Summary: This is a sermon series about how God meets our Deepest needs Through the prayer in which Jesus teaches the Disciples and us how to Pray.
HOW TO TRIUMPH OVER TEMPTATION
God's Answer to Your Deepest Needs - Part 6 of 7
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Temptation is the world's oldest problem. It's been around since Adam and Eve. We all have our weaknesses. It may be our Temper, eating to much, spending to much and a host of other things that I could name.
We all have certain areas in our lives that we need help to control. The good news is that God says, "I want to help you to gain control of those areas in your life. I want to help you overcome temptation."
1 Corinthians 10:13 (Good News) "Every temptation that comes your way is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps His promises and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist. At the time you are tempted he will give you the strength to endure it and so provide you with a way out." That’s a great promise!
This tells us a lot about temptation. Temptation is normal. It happens to everybody. We're all in the same boat. Everybody's tempted.
If there are common temptations, there are common solutions. People say, "I was in a situation and I just had no choice." Oh, yeah? God says you can overcome it regardless of what the temptation is. God has given us everything that we need to over come temptation. If we yield to temptation it is because we choose to.
So, how does God deliver us from evil? Five ways:
1. Refuse to be intimidated. Don't let the devil bully you around.
2. Ask for God's help.
3. Refocus your attention. Put your mind on something else. Change your mind.
4. Talk about your struggle with a friend.
5. Resist the tempter. Not the temptation but the tempter.
1. REFUSE TO BE INTIMIDATED
Ephesians 6:10-11 "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
There are three common reactions when we're tempted:
1. Alarm. How could I think such a thing?
2. Frustration. I keep falling in the same area.
3. Discouragement. I'm never going to be able to change.
Satan's number one strategy is to intimidate you. It is not a sin to be tempted. It's a sin to give in to temptation. The Bible says even Jesus was tempted. The Bible says “He was tempted in all points as we, yet He sinned not.” It has been said you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.
You can't keep all the thoughts the devil wants to put in your mind out of your mind but you can reject them. Have you ever been praying and all of a sudden the most off the wall idea from left field comes into your mind?
You think you must not even be a Christian.Where did you get an idea like that? The devil. You don't have to feel guilty about it. It's what you do with it that makes a difference. You'll never outgrow temptation. The closer you get to the Lord, the more the devil is going to work on you.
Notice the terminology here. “Be strong... mighty power... put on full armor... take your stand.” The Christian life is a battle. It is tough. The words used to describe the Christian life are words like fight, conquer, strive, battle, overcome, and victory. Satan wants to intimidate you. He wants you to feel guilty just for being tempted.
Sometimes the devil tries to make you feel guilty even before he tempts you. Don't be bullied by the devil. Refuse to be intimidated. The Bible says, “Walk in the Spirit and you won't fulfill the lust of the flesh.” It doesn't say you don't have temptations. It says you won't fulfill them.
Temptation simply means you're normal, not evil. You're human. It's part of life. Life is a test so don't be intimidated.
2. ASK FOR HELP FROM GOD
Psalm 50:15 “Call to me when trouble comes. I will save you and you will praise me.” This is what I call a microwave prayer. It's not a long conversation with God, it's kind of a ... "Help!" when you're being tempted. You don't have a long prayer, just “Help!”
The Bible is full of examples of people who cried out to God. David, Daniel, Peter, Paul. God provides help to all who asks.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.