Summary: We cannot play around with temptation because we are not strong enough to resist it for long, and when temptation is taken, it will always lead us into sin - away from God.
Have you ever noticed how opportunity only knocks once, but temptation seems to keep banging away until you answer the door? It’s always there waiting to entice us, and unless we are constantly on guard against it, we will slip and succumb to it. It might be the temptation of fear; the temptation of selfishness; or any other temptation of the world. And we always have to be on guard so that we don’t accept any of it – even a little of it.
Today, I want to talk to you about something that I believe needs to be talked about more often in churches today. I want to talk to you about ….
1. BEING ON THE ALERT TO SEE THE TEMPTATIONS
All of us need to be watchful for temptation, but in today’s world, I would think that our young men and women need to be even extra cautious. I recently heard a story that was aimed primarily at teens, and I want to repeat it to you today. And I want each one of you who are teenagers to listen very carefully to make sure you fully understand the meaning behind this story.
Two teens wanted to go see an “R” rated movie. Their dad said absolutely not. He said it had adult content of all kinds in that movie and it was no place for them. They argued that some of their friends had seen it and said that most of the movie was okay, it was just a few small parts and those weren’t enough to hurt anyone. The father said ‘No’ again and the boys got mad. The father told them to go watch TV, so they did.
A few minutes later, they heard the dad in the kitchen rustling around the pots and pans. Then in a little while, they smelled the wonderful smell that only fresh-baked brownies can smell like. They smiled and figured that their dad was making something for them because he was sorry he angered them.
In a little while, the father brought in a whole plate full of brownies that had been cut and stacked. He offered them to the two boys and each took one. The dad said, “Now before you eat these, you need to know something. I used nothing but natural ingredients. I also used the best ingredients possible.
“But I put something extra in the mix that the recipe didn’t call for.” The boys questioned what it was, and finally the father said he had gone out in the back yard and got just a little doggy stuff to mix in with it. The boys almost got sick. They freaked out and said, “You put dog stuff in our brownies? What’s the matter with you, are you trying to poison us?”
The dad tried to explain that just a little wasn’t going to hurt them at all, and the rest of the brownies were really good. The kids didn’t buy it for a minute. The more the father kept trying to say just a little wouldn’t hurt, the more the kids were against ever eating them.
Finally the father said, “Now you understand why I don’t want you to go to an “R” rated movie. Just a little doesn’t seem to matter, but as you see in the brownies, just a little is still vile and unhealthy.” He then told the boys that there wasn’t really any dog stuff in the brownies, but they still threw them away.
Just a little temptation can still take its toll on our minds and hearts. A doctor asked the man how he broke his arm, and the man said he broke it in a bar. The doctor told him to stay out of those places. And certainly, it would be to our best interest to stay away from all forms of temptation.
There is another temptation that we all seem to fall for, and that is when we see someone else, who has succumbed to temptation in their life. We must be careful, because there are three things we don’t know.
We do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin; we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her; and we do not know what we would have done in the same situation..
JAMES 1:13-15 states,
‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire ahs conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.’
We all have personal struggles in our lives, don’t we? Today, I want to talk about overcoming those struggles. Not just the struggles that come from without, but the struggles that come from within. I want to talk to you about having victory over the many temptations we have in our lives.