string(7) "m-66998" Burnt Hickory Baptist Church


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Feb 25, 2024



Passage: James 1:13-15

Speaker: Eli Laughlin

Series: Rethink Your Life

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, sin, god, sermon, christian, bible, christ, gospel, hope, word, preaching, forgiveness, sermons, holy spirit, spirit, lust, spiritual, jesus christ, temptation, lord, christianity, holy, bible study, self improvement, personal development, study the bible, bible teaching, how to stop sinning, christian motivation, burnt hickory worship, burnt hickory baptist church live stream, 2024, motivational video, how to overcome temptation, how to overcome lust

As we rethink our lives, we explore what scripture says about dealing with temptation. Temptation is anything that promises satisfaction at the cost of our obedience to God. As followers of Christ, we are not given immunity from our sinful temptations once we accept Jesus, and we should realize that it often comes when we least expect it. Our best line of defense is to avoid the temptation by avoiding common areas where we encounter it and to flee from it at all costs. We have to count the cost if we do fall into temptation and remember that every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory in our faith journey. In light of this sermon, what are areas or people that you need to avoid in order to be victorious over temptation? How can you find support in being vulnerable with trusted Christians who can help you flee from temptation at any cost? As always, we'd love to connect with you, take time to answer any questions you've got and pray with you - especially over dealing with temptation. You can always celebrate the next step in your faith journey by visiting

Uh oh, they let the student pastor preach this morning, baby. Come on. We're about to have some fun in here. Yeah, come on, I Love those guys. Hey, good morning, church. My name's Eli. I'm the high school pastor here at Burnt Hickory. Man, Welcome back from winter break. I feel like some of Y'all went skiing and just brought the weather back with you. It was 32 degrees this morning. All of you can go back. We don't want you. I want that 70 degrees back. All right. Welcome this morning. I'm glad to be in this series. I want to start this morning by telling you guys a story. 


When I was younger. Not now. I looked at myself as a little bit of an above average athlete, not trying to gas myself up, but, you know, I liked to play some sports. I played it all. I played baseball, basketball, and football. I even bend it like Beckham. I played a little bit of soccer. And then, you know, my parents saw it for some odd reason. It'd be really good to stick like a fifty three pound soaking wet kid into wrestling, right? Like, well, it doesn't get your kid's energy out more than wrestling. You know, I was wrestling. Some of you were trying to picture me in a singlet, had a picture, but they told me I couldn't put it up there this morning. But anyways, there's two memories I had of wrestling. One was I beat this kid and immediately afterwards I had an asthma attack and somebody gave me a Coca Cola because they thought that the caffeine would open up my lungs. It didn't. Number two, I remember for some odd reason that this picture stood out to me because it was conditioning. I had never seen anything like it before. But I guess it's a common thing in wrestling. I took the group, they split us up into two different teams and they put this massive tape line in the middle of the floor and they divided us up in half. And you know, any time you're new to something, you know, you can tell like people kind of stick to the back. 


They're like checking it out. That's what I was doing. I was like, What is going on? I didn't really understand it because all the kids, like, rushed up to the line in the middle of the room, like there's one team on one side, one team on the other side, and they're just like staring at each other. It's like, this is odd, you know, like brand new. It was like, okay, you know, And I'm little like and some of these are some big some big boys, you know, And like, I'm sticking to the back. They started making fun of each other. They started poking fun. And then like, I figured out what the objective was, the objective was to be able to pull the other team across the line. And once you were pulled across the line, you were out like you were supposed to get one team from one side or one team to the other side. And like, you know how wrestling is like there are no rules. You know, like you can grab hair, you can grab feet, you can grab arms, you can grab limbs. So like there's bodies flying all over the place. Man. Like there literally there's like people that their hair has been ripped off their arm because you grab on and people are pulling like you got intense you know and I'm looking around going like, man, I don't really know. There's not a kid my size I could pick on or there's not a kid smaller than me that I can pick on. So I stood back, I waited my turn, you know, got a little bit more comfortable with the line. I walked up to it. I actually pulled like the third person back because we had this line and this kid hanging over the line. We were pulling him back. It's like this is cool. So I warmed up a little bit to it and saw a little boy. You know, we're about the same size, you know. And I saw I looked at him, he looked at me. We met at the line. You know what I'm saying? Did a little nanny nanny boo boo, stuck an arm across like you can't catch me. You know what I'm saying? And eventually we got into it, you know, he's got my arm. I got his arm. We're going back and forth and we're just like wrestling on this line up here, right? Well, next thing I know, my peripheral is out of nowhere. This massive honking dude comes over to straight, picks me up on my shoulders and just tosses me over. I fell on my arm, hurt my elbow, never went back to wrestling. You know what I'm saying? Never. Never again. 


