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Summary: This series follows the life of Joseph as he enrolls in the "School of Hard Knocks". Learn how you too can be victorious no matter what life throws at you.

How to Resist Life’s Greatest Temptations

Surviving the School of Hard Knocks

July 2, 2000

We’re going to talk this morning about man’s oldest problem and what God has to say about it. In fact, you can go all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and find that “TEMPTATION”, has been a thorn in man’s side since the very beginning.

There’s not a person who’s ever walked the face of the earth, (including Jesus Christ Himself), who at one time or another hasn’t faced temptation of some kind.

How many of you have found that even when you know what’s right, it’s hard to say, “NO”? At the core, that’s what temptation is, acting out right desires in the wrong way…

I can think of at least 3 Types of Temptation that fall under that definition…

1. MATERIAL Temptation:

Having material things isn’t sin, but never having enough and lusting after having more and more is! It might be as large as a house, or as small as a ring.

It might be as bright and dazzling as a brand-new Porsche, or as dull and dusty as an antique roll-top desk.

And then there’s…

2. PERSONAL Temptation

The lust for fame, authority or power over others. There’s nothing wrong with titles like CEO, president, doctor, or admiral… but if your motivation is for personal glory or control… it’s only going to lead to trouble!

And then 3rdly there’s…

3. SENSUAL Temptation

This is the lust for another person’s body. Sex isn’t wrong…it’s a God given desire, but ONLY when it’s protected by the commitment of marriage.

We live in a world today that’s constantly pressuring us to do wrong, with very few rewards for doing what’s right. To the pt. that some people think that the only way to get rid of temptation is to “give in to it!”

Sounds easy until you realize that everytime I give into a temptation, it brings me closer to a habit, and when I sow a habit, I create a character, and when I sow a character… I create a life!

People who routinely give in to temptation eventually live a life full of grief, pain and guilt! God wants to spare you from that kind of life and so He’s given us some powerful tools for resisting temptation in His Word the bible.

If you’ve been with us the past two weeks then you know that we’re taking our lessons out of the life of Joseph, in the book of Genesis. And this morning, we’re going to be looking at the “4 Don’ts” of temptation, from Josephs experiences.

Now Joseph was the favored (& spoiled) son of Jacob. His brothers (in an act full of jealousy), without any warning, grabbed him, stripped him of the beautiful robe his father had given him and dumped him into a deep, dirty pit.

He was rescued from that situation, only to be sold to hardened slave traders, and sent on a slow caravan to Egypt.

The pride and joy of his parents was now set on the auction block and sold to a man named Potiphar like a cheap piece of merchandise.

Read Gen.39:1

Now Potiphar is described here as the “captain of the bodyguard”. Pharaohs bodyguard were an elite, courageous band of rugged soldiers, and Potiphar was in charge of them.

As their captain, he was also in charge of all the royal executions. It was his job to imprison (and if necessary kill) all of Pharaohs political enemies.

Potiphar was probably short on household servants so he bought Joseph and brought him into his house. It wasn’t long though until he noticed that Joseph was no ordinary slave.

He was a hard working diligent young man. To the pt. that Potiphar increased his responsibilities and authority. He handled everything that Potiphar threw at him, and before long he was putting him in charge of his entire household.

So Joseph went from 1 common slave among dozens, to running the household of the top military man in Egypt!

Which leads us to the 1st “DON’T” when it comes to avoiding lives greatest temptations…

1. Don’t be weakened by your SITUATION.

Joseph was getting noticed all right… but not by just Potiphar! Potiphar’s wife began to gain an interest in him too! Gen. 39:6 tells us…”Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”

The L.B. puts it this way… “Joseph by the way, was a very handsome young man.”

The Chris Kelly version puts it this way… “Joseph was a STUD! ” Ladies… he made Mel Gibson look like Quasimodo!

And Potiphar’s wife had made up her mind to have him!

(Read Gen.39:7…) No beating around the bush with her!

Now I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that Josephs greatest temptation came at the moment of his greatest success to this pt.

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