Yesterday I spoke about how God makes His presence known when things seem bleak, and about how He used Sunday’s sermon to speak to my hurting heart. Here are the notes from that sermon:
Victory over temptation
James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Trials and temptations are not the same. Trials are allowed by God to make us stronger. Temptations are never directed by God. The purpose of a trial is our growth and establishment. The purpose of a temptation is our destruction. Note two keys, though: a temptation is not sin; and temptations are not irresistable.
Five facts about tempation
- Temptation is inevitable: it happens to all of us, so we should be kind and gentle when a brother faces temptation. Don’t judge another for having a difference to you. Restore in love where you can, humbly remembering that though your weaknesses are different, they pose no less of a problem in your life than another’s weakness does in theirs. Luke 17:1a “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come”
- Temptation comes from within: temptation comes from within you, from the devil, and from the world we live in and what we tolerate. Remember: we tend to like our sin; that’s what makes it so hard to resist or give up. James 1:14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
- Temptation is not from God: James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
- Temptation is an individual matter: Each of us has our own areas in which we are susceptible to temptation. My weakness is not the same as yours. Yours is different to mine.
- Temptation follows a pattern: A thought enters our minds; we entertain it; it takes root and grows until it has gained a foothold. Satan uses that foothold to attack.
There are ways to resist temptation
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
We can overcome temptation by:
- Looking to avoidtemptation in the first place: Flee! Don’t be anywhere near the things that lead you astray. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Submit your thoughts to God: Bring every thought captive to the will of God. 2 Cor. 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
- Submit your will to God:We sin because we are selfish. When we give ourselves to God, we want what He wants, and the inclination to sin dissipates. We can protect ourselves by putting on the whole armour of God. Eph. 6:18
- Remind yourself of the consequence of your sin: What we sow, we reap. If you’re not sure you believe this truth, just wait and see what happens. Heb. 11:24-25.
- Memorise the Word of God: “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” – DL Moody
- Cultivate a sense of God’s presence: He has promised never to leave or forsake us. Heb. 13:5
TEMPTATION | ESCAPE | BEAR | FAITHFUL