The reason I tell you that story is because I feel like that's what we do a lot of times with temptation and sin. On one side of the room, we have temptation. On the other side, we have sin and we as believers walk this fine line in the middle of the room. Have you ever ask yourself this question like, how far is too far? How far can I go with it actually being a sin in my life? And really what you're saying is, is how much of God can I have with also still looking like the rest of the world? That's really what you're asking. Like like how much of this Christianity and this God guy do I need to do without really going over the line? Because here's what I know about us as humans, especially me. Any time I play a game or something, the first thing I ask are like, What are the rules? Because, you know, I'm going to try to bend them, you know what I'm saying? Like, I'm going to try to get a leg up here. That's what we do with temptation and sin though. And some of us, man, I feel like this Christian walk that we're on a playground playing, when in all reality it's an absolute war zone. 


You know, on one side of this thing, we have a loving God that wants this relationship with us and we focus on that. And that's good. We need to be on the other side. You got to realize you got a real enemy trying to pull you away. And so many of us just want to flirt with this idea of sin and we want to walk the tightrope line between like, Well, I like to butt up to like it's almost a sin, but it's not really a sin. And like, there's an old saying that, you know, eventually if you play with fire long enough, it'll burn you. I remember one time I was playing with fireworks and my dad said, Careful, you're going to blow it up in your hand. And it didn't happen that time. But three months later, sure enough, I blew it off of my thumb. That thing turned black and it was hard for next six months. You know what I'm saying? Eventually. Listen to me. You play with temptation long enough, it's going to bite you. It's going to cause some wounds, it's going to cause some scars. And here's what I know the enemy wants again, wants tons of chaos and destruction in your life. And I wish so hard that we could grasp this concept, man, if we would just pull that line so far away from temptation, not even smell it, not even go next to it, and don't even get around it because we know what's on the other side. Hey, man, today I want to look at some verses and some things. If you open up your Bibles there. James Chapter one, verse 13 to 15, Here's why we don't mess around with temptation. Here's why we don't even pull that line so far away and get away from it. Here it is. 


Ready, James. Chapter one thirteen through fifteen. It says, When tempted, you need to understand it's not a matter of if, it's when you have a real enemy out there that says no one should say God is tempting me. You know, I hear that a lot. Why would God tempt me? God doesn't tend to you. He doesn't for God can't be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anybody. But each person is tempted when they're dragged away by their own evil desires and enticed. It says Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and hears the destruction. And when it's fully grown, it gives birth to death. And we've got to grasp that concept. You have an enemy that hates the fact that you have a relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he's doing everything to pull you away from that. That's what temptation is. I'll give you a definition. Temptation is anything that promises satisfaction at the cost of your obedience to God. It's anything that gives you a false promise. And boy, can I tell you it looks good. Matter of fact, if you go back in Genesis chapter three, when the enemy is tempting Adam and Eve, Eve looked at the apple and examined it. And what she came to the conclusion was what? That it looked okay. It looked okay to eat. There is nothing wrong with it. With this outward appearance. There was no deformity, but it looked good. Isn't that what the enemy is trying to do with us? Boy, does he take temptation to wrap that up. Really? Pretty boy, does he wipe that thing, make it look pretty, put it on a platter, and hand it to us, when in all reality, inside of that temptation that leads to sin is nothing but chaos and destruction for your life and your relationship with Jesus. And man. If we could just get a hold of that. 


