Summary: Temptations may be bold, or subtle. Temptations may be good things to stand in the way of Devotion Temptations are for one purpose to destroy us
Lies In Disguise—Battling Temptation
I think that we all understand what temptation is.
There is a story told about a little boy in a grocery store that I think illustrates the nature of temptation. The boy was standing near an open box of peanut butter cookies. “Now then, young man,” said the grocer as he approached the young man. “What are you up to?” “Nothing,” replied the boy: “Nothing.” “Well it looks to me like you were trying to take a cookie.” “You’re wrong, mister, I’m trying not to!” That’s temptation!!
We understand that temptation leads to trouble.
Such was the plight of man who story was in Reader’s digest. This man said he was shopping in the mall with his wife when a shapely young woman in a short, form fitting dress walked by. He said as she walked by his eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining his wife asked, “Was it worth the trouble that you are in?
[Drew Anderson. (Tucson, Arizona) Reader’s Digest] That’s the trouble with temptation.
Temptation is one of the enemy’s most powerful "schemes" for misleading God’s people (Eph. 6:11, 16).
It causes us to focus on the "passing pleasures" (Heb. 11:25) of sin instead of the rich rewards of serving God with a pure heart.
Lies In Disguise—Battling Temptation
Temptations may be bold, or subtle
Temptations may be good things to stand in the way of Devotion
Temptations are for one purpose to destroy us
Lets look at satan lies in disguise
Matt 4:1-8 NIV
4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’"
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
"’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’"
7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
We can count on satan coming to us at certain times
1. First, Matthew 4 records that this temptation of Jesus came directly after He was baptized.
It was here that God the Father spoke and said, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased!” What a spiritual high.
a) You will discover that testing will often come on the heels of a spiritual high point in your life.
b) C. S. Lewis made these insightful observations about temptation: “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good.
2. Secondly, it came at time of physical weakness; Jesus had not eaten in 40 days.
a) Temptations often come when we are a weakened state physically or emotionally, when we are exhausted and emotionally spent.
b) “In a survey on temptation among readers of the “Discipleship Journal”, the respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent.)” [Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.]
3. Third, this temptation came to Jesus when he was alone.
We are the most susceptible to temptation when we are alone.
Eve was alone in the garden when tempted
Why Jesus had to go through this time of temptation?
1. It revealed the nature and work of Satan - the Serpent, the accuser, deceiver, thief, liar, and the one who seeks to kill and destroy. Satan tempts people to turn aside from God. He accuses them when they fall, and seeks their ruin. We gain insight into the techniques of Satan through reading about Jesus’ temptation.
2. It showed the full and complete humanity of Jesus. Temptation is a part of human experience. The fact that Jesus was sinless does not rule out the fact that He was actually tempted; in fact it bears witness to His humanity.
3. Thirdly, because of going through it, Jesus understands what we as humans go through. He can sympathize with us as a great High Priest and He is merciful. The writer to the Hebrews explains, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).