Complete Sermon Notes
The Devil Made Me Do It
JAMES PART SEVEN: 11/16/16
CONTEXT FROM LAST WEEK: 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
One aspect of Pride is loving the world – deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements or lifestyle – “Look at what I can do, or what I did.”
James 1:14-15 says that each one of us “is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (e.g. feed me so I can destroy you).”
JAMES 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Submit to the work of the Spirit – resist the pull of the world, devil, and the flesh.
Obedience isn’t bad – it saved Noah.
One simple story illustrates this, “Alexander was trying to save all the pennies that he could in order to buy a baseball bat. But he had a hard struggle. One night when he was saying his prayers, his mother heard him say fervently, ‘O Lord, please help me save my money for a baseball bat. And, God, don’t let the ice cream man come down this street anymore’!”
Temptation takes from us, while at the same time, it looks so appealing.
Commentator Klyne Snodgrass states it well, “Mention of the ‘schemes’ of the devil reminds us of the trickery by which evil and temptation present themselves in our lives. Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal; it gains entrance by appearing attractive, desirable, and perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and camouflaged trap.”
Only by comparing thoughts and actions to God’s word can we generate the motivation to RESIST.
Temptation is also an opportunity to do what is right by turning from it. I Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The door of temptation swings both ways—you can enter or exit. If we choose to enter, once inside, we may not see the exit sign so clearly again.
SUBMIT AND RESIST – like in dieting, when a bad food is removed a healthy choice must be added.
THE DEVIL’S PLAYBOOK – According to 1 John 2:16, the devil entices through the lust of the flesh (unbridled passions), the lust of the eyes (covetousness) and the pride of life (boasting of what we have and/or do).
1. The flesh is in rebellion against God so “feelings” can’t be trusted. Puritan author, John Owen, writes, “Secret lusts lie lurking in your own heart which will never give up until they are either destroyed or satisfied.” The flesh—although it feels comfortable and natural at times—is not a friend to be trusted. When you resist the devil you are also resisting the flesh and taking thoughts captive. ” C.H. Spurgeon warned, “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”
Submit and draw near regardless of how you “feel”.
The hardest part of temptation is at the crescendo.
2. The devil doesn’t make us do anything he simply presents the bait. For example, the devil doesn’t show a young couple the pain and anguish and the years of regret that premarital sex brings [or porn.]; he deceives them with temporary enjoyment and a false sense of freedom from responsibility.
Blame shifting is very common: “The devil is coming after my finances,” they say; yet they fail to budget, give, and spend wisely. “The devil is trying to destroy my marriage,” is another common statement; yet spouses fail to truly love and serve one another.
I’ve also heard, “The devil made me get drunk last night,” but the person planned the trip to Las Vegas weeks prior. Although the enemy will come against our family, finances, and health, we cannot blame him…we must take responsibility for our own poor choices when warranted.
3. Be aware of “opportune times.” Luke 4:13, “And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.”
In battle, the enemy attacks at opportune times. “Opportune times” in the Greek language denote a favorable wind blowing a ship toward its destination. Be aware of these “opportune times.” HALT –
4. The source of our strength comes from the food that we choose. A daily diet of violence, lust, anger, and depression will fuel those very things in your life.
In closing, be encouraged. Recall I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
DRAW NEAR – Thru worship, prayer, fasting, and obedience when I don’t feel like it. What happens when you walk toward someone?
CLEANSING is confessions – repenting and changing.
LAMENT – a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Let your joy over sinned be turned to mourning. THIS IS GENUINE HUMILITY!