Please begin with prayer.
We are all tempted at points in our life, often on a daily basis. One of the marks of a growing spiritual maturity is seeing each temptation from God's perspective. There are three areas that we should look at in detail to help us understand how we are currently dealing with temptation as Satan tries to pull us away from our relationship with God.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
In 1 Corinthians 10:12, Paul gives a stern warning. What is it?
The word for "standing firm" means still or immovable. What kinds of attitudes would make someone think that they were still or immovable regardless of the situations that they are facing?
Write down a situation from your past where you may have been over confident or prideful, only to be gravely disappointed with the outcome.
Read Proverbs 16:18. What does the Word say about the relationship of pride and sin?
Observation #1- Pride blinds us of our relationship with God and our need of Him. It causes a dependence on something other than God. This is a breeding ground for sin.
In the situation that you wrote about a few questions back, can you see how pride or self confidence lead to a disappointing result?
So, how do we overcome this weakness within ourselves? Paul says "Be careful". These words tell us to pay very close attention to what we are trusting. In this way we can guard our heart against allowing pride to cause us to step into sin. Write down a way that you can remember to ask yourself when faced with temptation, "Who am I trusting, me or God?"
Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. Many times it is easy to feel like we are facing situations that no one else is facing or has ever faced in the past. In this passage, what do we know for sure about every temptation or situation that we face?
Have you ever felt like something you are facing is specific to just you, and you alone? Think about a situation you have thought that no one but you could possible understand?
Read Hebrews 4:15. What does this verse tell us about Jesus and His understanding of the temptations we face?
Read Matthew Chapter 4. There is so much in this chapter about overcoming temptation, but we will cover one main point. What did Jesus quote as a response the Satan every time He was tempted?
Write down two or three Scriptures that will encourage your heart and mind to make a right choice, one that honors God, when faced with temptation in an area that you know you are weak. Remember that the Word is a Sword for doing battle. It is God's expression to us the never changes and can be totally trusted.
Observation #2- Because every person deals with similar temptations and sin situations, we can have confidence that God cares. He loves His children and wants you to reach out to Him and His Word for strength and guidance. He is our strength and refuge in times of trouble. Because Jesus faced every temptation that was common to man and overcame them, we can also. As His children, we have access to this strength and can live an over-comers life as we commit ourselves to His ways.
Read the second part of 1 Corinthians again. God provides us with a way of escape. What is His promise in this verse?
Can you think of a situation where the Lord provided you a way of escape from a temptation?
It is very important that this verse be taken in the entire context of Scripture. The Word says to "Resist the devil and flee from evil." It also says that correction will come when we sin. In other words, while God will forgive a contrite heart, we will have a consequence for our action. With these things in mind, what does that tell us about how we have to guard our hearts when temptation comes?
Observation #3- The Lord provides a way of escape from temptation that will allow us to stand up under temptation. As Christians who desire to be salt and light, we have a responsibility to not place ourselves in positions of temptation. This is a part of living life for Jesus!
No matter what you are facing, Jesus cares. He wants to minister you now and every time you come face to face with temptation. Watch out for Satan's traps and pride and self confidence. Know that Jesus faced temptations and was able to overcome them. In this we have His power and strength and a child of the King. Finally, be wise. Do not place yourself in situations were Satan can tempt you easily. Flee from evil. Guard you heart and mind. This is a Jesus way of life!
Pray and ask God to reveal areas in your life that are weaknesses that Satan can exploit. Ask for His strength and His Word so that you can live an over-comers life for the Lord.
By: John R. Wallace, Jr. Adapted from Pastor Tim Perrin's new book
The Banquet Table. Tim you are a dear friend and brother in Christ! Thank you for this outstanding work.
Also: Jon Courson's Application Commentary
For the 2006