Summary: This is the 2nd message in a series of Dealing with Temptation. This message is filled with practical suggestion on how to conquer temptation
Dealing with Temptation
Sermon # 2 “How to Conquer Temptation”
Joshua 7:1, 16-23
Last Sunday we talked about how to comprehend temptation. We showed you from God’s Word how Satan’s temptation strategy is predictable. We saw how he uses the same old methods and lies each time he tempts us to sin. Let me refresh your memory as to the steps of Temptation:
• Step of Disobedience
• Step of Desire
• Step of Doubt
• Step of Deception
• Step of Destruction
This morning we see in our passage how falling prey to temptation can destroy a person’s life, affect those people all around him, and even cost people their lives. One of Satan’s great lies to us when faced with temptation is this: “Go ahead and try it once. It is your life and your choice. It is not going to hurt anybody if you give in just this one time. Besides, who is going to find out?”
Many of us fall prey to this lie and we think that somehow we can fall to temptation without any consequences to our own lives or the lives of others. Somehow we think we are immune to the judgment of God or that in someway God might just overlook our disobedience. What happens is that when we allow ourselves to fall prey to temptation, we render ourselves ineffective in the service of the Lord. We hurt the name of Jesus. We forfeit our testimony, and we have to live with the consequences of our sin. (READ)
Notice the consequences of falling to temptation. . . We want to avoid this in our own lives today. Let’s talk about several ways that we can conquer temptation and overcome it . . .
I. WE MUST REFUSE INTIMIDATION
We brought out the fact last week that all of us are going to be tempted. Most of us have already faced temptation today. If you haven’t, then chances are really good that you will face it. Many Christian people are filled with guilt and shame because somehow they think they should be “beyond” temptation or as if they were really spiritually mature, they would no longer be tempted. The truth is that none of us ever spiritually outgrow temptation. Satan wants to use temptation to intimidate us into doing nothing for the Lord. He beats us up over our failures and tries to render us ineffective.
We must refuse intimidation from the Devil. In fact, temptation is a compliment to our Christian lives. Satan does not have to tempt those who are already following His plans. In fact, if you are not tempted regularly, something may be wrong with your spiritual life. Rick Warren says, “Temptation is a sign that Satan hates you.” The truth is that the closer you grow toward God and grow in Christlikeness, the more Satan will try to tempt you and intimidate you. We must refuse intimidate.
II. WE MUST RECOGNIZE OUR PATTERN
By this I mean that there are certain situations and circumstances in life that make you more vulnerable to temptation than others. Satan knows our weaknesses and those times when we are most vulnerable to temptation. For this reason, Peter spoke from personal experience when he warned in 1 Pt. 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Here are the questions to ask yourselves:
• When am I most tempted? (Day, time of day, etc.)
• Where am I most tempted? (home, school, work, out of town, where?)
• How do I feel just before I am tempted? (tired, frustrated, bored, etc.)
Recognizing your pattern for temptation helps you conquer Satan’s patter for tempting you.
III. WE MUST REQUEST HELP
Listen to what the Lord says to us in Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of your trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me.” All the strength, wisdom, power, and assistance we need for conquering temptation are just a prayer away! God is waiting to help you conquer your temptations!
If God is ready and waiting to help us conquer our temptations, then why do we so often hesitate calling on God for help? I believe that many times we just do not want God’s help. Often we want to give into temptation, even when we know it is wrong. Other times we are embarrassed to ask God for help because we continue to fall into the same trap and we continue to give into the same temptation over and over again. Yet, God’s desire is that we call on Him. His desire is that we not make our own decisions, follow our own ways, or rely on our own strength to conquer temptation. To succeed, we must request help from God. . . recorgnize your pattern . . . refuse intimidation..