Summary: How to overcome temtation
A Reality Check on our Spiritual quality of life
There have been messengers that have deceived many. Take back in 1930 in Germany. Their economy was still suffering from WWI and they needed someone to help them. Communism was a threat as well as unemployment. There came a man name Adolph Hitler. He came as a messenger of hope, a restorer of confidence and one who could bring prosperity. He made many promises to restore this country. They accepted what he had to say. He made promises but it was at the destruction of a race called Jews. He swayed the masses to believe that he was a true Messiah of peace that they needed. They followed without much resistance but soon found out his true intentions were bad. It was too late for he had them under his power. He promised heaven but gave hell. He offered life but issued death. He spoke of salvation but ushered them into utter destruction. That is history. Today we want to see a present danger to our spiritual lives that comes from the evil one. He comes as an angel of light. Paul urges us to not be unaware of his schemes. The devil came to Jesus in his temptation and said, “If you are the Son of God, since you are the Son of God, because you are the Son of God.” “Turn this stone into bread.” The Sadducees of that time were a religious group that did not believe in miracles that God could do but the devil did. You might wonder why Jesus didn’t do this miracle. JN 2 Water into wine, MT 6:11 “Give us our daily bread, JN 6 Feeding the 5,000. We want to look at reasons He did not do what Satan wanted him to do and apply it to our spiritual lives today. Each reason begins with a statement. 1. WE HAVE HEARD IT SAID, “IF IT FEELS GOOD TO YOU DO IT.” Don’t be troubled about the consequences or how it will influence others. This deception that Satan threw at Jesus was eating instead of developing a relationship with God. This was simply putting the wants of our body before the needs of our spiritual souls. RM 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” It is not wrong to want to eat but man’s happiness is not found in material possessions or a well fed body. Could we put it this way “if food is of more importance to you than you’re spending time in a relationship with God it is an idol. PH 3:18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” These are people who are mastered by their body’s appetite rather than governed by spiritual passions. Take this thought to now, we are to focus on today’s message but our minds are on what are we going to eat for lunch. We sense we should wake up a little earlier to have more quiet time with God but Satan whispers, “You need your sleep.” I say to you this morning whether it be meals, rest, sleep, TV, fun or recreation if it is more important than seeking God we give into this temptation. 2. “YOU NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR NUMBER ONE.” This is self-centeredness. The devil is saying to Jesus, “If you do not look out for yourself, nobody else will, most certainly not God.” You would be better of to become sufficient on yourself not under the control of God. Christ was being told to give up his fasting and prayer with being surrendered completely to God. He needed to take matters into his own hands, to use your powers for yourself. You are God after all. We need to see here that all temptations are an effort to live our lives independent of God. There is a true story of a ship that was sinking and all the passengers had time to get in their life boats to go to safety. One man thought he had time to go back and get his gold in his room. He did but by the time he got back all lifeboats were full or not within his reach. He had a life-preserver on and jumped in the water to swim to a boat. He went down to the bottom of the sea for his gold was too heavy to keep him a float. If we line our pockets wit this worlds goods and comforts it will bring sinking with no hope. 3. “YOU WITHOUT DOUBT OUGHT TO HAVE BETTER THAN THIS.” This is a temptation to be discontent with life as we have it. It is a temptation to want more and more. It is to live in dissatisfaction with what we have and where we live. Satan would say to Christ, “Why are you putting up with so little? Don’t you think you deserve better than this? Don’t you believe that you are too good to have to suffer like this?” He used this same logic on Eve in getting her to doubt God. “God is holding out on you. Would he treat you like this if he really loved you? If God really loved you would not be lacking in having all you want to have.” Are we to be content with what we have? It has been said that Satan’s greatest tool is discouragement. He comes to those who belong to God and will say, “If you are really a child of God why does He let you have struggles in life? Look at how good you neighbors have it and they serve me. You deserve it better than you have.” He likes to come hard after us when life seems down. “Is this the best God will do for you? I thought He loved you.” 4. ‘IF YOU HAVE IT PARADE, IT.” Use the power you have for yourself. This deals with a misuse of the power Christ had. Satan wanted him to use the power of God for selfish means. Jesus had not performed a single miracle yet but He had the power to. This shows us how Satan at times will tempt us with our strengths not just when we are weak. Jesus had created everything so to turn a stone into bread would be not big deal. He wanted Jesus to misuse His God given strength for selfish reasons. To use His strength in this way would have been to frustrate the plan of God for His life. Paul who was used of God in a great way said, 2 COR 12: 7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This is to tell us that when we live by our own strength we live independent of God and that is Satan’s goal. Our question would be, “Where are you strong? What God given strengths has He placed in your life? What positions or influences has God entrusted to you care? What spiritual gifts and talents has God put to you to use?” Are all these being used for His honor and glory?