Here's what that means for us. Like what are some temptations? The promise of our pain. That if we would just numb it somehow, that we would feel better. Or maybe if you, if you're single out there, like we fall into the temptation that, like, if we would find a spouse that would fulfill our every desire and every need. That's what temptation does to us. Matter of fact, there's even a process for this. There's a process of temptation. I'll give it to you because it's really powerful. Goes like this. The first thing is you desire you think about it, right? For a lot of times that comes through the lenses of our eyeballs. Like we see it, we think about it. And then what happens when we think about it? We imagine it right? Because our brain goes all over the place. We imagine it. Then what do we do after we imagine it? We're really good at this. We try to justify it. We can justify anything, right? Like we can, we can justify anything in our life. And then once we justify it, we choose it. So let me give you an example. In my own life, maybe last week. So I thought about this. I was like, look, my wife's brought a puppy home with our eight month old and three year old. Love that chaos in my life, man. So glad that she gets whatever she wants. Yeah, love, love that for me. Right. Then I imagine to myself, well, I probably should go buy a motorcycle, because that would be what I would want, right? I justified it by going, Well, my wife got what she wants, so I should get what I want, right? I obviously didn't choose it because I didn't pull up a motorcycle this morning. Right. 


I know that's funny, but here's more of a real reality. Well, man, I'm tired this week, man. I worked fifty hours. Man, I cleaned the house, I did the dishes. I took care of the kids. I did it all. My spouse, on the other hand, they're lazy. They did nothing. And then I imagine, like, you know what would make me feel better? Maybe I would get around a table with my guys or my ladies and I would just vent to them. Right. Because venting is not that bad, right? Like, let me just blast my spouse to a bunch of people, put out all their imperfections for everybody else to see. Right. And the justification is, well, it would make me feel better. Like I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm just doing it. And then we choose it. And the next thing you know, the closest people to us, what we've just done is demean, demoralize our spouse in front of the other people that we love around us. Or maybe it's like this. You think, golly, I'm bored. I've got nothing else to do. Like, what am I going to do with all my time? You know what? I imagine that in order to gratify some of my sin nature, that would be easier just to click on this website and you justify it by going like, well, my husband or my wife's not putting out. So like, I deserve this, right? Or maybe the justification, it goes a little bit like this or I deserve this. I've been a good boy or good girl for a while. Like I deserve a little fight in my life and then we choose it. We don't realize the destruction that is causing all around us, and we've got to rethink our relationship with temptation. And this week, in Genesis chapter 39, I want to walk through a story about Joseph. 


Now, If you were here last week, Pastor Matt did a fantastic job with Joseph's life and he talked about forgiveness. And this week we're going to pick up in chapter 39. Let me give you a little context around this. Joseph had a bunch of brothers, and his brothers were evil with their scheme and they didn't really like Joseph. And so they threw him into a pit. Well, next thing you know, these traders came along and they sold Joseph into slavery. So Joseph is now a slave to these people. And these traders ended up selling Joseph to this Egyptian man. So now you have an Israelite in Egypt, a foreigner in a foreign land that is a slave to this guy named Potiphar. And Potiphar realized after looking at Joseph that examining his life that God must be with Joseph because everything that Joseph touched, God honored and God favored. Which is a beautiful picture that despite the fact of whatever is happening in your life, that God is still with you, that He sees you in your hurt and your pain and the wrong that people have done what we talked about last week with forgiveness. But he's sold into Potiphar's house here. Right. And he finds favor so much that Potiphar says, hey, whatever I have all my affairs, all my houses, all my businesses, all of my money, I'm going to put in charge of you. You're equal to me. You have every right to say what and what not to do with it. 


