FINDING VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
Matthew 3:16-17 (ESV)
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
“The approval of heaven doesn’t exempt us from the attack of the enemy.”
Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and on their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
Life can quickly transition from the WATER to the WILDERNESS…and our response to temptation can be the difference maker. A correct response to temptation becomes a stepping-stone in our spiritual growth.
EVERYONE FACES TEMPTATIONS
Temptation is not a sign of spiritual weakness. It is not a sin to be tempted. It’s only a sin when you act on it resulting in the loss of spiritual fellowship. That’s why confession of sin is so important.
“Many Christians are frightened and demoralized by tempting thoughts, feeling guilty that they’re not beyond temptation. This is a misunderstanding of maturity. You will never outgrow temptation.” – Rick Warren
“God will never put more on you than he puts in you to bear it up.”
SOURCE OF TEMPTATION
James 1:13-15 (ESV)
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
What’s the difference between a TRIAL and a TEMPTATION?
“A trial is something created or allowed by God to produce spiritual maturity, spiritual development, spiritual growth. A temptation, however, is a solicitation to evil… an enticement to sin… an invitation to rebel against God in order to stifle our spiritual life, interrupt our spiritual growth, and limit our capacity to bringing greater glory to God.” – Dr. Tony Evans
If God allows temptation to come to you, it’s because He’s already determined it is something that you can handle. Still, evil is soliciting you. Satan is scouting you.
“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:13 (ESV)
Satan doesn’t have any new ideas. It’s always the same.
Step 1 – DOUBT
Step 2 – DECEPTION
Step 3 – DETOUR
VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD! Don’t go out half dressed.
“If the Living Word needed to use the written Word to deal with the enemy of the Word, how much more do you and I who haven’t written any word need to use the same Word to deal with the enemy of the Word.” – Dr. Tony Evans
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (v.18)
PUT ON JESUS EVERYDAY!