ignoring God our Father, living our own lives, doing our own things, and missing His warnings, but we are. The truth of the matter is that each of us has been born with a disobedient, rebellious spirit and nature toward God and all that is good. You do not have to teach even the smallest child how to say “no” or how to disobey his/her parents. It comes to us naturally.
What we learn in Genesis 3:6 is that Satan, as a lying, tempting serpent is talking to Eve. Where was Eve? Eve was standing near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why was she standing near that tree? Back in 2:16-17, look at what God had commanded Adam . . . Now, God’s command is that you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but where is Eve? She is standing near the tree? Why? The answer is simple: DISOBEDIENCE. I wonder how many times she walked by that tree daily thinking to herself, “Why can’t we eat of that tree? What makes that tree so different that any other tree? Why would God put such restrictions on me? I just cannot understand what God is up to when He says for me to stay away from that 1 tree.”