Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Sermons

Summary: Satan is in no hurry to destroy us! He would rather be successful than speedy. We must manage the temptations that lure us towards destruction.

  Study Tools

A STORY WAS ONCE TOLD A BOUT THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD LINE AS IT WAS BEING CONSTRUCTED. AT ONE LOCATION ALONG THE ROUTE AN ELABORATE TRESTLE BRIDGE WAS BUILT ACROSS A LARGE CANYON IN THE WEST.

WANTING TO TEST THE BRIDGE, THE BUILDER LOADED A TRAIN WITH ENOUGH EXTRA CARS AND EQUIPMENT TO DOUBLE ITS NORMAL PAYLOAD. THE TRAIN WAS THEN DRIVEN TO THE MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE, WHERE IT STAYED AN ENTIRE DAY.

ONE WORKER ASKED, "ARE YOU TRYING TO BREAK THIS BRIDGE?" "NO," THE BUILDER REPLIED, "I’M TRYING TO PROVE THAT THE BRIDGE WON’T BREAK."

IN THE SAME WAY, THE TEMPTATIONS WE FACE ARE NOT DESIGNED TO SEE IF WE WILL SIN, BUT TO PROVE THAT WE WON’T! TEMPTATION IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE SEEN AS A WAY TO SEE IF WE WOULD SIN. IT IS A WAY TO PROVE THAT WE WON’T GIVE IN TO THE TEMPTATION, SIN, AND DISPLEASE GOD BY OUR ACTIONS.

WHEN IT COMES TO TEMPTATION IT HAS BEEN RIGHTFULLY STATED THAT “TEMPTATION, IN AND OF ITSELF, IS NOT SIN. IT BECOMES SIN, WHEN WE, BY OUR OWN WILLFUL CHOICE, GIVE IN AND YIELD TO THE LURE OF THE TEMPTATION.”

JAMES 1:14-15, TELLS US, “TEMPTATION COMES FROM OUR OWN DESIRES, WHICH ENTICE US AND DRAG US AWAY. THESE DESIRES GIVE BIRTH TO SINFUL ACTIONS. AND WHEN SIN IS ALLOWED TO GROW, IT GIVES BIRTH TO DEATH.”

THE CHALLENGE FOR US THEN, AS CHRISTIANS, IS NOT SO MUCH THE TEMPTATION ITSELF AS IT IS WITH WHAT WE DECIDE TO DO WITH THE TEMPTATION. SOME GOOD ADVICE COMES FROM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WHO SAID, “IT IS EASIER TO SUPPRESS THE FIRST DESIRE THAN TO SATISFY ALL THAT FOLLOW IT.”

HE MUST HAVE HAD AN UNDERSTANDING OF 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13, THAT SAYS, “NO TEST OR TEMPTATION THAT COMES YOUR WAY IS BEYOND THE COURSE OF WHAT OTHERS HAVE HAD TO FACE. ALL YOU NEED TO REMEMBER IS THAT GOD WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN; HE’LL NEVER LET YOU BE PUSHED PAST YOUR LIMIT; HE’LL ALWAYS BE THERE TO HELP YOU COME THROUGH IT.”

NOTHING WILL ROB US OF OUR SPIRITUAL SUCCESS SO DEVASTATINGLY AS YIELDING TO TEMPTATION. WE’VE ALL BEEN TEMPTED. WE ALL KNOW THAT TEMPTATIONS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AND IN VARYING DEGREES. WE ALL KNOW ALL TO WELL THAT A CHRISTIAN IS NO LESS SUSCEPTIBLE THAN ANYONE ELSE.

THIS IS THE REASON JESUS USES THE WORD “TEMPTATION” IN VERSE 38 WHICH MEANS “TESTING” OR “TRIAL.” JESUS DIDN’T WANT HIS DISCIPLES TO FALL PREY TO TEMPTATION.

HE WANTED THEM TO PRAY TO GOD FOR THE STRENGTH TO GO THROUGH THEIR COMING ORDEAL WITHOUT FAILING.

JESUS ALSO KNEW THEIR HUMANNESS TOWARDS FALLING VICTIM TO TEMPTATION WHEN HE SAID, “WATCH AND PRAY.” WATCH SIGNIFIES THAT WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE ALERT TO THE SPIRITUAL DANGERS OF SATAN’S LURE. PRAY SIGNIFIES THAT WE ARE ACKNOWLEDGING OUR DEPENDENCE ON GOD SO THAT WE WILL NOT GIVE IN TO THE TEMPTATION.

JESUS THEN CONCLUDED WITH SAYING “THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK.” JESUS IS LITERALLY SAYING THAT GOD’S SPIRIT IS WILLING TO SUPPLY STRENGTH AND SUPPORT TO EVERY AREA OF OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS AND INADEQUACIES.

DESPITE ANY OF OUR GOOD INTENTIONS, WE WILL GET OVERWHELMED AND DEFEATED IF WE TRY TO FIGHT AND RESIST IN OUR OWN POWER.

THAT IS WHY I BELIEVE WE MUST BE MAKING STRIDES TO MANAGE TEMPTATIONS. I AM NOT GOING TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THE OBVIOUS DETERRENTS TO TEMPTATION.


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion