COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
The Door of Temptation Swings Both Ways
Recap: We obey; God strengthens: “Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds you abased and empty, His glory and power flow in.” ANDREW MURRAY
Tempted & Tried, by Russell Moore – Why You’re on the Verge of Wrecking Your Life (Especially If You Don’t Know It)
A slaughterhouse, in order to keep the cattle relaxed, should remove anything from the sight of the animals that isn’t completely familiar. The real problem is novelty…Workers shouldn’t yell at the cows, she said, and they should never ever use cattle prods, because they are counterproductive and unneeded. If you just keep the cows contented and comfortable, they’ll go wherever they’re led. Don’t surprise them, don’t unnerve them, and above all, don’t hurt them…Along the way, this scientist devised a new technology that has revolutionized the ways of the big slaughter operations. In this system the cows aren’t prodded off the truck but are led, in silence, onto a ramp. They go through a “squeeze chute,”a gentle pressure device that mimics a mother’s nuzzling touch.
BEFORE TEMPTATION HOOKS YOU IT ALLURES YOU
The cattle continue down the ramp onto a smoothly curving path. There are no sudden turns. The cows experience the sensation of going home, the same kind of way they’ve traveled so many times before. As they mosey along the path, they don’t even notice when their hooves are no longer touching the ground. A conveyor belt slowly lifts them gently upward, and then, in the twinkling of an eye, a blunt instrument levels a surgical strike right between their eyes. They’re transitioned from livestock to meat, and they’re never aware enough to be alarmed by any of it. The pioneer of this technology … affectionately gives it [the nickname “the stairway to heaven.”] – “The path of temptation is gradual & intelligent, not as sudden and random as it seems.”
REMINDER: You are in a war – no peace treaties can be signed, no concessions can be made, no compromises can be negotiated. You can’t say, “I don’t want to get involved”…you’re already a target. You can’t remain passive, aloof, or carefree against an enemy who doesn’t sleep or slumber. He is sent to kill, steal, & destroy. Wake up – life is a battleground, not a playground.
Wyatt Earp: “You tell them I’m coming…you tell them, and I’m bringing hell with me.”
I came to help: “Shane, people don’t want direct confrontation. You need to come through the back door.”
Broken Homes in the United States Are at Alarming Level, Study Finds
What’s Really Behind America’s Suicide Epidemic?
Why did 40,000 Americans kill themselves last year, the most in recorded history? http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/whats-really-behind-americas-suicide-epidemic-74801
And You Want Me to Come Thru the Back Door?
“Why is there so much counseling in the American church?”
The strategy – 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able [YOU CAN SAY “NO”], but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure [bear] it.”
The Door Swings Both Ways – you can enter or exit
ESCAPE ROUTE #1 “BEAR IT” – WE ARE NOT TRAPPED – WE ARE NOT LEFT WITHOUT HOPE
When we see something we need, desire, or want, our first impulse is to act on it. The pressure “feels” unbearable and we cave in. This defining moment is often the most difficult when overcoming temptation.
“Bear it” means just that.
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
Present Yourself: you cause something to happen or to be experienced
Mike Wilkerson, in his book Redemption, writes, “Sin corrupts worship. Not a ceasing of worship but a distortion of it. We never stop worshiping. Rather, in sin, we worship anything and everything other than God. We tend to exalt a substance, an experience, a person, or a dream to the level of a god. So addictions, for example, aren’t just drug, alcohol, food, or pornography problems. They are worship disorders. They flow from hearts bent on worshiping created things rather than the Creator.” They are presenting themselves as slaves to the desire.
I’M NOT MINIMIZING BONDAGE – BUT I DO WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT GOD . . .
ESCAPE ROUTE #2 CLOSE THE DOOR: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).
There is a growing process with SIN: we give into the “BIG” things because we give into the “small” things.
“Nip it in the bud” – suppress or destroy something, especially at an early stage.
Close the Door – EVEN THE LITTLE DOORS!
Laziness, junk food, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, all feed each other. This allows for further bondage because the flesh CONTINUES to dominate and we become weak to say NO.
*Why Fasting is so Important – it starves the flesh and you regain control.
*Why Prayer is so Important – it starves the flesh by “taking thoughts captive.”
Sexual Sin, for example, is progressive: steals love, communication vanishes, joy leaves, passions fades, and honesty is nowhere to be found.
I truly believe that this is why many Christians are angry, depressed, and lash out – they are caught in sin. JUST WATCH A BIG MARLIN BEING REELED IN.
“There can be no happy, successful prayer life for a rebellious child of God.” JOHN R. RICE (1895-1980)
Be careful about Facebook posts – you may be fueling temptation in others.
ESCAPE ROUTE #3: DON’T PLAN AHEAD – Romans 13:14 will be an enormous help on this point, “Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
Do not think about how to gratify sinful desires; don’t plan ahead to sin.