Sunday, January 20, 2013

Resisting Temptation

Sunday morning at Gaylord E-Free we continued our series on the Old Testament life of Joseph as we saw Joseph, a slave serving in the house of Potiphar in Egypt, dealing with temptation.  In the message we looked at four laws regarding temptation.  In the following posts I will explain each of them, but for now let me simply state them:

LAW #1
Resisting temptation is not founded on the reality of your circumstances but on the resolve of your commitment!

LAW #2
Resisting temptation can become even more difficult with success!

LAW #3
Resisting temptation requires a firm response!

LAW #4
Resisting temptation does not always result in immediate positive results

At the end of the message I intended to give five very practical helps in resisting temptation.  However, because we ran out of time. I was unable to.  So, let me quickly go over them now:

First, be on the alert!  1 Peter 1:8 tells of our need to be "sober" and "vigilant" because our enemy, the Devil, is roaming around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  We can never let our guard down - not even for a moment.  We must always be on the alert realizing that temptation will get us if we quit living with our guard kept high.

Second, pray in advance!  In Matthew 24:16 Jesus tells his disciples of their need to "keep on praying" so that they will not enter temptation because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  We need to "keep on" praying.  We can't wait until we are faced with temptation to start praying.  Chances are very good that you already have a pretty good idea how you are going to be tempted this week.  Begin praying about it right now.  Begin asking God now for strength to resist that temptation.

Third, memorize Scripture!  In Psalm 119:11 the psalmist says that he has hidden God's Word in his heart so that he would not sin against God.  Memorizing Scripture is a great way to resist temptation.  Remember the three temptations of Jesus in Matthew 4?  How did He respond each time?  He quoted Scripture.  Memorizing Scripture and quoting it when tempted is a great way to resist temptation.

Fourth, run when you need to!  Paul told young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22 to "Flee youthful lusts."  That's what Joseph did in the sermon this morning.  He knew when Potiphar's wife grabbed him and said "Lie with me," that if he stayed he would fall.  So what did he do?  He ran away so fast that he left his outer coat behind in her hands.  Sometimes the only way to "just say no" is to "just run!"

Finally, seek accountability!  James 5:16 tells us to "Confess our sins one to another."  When temptation is getting the best of us, we often need the help of someone else - someone that we can be honest with who will pray for us and with us and hold us accountable as to our thoughts and actions.  When we make ourselves accountable to someone else, it often gives us exactly the extra support we need to resist temptation.

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