Summary: Temptation, although common, still isolates and seperates us from others. How should we deal with tempation so that we can survive Temptation Island?
Temptation Island Pt. 1 – Temptation Tricks
Temptation is one of those things that we keep on the low down. We don’t openly discuss it. We know that all of us are dealing with it, faced with it, and fight it but we don’t discuss it, dissect it, and deal with it. We laugh about it. We make snide remarks about it. We overlook it. All the while we know that temptation is a silent killer. We allow people to suffer in silence and then someone falls and we act like we can’t figure out why. We know why . . . they moved to Temptation Island and couldn’t survive. Temptation Island is a dangerous place because temptation when we don’t understand it and learn to deal with it separates, isolates, and will become the gateway to your demise if you don’t learn to move off the island!
So it is important for us to discuss temptation. I just want to use this morning to explain to you how temptation works because you have to know that, "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy."
We often say the devil uses tricks on us! How many of you know that a magician’s trick loses effectiveness when you know what the secret is. The devil doesn’t have as much success with us if we understand the way temptation works. We need to expose him and his tricks for what they are!
13-15Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
III. Temptation Tricks
A. Temptation tricks us into passing the buck.
We want to blame God or someone else. Don’t you dare blame God. God isn’t involved in evil.
Earlier James talks about trials and uses same Greek word he uses here for temptation. But first usage of word is idea of things that come at us from without. When he uses the word in this instance it is the idea of things that come at us from within! The temptation comes from our own evil desires. It is our fault. It isn’t your deadbeat husbands fault. It isn’t you unloving spouses fault. It isn’t your hateful bosses fault. It isn’t your crazy kids fault. It isn’t Hollywood’s fault ... if they just hadn’t put that in the movie. It is our fault! We have to own it.
Proverbs 19:3 warns: “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.”
In other words, we want to blame God and everyone else for our own evil desires. The first step to victory for most of us is simply to quit blaming everyone else for our weakness.
B. Temptation tricks us into feeling special. When you are tempted. Not if but when. Everyone is tempted. If someone tells you they are never tempted then you might as well call a mortician because they have to either be dead or they are the biggest liar on the planet.
I Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Temptation is not only certain it is common. Common . . . it is a shared thing. One of the tricks of the enemy is for him to convince you that you are on Temptation Island. No one has it as bad as me. This is a specialized attack. You don’t have some special form of temptation that no one else has ever faced at a more severe level than anyone else in history.
Temptation is certain and common. The enemy is trying to make you feel like that so he can isolate you and makes you feel all alone! He employs an effective divide and conquer strategy.
That is important to know because if you don’t know that you will resist anyone’s help, advice, or intervention because you will feel like “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen!”