Summary: A look at TEMPTATION...
INTRODUCTION: (I must give credit to John Hamby...some of the sermon comes from one of his)
I remember my grandfather telling me a story about having two wolves inside of us that were always fighting. The good wolf fights with love, peace, and charity. The bad wolf fights with hate, evil, and discord. The winner is the one that YOU feed !!! LET'S PRAY!!!
TEMPTATION...An Enticement, A Forbidden Fruit, An Allure, A Bait, A Desire... and TEMPTATION is the only tool that God allows Satan to use against us...yet he uses it so very well, doesn't he?
My definition of TEMPTATION when Satan is factored in is... “the devil's device to get between you and God.
Let me read a passage from JOB to explain...JOB 1:6-12 says... “6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the LORD, 'From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.' 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.' 9 'Does Job fear God for nothing?' Satan replied. 10 'Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.' 12 The LORD said to Satan, 'Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.' Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.”
Have you ever been tempted to do something you knew you should not do? Be honest now.
Did you succeed or fail when faced with Satan and his evil method of getting between you and God?
Today we are going to talk about TEMPTATION and just how Jesus taught us to deal with it through the example of His being TEMPTED by Satan.
I think that we all understand what TEMPTATION is...most of us have been there at one time or another...right?
But let me use this story to illustrate the power of TEMPTATION... “There was a little boy in a grocery store...The boy was standing near an open box of peanut butter cookies. “Now then, young man,” said the grocer as he approached this 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.” The boy replied... “You’re wrong, mister, I am trying not to!”
Satan places an enticement right in front of us so how do we overcome it...how do we fight back?
For many of us TEMPTATION so often leads to trouble and such was the plight of the man in this story.
“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. And as she walked by his eyes followed her and without looking up from the item she was examining his wife asked... “Sweetie...was it worth the trouble that you are in now?”
TEMPTATION...it is easy to find...it is so hard to resist...and it can cause us so much trouble.” That’s the trouble with TEMPTATION...the intrinsic value gained ain't never worth the pain.
Beloved... “Your doctrine and resolve can be as straight as a gun barrel-but when the head of TEMPTATION rears up...your resolve to withstand TEMPTATION can be just as useless as a gun that is empty!
How many of us have shrugged and said... “The Devil made me do it!” and used that as an excuse when caught doing something we weren’t supposed to do? My hand is raised...how about yours?
See...it is a convenient defense. But there’s one problem with it: THE DEVIL CAN’T MAKE US DO ANYTHING.
He may be clever and powerful but he’s not all powerful...he can't make us...all he can do is tempt us.
Yet it may feel like he can make you do things...yes, it may seem that way when you’re dangling on his TEMPTATION HOOK...but that is because he has a tried-and-true strategy for luring each of us into his net.
So let's take a close look at just how Satan works...just what his method of operation is.
FIRST... SATAN LAYS OUT THE BAIT FOR US...Satan knows people like a skilled angler knows fish...and folks a skilled angler knows fish and catches fish.
He notes our habits. He observes our hangouts. He even knows our desires and innermost thoughts.
Then he prepares a tailor-made lure and drops it right in front of our noses.