This past Sunday we began a new sermon series, "A Way Out", at LifeChurch. The series is broken down into four weeks and this week was titled Always a Way Out. The sermon was focused around temptations of all types. Whether it be a food, work, porn, social media or anything else they can all become a temptation.
I will be honest and say I'm not completely sure why I've been led to share but God has put it on my heart to post about temptation and addictions. So of course I am...
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Temptation is anything that promises sanctification at the cost of obedience to God.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" This fit be hard because when our pastor Craig began I thought to myself I don't really have an addiction or temptation that is tempting beyond my control. I don't overeat donuts, not hooked on drugs or don't work way too many hours...but then God saying be careful that you don't fall! I realized I am not exempt and anything that I enjoy now can easily become an addiction and temptation that is unhealthy. I'm a very black and white person with not much grey in my life. I usually either passionately love or hate something. Not usually a middle of the line passion. Lets be honest, shopping is easily a temptation for me which could lead at any time to over spending. I don't feel like in anyway does shopping control my life or put my life in jeopardy. I'm not spending money that is used to pay bills on shoes instead, how I would love to do so, but I am not. BUT "be careful not to fall!"
Four Truths About Temptation
It's not a sin to be tempted. "For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin." Hebrews 4:15
God understands our temptations, he has been tempted in every way. However, no matter what the temptation is there is always going to be a way out.
You are never above temptation. "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12
Like I mentioned above, I started out by thinking oh I don't have any harmful temptations when God quickly let me know I need to be careful not to fall and I am in no way exempt. This is when the devil is sneaky enough to invade on my life and I could end up with the darkest of the worst temptation if I am not careful. Keeping a check on my shoe addiction right about now...
God will never tempt you. "And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death" James 1:13-15
God does not tempt us but he does test us. He may lead us to a situation where he is testing to see if we fall into that temptation...did I buy that pair of shoes when really I should be saving more this month?
There is always a way out. "...And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
So, I know for me when I'm tempted to shop and should be spending that time and money elsewhere that I will now recognize that nudge more. I will close the shopping websites and not make that stop at the mall. Maybe for you its you have to close your eyes as you walk past the break room with donuts or delete the Facebook app on your phone because you find yourself checking in everywhere or you are addicted to seeing what everyone else is doing. Lets not fall into the temptations that could be controlling us.
To be close to God you need:
Prayer- Time talking to God
Meditation - Time listening to God
Temptation - Learning to depend on God
Every temptation is an invitation to depend on Christ. God is faithful, even when we are faithless.
Pictures source: LifeChurch.TV
If you are interested in listening to this sermon or the rest of the series to come visit LifeChurch.Tv