Summary: How do you fight temptation? This lesson will show you that no one is immune to the devils schemes.
“If I could just get this job things would be good.” “If I could be smarter I could get ahead.” If I could make just _____ more a month we would have no worries. If, If, If. Have you ever fallen for this temptation? Yesterday we talked about the temptation of Jesus by Satan. A lot of times in our lives temptation comes after having a great experience with God. The biggest “If” in this is this:
Matthew 4:1-4 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
If Jesus had given in to Satan and eaten the bread from stones then He would no longer have been the perfect sacrifice that God needed to save us. Jesus knew when He came to this earth what His mission was and he would not be deterred from that mission. The reason that Jesus was without sin was that He was God in the flesh. But that still did not stop Satan from tempting Jesus. Satan knew what was at stake. Just like when Satan tempted Adam and Eve, mankind fell. If he could get Jesus to fall, then game over!!!!
I have not handled the trials and temptation of our finances very well. Since entering ministry full time I have tried to be like the apostle Paul who made tents on the side to support his ministry. The problem with this is that I do not believe Paul continued to make tents after his conversion. I believe that he had a great business while he was a Pharisee but then he stopped to fulfill his calling. He was not distracted. I have been distracted because I have tried to do some odd jobs to try to make up the difference between what comes in and what we need. That is not trusting God for my provisions. Plus it takes focus off of what God has called me to do. If I have 10 hours in a day to work and I take 2 of those hours to “Tent Make” that is two hours of souls that could have been reached for the Lord. I am missing opportunities for what I am called to do.
This past Sunday morning I had an encounter with God. I had a bad headache (from God to keep me home) so I did not go with Julie and the boys to church. I got my bible out and then started praying. I felt the Lord flood my soul and then I felt like laying prostrate on the floor and giving everything I had in my soul over to God. Then I heard it. In my spirit I head God say “Brad I love you.” That was it but that was enough. Have you ever seen where Snoopy cries and his tears shoot straight up and out? That was me. It was as if I needed to hear from my creator that I was all right. That I was on the right track. That things would turn out good. But more importantly that I did not need to do anything more to earn God’s favor. I never needed to. It was probably the best hour of prayer and the most Kleenex I ever used in an hour!!!! I was refreshed by the power of God.