So Potiphar gives him this honor in this respect in his household, despite the fact that he was actually a slave. And so here's what that's where we're at. Here's what happened though. In Genesis chapter 39, verse six and verse seven, this very high esteem man who's the head of the household, here's what happens. It says Now, Joseph was a well-built and handsome man. Don't you wish somebody said that about you? He said, after a while, his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, Come to bed with me. Now that's in front of your face. Oftentimes, temptation is wrapped in this pretty box that looks good that you don't even realize It's very tempting. But here Joseph is in a full on attack like this is a full out war. Like she's not hiding what she wants clearly. Right. And I love what the ESV says. It is a matter of fact this is Joseph here with her eyes that she saw him coming through her thoughts again. And point number one for today. You have to realize temptation often comes when we least expect it. Man, it should not come when we least expect it, because we should always be on our guard. But all the time I catch people I don't really like. Sometimes they're talking about this and they're like, Man, it took me by surprise. Have you ever heard of that? Like, this came out of nowhere, right? Like, could you imagine where Joseph was? All the injustice, all the wrongs that his brother just did out of nowhere after a while, the master's wife took notice of him. Now, here's why. Now, this is all speculation, but Potiphar is gone. He was out doing his own thing. Maybe his wife was lonely, maybe she was upset, maybe think she deserved it. But. But could you imagine, Joseph, after all the wrong that had happened in his life, could you see how easy it would have been for him to be like, dude, I deserve this. Who else would know? Man, he's put me in charge of his whole household, so why can't I take this upon myself either? Temptation comes at you when you least expect it. You are most vulnerable to temptation when you're weak, number one, or when you think you're strong. Here's when we fall into temptation. 


When life constantly just is beating on our door. When life is over and over and over like something else just can't go wrong. Knock, knock, knock. Here comes temptation. Or when you think that you're standing firm. I never, ever have a problem with that man. I used to have a pastor who used to sit in this pulpit for 32 years. On a Monday night, he said it like this. You're one decision away from stupid. And so many of us all the time think like, you know what? I go to church all the time. I pray, I read my Bible, I'm in a Bible study. I'm standing firm. We know the Scripture says, careful, we're about to read. It says, Careful that you don't fall. It's when you think that you can do this whole life on your own when you're weak, or when you think that you're standing firm or that you're strong. Look at what Matthew Chapter 26 verse 41 says. Watch and pray. 


Now that that's really good for us. Watch meaning be on your guard, look out for temptation, and pray. Here's what I often find that we do. We do one or the other. We either are on guard, we're watching, we're putting boundaries around in our life. We're avoiding certain things, or we're just praying, which is good. And it's not a bad thing. But we're not watchful. We're asking God, God, would you protect me? Would you guide me? And then somehow we just fall in temptation like, Well, I wasn't really watching out for that. It's both/and. You've got to watch and pray. You got to have the Holy Spirit of God to go, God, I need your help. God, You've already overcome the world. You've gone to the grave, You defeated it all. But I'm still here. I've got a real enemy that's trying to pull me back. God, I need you. But also I'm going to be on my guard. I'm going completely watch my surroundings and what's going on around me. I'm going to watch what I'm put in my life. I'm going to put people in my life that can give me accountability. That can look from the outside in. It's both/and. Instead, we want to take one or the other says Watch and pray. So what? So that you don't fall into temptation. Because the spirit's willing, but the flesh is weak. Amen. 


Here's what it says in First Corinthians chapter ten, verse 12. It says on the other side, Careful if you think you're standing firm so that you don't fall. It's both/and. Temptation will come when you least expect it, when things are going really good, when things are going really bad, they come on both ends, but it keeps going. Genesis chapter 39, verse eight and nine. She obviously tells him what she wants and then what happens? He refuses. And here's what he says. He says, With me in charge. He told her, My master doesn't concern himself with anything in the house, everything he owns, he's entrusted to my care. No one's greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you. His wife. And then listen to what he says. How then, can I do such a wicked thing against God? Point number two: Think about the costs. If you fall into temptation. You know what temptation is so really good at? It's so really good at packaging and wrapping itself as something good for your life that has destruction and all you can think about is the momentary satisfaction that it could potentially bring, while on the other hand, you should be thinking about the costs if you do fall into it. So many of us are wrapped and are consumed with that momentary lapse of pleasure that we forget about the cost of it. Let me, please hear me. This is a really important belief. You do not sin in isolation. You don't sin in isolation. The enemy wants you to think that secret thing that you're tempted with that who would really know? Who would really care? Nobody actually sees me doing it. You do not sin in isolation. When you take that temptation. You think you've run away. Nobody ever knows about it. Here's what scripture says, Your sin will eventually come to light. Now, it may not be in this life, but it will be in the next. Your sin will come to light and hear me. Listen, please, listen. You're saying doesn't just affect you. It affects every single person that's closest around you. 


