Summary: This sermon helps people understand that God has promised us deliverence from temptation...if only we will allow Him!
“God Promises Deliverance
Tonight we talk about temptation. And lets begin by understanding temptation. Being tempted is not a sin. In the gospels we learn that even Jesus was tempted, so temptation cannot be a sin. It is the giving in to temptation that is wrong.
We have used this illustration before; You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest!!
Temptation is that bird. It comes from a personal thought, a suggestion by another, or another form, but you are being tempted to entertain a thought or do something you should not. That is temptation.
For Jesus, in Matthew chapter 4 we find that after Jesus had been fasting for 40 days the devil tempts him to turn stones in to food. Food probably sounds good to a person who hasn’t eaten for 40 days. Then the devil told Jesus to jump off the temple and prove that angels would catch him. Jesus was being tempted to prove who He was, to prove His claims. Then the devil finished things off by saying, bow down to me and I’ll give you all the world. He was telling Jesus he would let him have his position as ruler of things in this world. That may sound good if you don’t think it through, to go ahead and get these things, it removes the devil’s control, means you won’t have to be crucified.
The devil will always tempt you with something relevant to you. Discipleship Journal ranked its readers greatest spiritual challenges or temptations this way;
• Anger/holding a grudge
• Lying and on.....
Now most of you can say, yeah I have struggled with that. Then you might add to the list some things the devil uses against you, like;
• Unforgiving heart
But that’s the things with temptation. The devil will go for your weakness, whatever it may be that day, week, month, or year.
The devil will in fact change his tactics as you grow in Christ. My guess is what the devil used to use to tempt you doesn’t work anymore, so he has gone on to bigger and better ways!! If he hasn’t, you’re not growing in Christ, and you need to get past those things in your life.
Now, the promise. Let’s read I Cor. 10:13;
What an important piece of scripture!!!!
God’s Word says this;
• You are not the first to face this
• God is faithful to you
• God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear
• God will give you a way out
Think about those things. One, temptation is common. Don’t beat yourself up, it doesn’t mean your not a Christian. It’s normal.
God is faithful and is watching you, and will not let the devil put on you more than you can bear.
Plus, God gives us a way out.
Now, lets get serious. God is aware of what is going on, and so are you. And God has given us so many ways out it is not even funny, yet often we just simply give in to temptation!!
First of all, when you are tempted, and you are a Christian, you know as well as I do, a red flag immediately goes up and says, “NO!”. Now, this is when God says, remember I provide a way out.
But I want you to notice tonight that God has already provided us with the ways to fight temptation.
As our example Jesus fought off the devil with scripture. We have the means to pray and ask God fro strength, the strength we talk about god providing to us last week. You have also been provided with a “free-will” to say, “NO”.
God has certainly given us a way out. The truth becomes clear here that there is never an excuse for sin. There is always a way to avoid it. That is God’s promise.
Now that means more Bible reading, more prayer, changing what you watch, where you go, who you spend time with, and so on, but it is avoidable!!
In the story of Joseph, he was being tempted by the devil to have an affair with Potiphar, his boss’s wife. She came on to him daily. And he would refuse, just like we must do when we are tempted, but what finally gave him victory over her was when he “ran away”.
God will give you a way out, which more often than not is just remember your commitment to Him, remember His Word, and simply refusing.
But at times we put ourselves outside of God’s protection from temptation by the choices we make, and if you realize this.....”run away” and back into the arms of our Lord.
You can’t make it without Him, and God says, with Him you are sure too.
We do not have to be defeated by temptation, so begin a better defense today!!!