Summary: Every one of us is confronted everyday with temptation from three sources – the world, the flesh, and the devil. None are immune. When temptation comes we can either overcome it or it can overcome us. How we deal with temptation will determine the outcome
Dealing with Temptation
Struggling to make ends meet on a first-call salary, the pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this?" "I was outside the store looking at the dress in the window, and then I found myself trying it on," she explained. "It was like Satan was whispering in my ear, 'You look fabulous in that dress. Buy it!'" "Well," the pastor replied, "You know how I deal with that kind of temptation. I say, 'Get behind me, Satan!'" "I did," replied his wife, "but then he said, 'It looks fabulous from back here, too!' Temptation is all too real. - copied
Every one of us is confronted everyday with temptation from three sources – the world, the flesh, and the devil. None are immune. When temptation comes we can either overcome it or it can overcome us. How we deal with temptation will determine the outcome. Let me share with you four steps for dealing with temptation.
I. Keep in Touch with God
A. We’re all familiar with words to the theme song of Ghostbusters – “Who you going to call? Ghostbusters! Something Weird and it don't look good. Who you going to call. Ghostbusters” But temptation is not fantasy or a fairytale; it’s reality. When were faced with temptation we need to know who to run to. Run to God. Too often instead of running to God, as sinful men we tend to run away and stay from God.
B. James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
C. Matthew 6:13 “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
D. Many pray, “And do not lead us into temptation except when we want to be tempted”
E. Have you heard about the guy who was trying to lose weight, but came to the office one day with two dozen donuts? His co-workers asked him why he got the donuts if he was trying to lose weight. He answered, “I came to the corner where the donut shop was, I told God that if He wanted me to buy some donuts, He’d have to provide a parking spot right in front of the donut shop. Well, God answered my prayer. On the eighth time around the block, there it was!”
F. Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
G. When we are tempted, we need to go immediately to God in prayer and ask Him to help us resist the urge to commit the sin.
H. When a believing person prays, great things happen. Remember prayer changes things.
I. James 5:16b “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
II. Keep God’s Word in Your Heart
A. The Power of God’s Word - "The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it." - Napoleon Bonaparte
B. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
C. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
D. In spiritual warfare as in physical warfare, the effectiveness of any weapon is directly proportionate to the efficiency of the one operating it. For this reason, during a late, great war, the U.S. Army assigned a new recruit one rifle which he kept throughout his training. It was called his "piece," and it became a part of him. The recruit handled the piece continually, disassembling and reassembling it. He cleaned it. He conducted basic maintenance. He carried it 12 hours a day. When crossing rivers or streams his head might have gotten wet, but his piece had to stay dry. Six months later in the heat of battle, the soldier knew every inch of it-every mechanism. He understood things that could malfunction and how to remedy them. He could break it down and reassemble it in just seconds, blindfolded. Man and weapon had become a synchronized and deadly, efficient fighting machine. The spiritual warrior's proficiency with his basic weapons should be no less remarkable. But quite sadly, if believers had to rely on their own Bible familiarity in life and death situations, the majority would helplessly perish.
E. Psalms 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!”
F. If you are unaware of what God has written in the Bible, you will likely listen to what Satan whispers in your ear."- Bill Gordon