I know this is going to be hard to hear. Look at divorce, look at infidelity. It affects the husband, effects of the spouse. It affects the kids. Your sin doesn't just directly affect you believer. It causes destruction with all things around you and your life and your home and your family, all of it. You have got to stop thinking about the pleasure of what if, and you've got to start thinking about what is the cost. That's exactly what Joseph's doing here. He's putting in formulating an argument with this lady to go. Hold on a second. Listen to me. I'm an Israelite. I'm in a foreign land. My God is the one true God. And right now I'm in a position of power and authority and respect. And I may lose my witness to all of Egypt if I'm looked at as a homewrecker. That's what he's saying. He sent me in this position, in this stature, man, if I was to go sleep with you, I would lose all of my credibility to every single person around me and maybe have missed the opportunity to speak to Jesus in their life. 


Even further, he was like, listen, hold on a second. You got to think about this, sweetheart. What? I'm not just sinning against you. I'm also sinning you get my master. I'm also sinning against my own body. And then he goes, What's more important, I'm sinning against God. How many of us think so much about sinning against God versus what could this potentially bring me for a moment? You have to count the costs of what happens if I go there. You have to tell yourself all the time. You've got to make these arguments. What would happen if. Man, I would lose all credibility, I'd lose all witnesses. It doesn't just affect me. It affects everybody around me. And he keeps going. I love this. Says this in verse ten. And though she spoke to Joseph Day after day when it happened, he refused to go to bed with her. And this is huge or even to be with her, period. Listen, temptation is going to just come knocking, come knockin, come knocking, come knocking. It's not once, it's not twice, it's not three. It's not four. It's every single moment of every single day of our life. When we wake up, we have a choice: Submit to God or do what I want to do. Submit to God or do what I want to do. 


The temptation is there every single day of our lives, and here's what we miss. We miss avoiding common areas of temptation. We miss avoiding common areas of temptation. It blows my mind how many people struggle with certain sins and continue to put themselves in environments and places where that sin flourishes. That's what he's doing. He's trying his best to avoid her and the temptation in his life. He knows it's coming. He knows she's there every single day. And if he can help it, he's trying to get away from it. Now, listen, he's putting up a safeguard. He's putting up boundaries. He's in the will of God right here. He's doing his duties to his master in his house. He knows he's doing everything to avoid it. Are you? Are you avoiding places? Like I know this is a big obvious example, but if you struggle with alcohol, you probably shouldn't be sitting at a bar. Right. Like, obviously. Right. But we do that with everything, like including people like we do with places. We do it with people. Matt talked about this last week. There's forgiveness. Sometimes it goes one way, sometimes it goes both ways. You can forgive somebody and still not have reconciliation with them. You can forgive them in your heart, but the relationship is still not good, right? So you probably should avoid certain places, certain people that you have rubs with or triggers with like, man, if I get around that person, I'll probably show my butt I can already. So the anger swirling inside of me, you probably should avoid them. 


