It happened again. It’s my second wake-up call in two months. Another ministry friend had to resign from his position because of poor choices. It is painful. It is heart-breaking. It could be you or me.
Yesterday I was the morning Bible teacher at the Colony of Mercy Chapel service and I was preaching as much to myself as to the men in the program as well as our guests.
Each week we do a theme for the men and ironically, and no coincidence, the theme of the week is Victory Over Temptation. It didn’t hit me until yesterday that the theme is not victory over SIN. But isn’t that the ultimate goal?
Victory over temptation is heading off sin at the pass. The implication is that you and I can take the necessary steps, plan a strategy to prevent and keep us from sin.
Charles Swindol shared these three principles that I believe we need to burn into the hard-drive of our hearts and minds:
1. Sin will ALWAYS TAKE you FURTHER than you want to GO.
2. Sin will ALWAYS COST you MORE than you are willing to PAY.
3. Sin will always KEEP you LONGER than you want to STAY.
If we are really honest, there is NO ONE who couldn’t give testimony that those three principles are not true. We are all at different places on the continuum, but if we don’t make a change or do as the Bible says, “Repent = turn and face a different direction” – we are heading for the cliff called destruction.
The Bible is filled with illustrations of men and women whose stories support the above principles. Knowing how NOT GO THERE is understanding temptation and knowing in advance HOW to overcome temptation and destroy the impact of our sin.
So for the next couple of weeks, I want to share with you what I shared with the men in my message: Preparing for Temptation – What IS Your Battle Plan?
Are you ready to dive in? We’ve all been there. So let’s explore it together. I have five points but there are probably more.
1. Identify your area of weakness. I am sure you already know it. But my guess is that part of the strategy by naming it helps you to put a face to it.
Your area of weakness will fall in one of the three categories that John wrote about. Check out 1 John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world – the LUST OF THE FLESH, the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This isn’t new – it’s been the enemies plan since the Garden of Eden. Satan came at Adam and Eve with these three things.
The lust of the flesh can be summed up in the three words: I WANT IT and usually in reference to our passions. The lust of the eyes is summed up in the words: I SEE IT and often refers to possessions. The pride of life: I WANT TO BE and trips up men with their need for success and status.
Reminder: Satan went after Jesus with those same three issues when Jesus face him during the temptation. So let’s not think that WE are exempt. If he went after the Son of God, he must certainly wants YOU and ME.
The good news is that Jesus got it right. Hebrews 4:15 says “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in ALL points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
What is the area where you already know you are weak? That is most likely the area where you will have the greatest level of temptation.
See you next week!
Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Daily Quote: Quote: Most people who fly from temptation usually leave a forwarding address.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: