Sermons

Summary: Part 3 in temptation series. This installment deals with the tactics Satan uses to come against our minds and how we resist and overcome.

AN APPLE A DAY

The Temptations We Face

Part 3, The Devil Made Me Do It

James 4:7

May 14, 2006

Pastor Brian Matherlee

In the movie, On Golden Pond, a man, played by Dabney Coleman is speaking with a Ethel at a dock. Ethel is the mother of the woman he likes. He puts one foot on a boat and continues speaking while the boat begins to be pushed away from the dock. When he realizes how far it has moved it is too late. He asks her, “What does one do when you find yourself in this predicament?” She tells him, “You fall.”

Sometimes we might think that we are destined to fall every time temptation comes our way. But that is not true. Today, we continue our series on temptations we face. We spoke two weeks ago about how the world attacks our soul. Last week we covered how our sinful nature attacks us within our bodies. Today we will talk about the direct attacks of Satan himself upon our mind.

How does Satan go about attacking our minds?

Satan’s tactics are:

• Doubt

• Fear

• Confusion

Areas of attack:

1. God’s Word

a. Genesis 3:1, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

i. Eve responds in verse 3 by telling the serpent what God did say... “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” And then she misquoted God by stating that touching the fruit would bring death when God had told them in 2:17, “..for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

ii. Eve’s response shows how Satan’s challenge was finding a place to reside because she was straying from the truth.

iii. Knowing the truth is our sure defense.

2. God’s Goodness

a. Genesis 3:5-6

b. Satan likes to use this attack—God’s holding out on you! There’s nothing really wrong with it...He just doesn’t want you to enjoy life. Our children are very susceptible to this attack.

c. The younger we are, the more we view God’s commandments as rules against fun. But God gave every command, every law, and every precept for our benefit and to extend and enhance our living.

3. God’s faithfulness

a. In questioning God’s goodness we are told God does better for others than He does for us. In the temptation of doubting God’s faithfulness we are challenged to think that God has left us in our suffering and circumstances won’t change.

b. The Bible is clear that God’s Word is true, He is good and He is faithful—not in a life that is free of troubles—but in spite of the troubles we face.

c. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

d. In Mark chapter 4 the disciples were with Jesus in a boat. A storm came up and fear took hold. In verse 38, they said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” The disciples were probably scrambling to do all they could to keep the boat from capsizing and couldn’t understand how Jesus could sleep through it.

e. Do you ever feel like God is asleep in the midst of the storms of your life? Satan comes against your mind to tell you that God is asleep. He will tell you that if God cared about you...if He loved you...if He were really Faithful and True that you wouldn’t be in the mess you’re in.

f. Mothers, the Devil will attack you by using your children. How could a good God let that happen to your child?

g. How do we stand against this kind of attack?

h. VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules. All pilots are allowed to fly in these conditions. You can see around you, there are no impediments to your ability to see where you are going.

i. IFR stands from Instrument flight readings. Only trained pilots can fly by these. And they can fly in any conditions. They don’t have to see anything to safely navigate their plane. They know how to rely upon their instruments within the cockpit regardless of the signals coming from everywhere else.

j. Both types of pilots may find themselves in low, or no, visibility situations. If a VFR pilot finds himself in a situation where he cannot see, his mind and body tell him things contrary to the instrument panel that are hard to ignore and they don’t have the understanding to navigate without their sight. If the IFR pilot finds himself in the same situation he will have to override what he knows is true to go with what his senses are telling him.

k. John Kennedy, Jr. is an example of the difficulty encountered by pilots whose training is limited to VFR. In July of 1999, Kennedy’s Piper Saratoga was on approach to Martha’s Vineyard when it made a series of turns and then fell from the sky at 9:41 p.m., killing Kennedy, his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34.

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