Let's listen to what it says in Proverbs chapter four verses 14 and 15. Don't enter the path of the wicked and do not walk in the way of evil. Listen, avoid it. Avoid it altogether. Do not go on. Turn away from it and pass on. Pass on. Completely avoid it. And here's where I think the biggest one for some of us are. Avoid isolation. Did you read earlier what it said that the enemy is trying to drag you away to entice you? Let me go on a tangent for a second, church is so much bigger than this service. Hear me, This is so much bigger than you coming in, sitting at 11:00 or 9:30 or 8:15 service and hearing the word, you know what the church, the people of God are for. When I'm struggling, when I'm hurting, when I'm in a hard, hard, hard place in my life, I'm surrounded with like minded people like you that believe the same thing that I do to help encourage me to call somebody and go, Hey, listen, I'm being tempted right now. I need your help. 


That is the church. Man, some of us are just isolated ourselves. We come here once or twice a month. We come in one service, we walk out of here. Use the church. The body of believers is supposed to help each other come around each other. Because when you are tempted, you need people, you need God and you need other biblical people around you go, Hey, listen, I've been there before. Let me help you out. I've had this same struggle. Here's how me and the Lord worked through this. That's what the church is for. Some of you are like when times and moments in your life go, like, completely backwards, your first initial reaction is to isolate, just to hide. Well, I can't really let people know what I'm going through. I can't. I can't tell. Like, this is shameful. Like we shouldn't be able to. No. The body of Christ is full of broken people, that God has made whole. There's none of us in here that should be hiding from what's going on. This should be the most welcoming, inviting, encouraging place. Because here's a reality. The enemy is after every one of us, it's not just you, it's all of us. 


Do not find your place in a place of isolation. Not just with church, but in general. I know not everybody is an extrovert. Some people are introverts. You still need people around you to speak into your life. You need like minded people around you. When you start isolating yourself is when the enemy starts getting a little bit more of a foothold, Little bit more of a foothold. Because here's what I know. If he plants one small little thought and you take that and you run with it in your mind, man, it leads to a large path of destruction. When you constantly don't put the promises in the word of God in your mind. There's a reason that Scripture says to take every single thought captive. It's not just empty words, because all of your temptation starts in the mind. It starts up here and you think about it and you fester on it. Is that true? Is that a promise to God? Is that the enemy? You have to train yourself. Who's talking to me? Is this the promise of God or is this the enemy trying to lure me and drag me away in isolation that furthers me into temptation leading to sin? Don't go there. Don't do it. Please. You've got to avoid it. 


Last story I'll tell you before we move on. I was reading an article about online gambling. I know it's ravaging, right? And this guy was talking about how it started really innocently. He had downloaded this app on his phone. He uploaded five bucks to his account. Then five became 500 and then 5,000. And next thing you know, he's taken money that he's borrowing that he doesn't have. And now he's losing it. And he's in mounds and mounds and mounds and mounds of debt. And here's what happened. He realized that he wasn't strong enough to delete an app just to get away from it because he could just redownload the app. So instead, he just turned his cell phone on and said, no, thank you. I'll take your flip phone because it's got no Internet and it's got no apps. That's how much you need to avoid temptation. It's not easy. It's not pretty. It's not the most popular, which we're about to talk about in this next point. But you must avoid it at all costs. If there's anything in your life and I'm going to say this here me: When was the last time? Just hear me. I know, I know. This is going to be hard to hear. What was the last time you tried to avoid a workplace or ask for a new location because you were scared that a coworker relationship that you had could turn inappropriate? 


That's how much you need to avoid it. Because here's what we do. We try to justify it. I don't have a problem. This isn't going to become a big thing. We're not that close. We don't have a strong relationship. And next thing you know, if you don't change locations, if you don't change jobs, that relationship becomes stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger. And the next thing you know, there it goes. That's how easy it can become. I'm not saying every situation leads to that by no means, but if you don't remove yourself from that thing and something doesn't change, you're playing with fire. That's how much we had to avoid it. We've got to keep going. Justice Chapter 39, verse 11 and 12 says, One day he went to the house to attend to his duties. He's in the will of God. He's doing his duties. Sometimes you can't avoid it, okay? Sometimes it's going to attack. Ready? And none of the household servants were inside there by herself. She caught him by his cloak saying, Come to bed with me. And he left his cloak in her hand and he ran out of the house. Flee from temptation at all costs. Here was the cost. This man's cloak just came off. He is probably in his skivvies or butt naked running through this place. You all laugh, but the man was fleeing temptation with every single thing that he has. He knew the cost of falling into it. He didn't care what the rest of the world looked like. He didn't care what they said about him. He didn't care about the whispers in the back room. Did you see so-and-so fleeing in his undies? No, he didn't care about any of that. You know what he cared about? He cared about honor and glorifying King Jesus. 


