Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How to avoid temptation and recover from temptation

God will show you how to escape from your temptations. Wow! What an incredible insight by Paul. Not only will He never give us more than we can bear, He will show us the way out of those situations and conditions in life that we use to separate ourselves from the love of God.

How many times throughout history has this part of the “tests” in our lives been forgotten about? People make statements about God testing them, or I have even heard people say something along the lines of “I must have done something wrong, so God is punishing me.” People come to assume that God is wrathful in his judgment and He wants us to pay dearly when we sin. Moreover, these “tests” are forms of punishment of the judgment past. Much like ancient Greek heroes had to perform tasks to appease an angry god, or how Job’s friends and neighbors assumed that he had angered God in some way.

However the truth of the matter is God, gives us tasks to do each and every day. These tasks may seem impossible at first, however as Paul states, He does not give us any more than we can possibly handle at one time. God knows us inside and out. He knows what is best for us and how close He can push us even beyond where we thought possible.

However, we being human, more often than not, tend to doubt our own abilities and strengths. We allow our fears of what could happen to get in the way of how God can make it happen for us.

Often times, people have a hard time stepping out on faith during times of trial or a sense of the unknown. People tend to turn inward, “circle the wagons, raise the drawbridge” so to speak. We retreat to what is comfortable and safe for us.

For example, stewardship and tithing often meet with resistance and fear. What do I mean by tithing? That is giving at base, 10% of what you earn as an offering to God. For many people this is a scary concept. The first words that enter into some people’s mind is, “I can’t possibly make that”, or “I’m on a fixed income” or countless other reasons before they actually look at trying to do it.

You see there is an innate fear that we won’t be able to make it on the remainder. This is the trial God puts before us, the temptation is to rationalize and say well, “Ten percent is a nice idea, however, I need to save

up for a rainy day, because I never know when I’ll need it.”

This is the same thing the Israelites did in the Wilderness, remember what it was they were afraid they would be with out? Let me read Exodus 16:15-21

When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: `Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’" The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.

And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning." However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. (Exodus 16:15-21 NIV)

The Israelites feared that there would not be any tomorrow, so they tried to horde what God had given them in the first place. This is the same thing a person who makes excuses as to why they cannot give a tithe to God is doing. The money is not actually theirs in the first place, and secondly just like the Israelites they have let fear get in the way of believing that God will take care of them in any situation.

However, in both cases God provides a means for which he keeps us from falling victim to temptation. He provided the Israelites the instructions as well as proof that He would be there for them. He had given them water when they were thirsty, protected them from the Pharaoh’s Army, and led them across the Wilderness of Sin.

If a person allows God to take charge of their lives, and take that step of faith. Often times a person can be rewarded far beyond anything they could have hoped for or dreamed possible.

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