That's what he cared about. You have to flee at all costs. I don't care what it costs you. Matter of fact, later on in Scripture, we don't have time to get there. Today she took that cloak. She went to important people. She slandered his name. There is lies. It's not the most popular thing to do. Stop trying to look like the rest of the world and flee and get out of temptation that leads to the destruction at all costs and everything. Every moment of resistance to temptation is victory in King Jesus. You realize that every moment that you flee from temptation is victory between you and the Lord. Going God, thank you so much for giving me the power through your Holy Spirit to flee. I mean, our natural reaction isn't to flee, it's to stick around. It's to let it flirt a little bit, and eventually it leads to sin. Every single moment believer, that you flee from temptation is victory in Jesus. Here's what First Corinthians chapter ten says. And I love this. Here's the hope. Here's the hope. No temptation has seized you accept what is common to man. Listen and God is faithful. Some of you needed to hear that today. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Meaning that the intention isn't going to be so strong that you have no other bodily choice but to give in to it, he says. But when you are tempted, he will provide a way out so that you can stand up underneath it. Man believer, here's a here's the reality. King Jesus has already defeated the grave. He's conquered it. We have salvation through the blood of Christ through it. But here's all the reality. Satan hates the fact that you have a relationship with Him. And if you don't fall to the feet of Jesus, there's a reason Matt talked about this a couple of weeks ago in the Lord's Prayer, where we pray God help me with temptation. Help me. I'm begging, I'm pleading, at all costs. Would you give me a way out?


Now, listen, God is faithful not to get that way out, but here's my question to you. Are you looking for the way out? Are you too satisfied in what sin already has to offer? You know, for some of us, the reason that we may not even resonate with this temptation is because some of us have already fallen into sin. Like it's a pattern, it's a cycle in our life that we know even longer, like fighting temptation. We just get into it like it's just reality. Like I've done it once, I've done it twice, I've done it three times. Might as well keep this path up. That's not the will of God for your life. Man, you're playing with fire. Hear me believer God wants to give you victory over all of it. Stop thinking that you can do this on your own and fall to the feet of Jesus and go, God, I need protection. And you realize that there's a real war going out there. I realized this a couple of months ago. You know what God is doing right now. I'm talking like right now. Think about that. What is God doing right now? Hear me. He is working on your behalf. Draw near to me and I'll draw near to you. He's going in front of you. He's going behind you and he's working on your behalf. You don't even know the battles that God is facing right now for you, so that we don't even come close to temptation. God is with you. Believer. He wants to help you as a guide. He wants to give you the strength he wants in those times, in those moments when the Holy Spirit is going, This isn't a good situation. You probably need to get out of here. You don't need to be here. This is going to get bad. You probably, that's the Holy Spirit of God helping you. That's giving us the way out. Some of it, it's like, my God, let's just see where this thing goes. He's like, no, flee, run, avoid. 


You have to have to have to seek the seed of Jesus and go, God, I need you, God. I know my flesh, I know my vulnerabilities. I know where I'm weak. Can I tell you something? The enemy knows even more. You may know yourself really, really, really well. The enemy knows even more. The reason he catches us off guard a lot of times is because he knows us better. I'm not trying to give. I'm not trying to give the enemy more power than he deserves. By no means. But some of you forget that he knows. And some of us are walking this tightrope between temptation and sin. And all we need is one quick pull or the wind to blow. And then there we go. And don't even get there. Flee, run, avoid, Get away. Think about it. Think about it, believer before you get to a place that causes utter destruction not only with you, with people around you, there's hope in King Jesus. There's so much strength and hope if you rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to go, God, I have no idea what I'm walking into today. But you do. God, I know that there are things that are going to be coming at me. God, I'm going to be watchful, I'm going to be on guard. But right now I'm praying. Would you go before me? Would you protect me? Would you open my eyes to when you give me a way out, that I would take that way out? That's what an active relationship with Jesus is. Not just like we're not just out there when temptation comes and we just walk right through the door. Some of us have just opened the door, let it all out and go come on in. And then we wake up one day and realize like, wow, how did I get here? How did I get here? 


So here's how I want it to end today. Here we go. I want you to ask yourself the very hard questions. I want to ask yourself where are my vulnerabilities? Where is it in my life that I know that I'm weak? Where's those areas of temptations, those insecurities or those thoughts? Maybe it's my mind. Where are the areas in my life that I'm most vulnerable? Maybe I've isolated myself, maybe I've kind of put up my guard and my husband or my spouse, or maybe it's my accountability partner. Nobody can really sneak into my life. You know, when temptation catches you off guard is when you just say, hold on a second. Maybe it's you putting your accountability back around you to go, Hey, what is it in my life that you're seeing that maybe my eyes aren't seeing? What is it about me? What is it about my walk with the Lord? Maybe like you've known this for a while, hear me. Your spouse hasn't picked up the word of God in a while, and what they're believing in their mind is not the promises of God. The most loving thing you can do is go husband, sweetheart, listen, I love you so much. But maybe, just maybe, you're struggling so much because you're relying on the things of this world to try to fill you up when only God can. That's how important this is. 


Some of us just have to ask ourselves the really, really hard questions. Or maybe you're out there and you're like, Hey, listen, I've already fallen. I got a face planted, I'm over the line. It's drug me knees deep and I don't know how to get out. Hear me today in this next song would you fall at the feet of Jesus and go, God, my sin is yours. God is good enough, faithful enough, just enough to forgive you of your sin. And he wants to take that disgusting brokenness and turn it for His honor and His glory for good. We have a God that takes our bad and turns it good for His glory. Praise Jesus for that. And all we need to do is fall at the feet of Jesus and go, God, it's yours. God, I'm surrendering today. I know this is hard. I know this is self examining. I know you need to ask yourself the hard questions, but hear me today with the closest person to you, your spouse or whoever. Where are the vulnerabilities in my life? How can we surrender those to the Lord and what are some guards and some things that we need to avoid in our life in order for us not to fall into sin? Would you pray with me this morning? 


Father, we love you and God we need you. God, we're so thankful for your word for Joseph's life, for the reminder that God, we can avoid, that we can flee because of how good you are. God, would you help us? God, would you guide us God right now, in this time, in this moment, would you poke, would you pry into our life? And go man, for so long you've been flirting with this and maybe the Holy Spirit is warning you right now. Be careful. God, would we heed to that warning? God, would we listen to you when you say no. God, Will we say yes to you? God, I'm praying for marriages right now. God, would you guide and would you protect. God, for the students in the room, God, would you protect from the culture and the world and what everybody's throwing at them? And God, would they cling to your promises and your truth and your word. That they would realize that those things promise satisfaction, but only you satisfy. That only you can fill the void and the gap in our life. So, God, would you go before us? Would you protect us? And Father, would we not just come into church, not let it be another Sunday, but God that we would actively walk this out today in our life? Would you open our eyes to the temptations of this world so God, that we can run to you? God, We have a loving father that opens his arms and says, Come. So Father, let us say no to those things and say yes to you, King Jesus. God, we love you and we're so thankful for who you are. In your name we pray. 



Follow Along with the Message


February 25, 2024

James 1:13–15
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

“Temptation is anything that promises satisfaction at the cost of your obedience to God.”
— Tim Challies

How Temptation Works

1. You think / it.

2. You it.

3. You it.

4. You it.

Genesis 39:6–7
…Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”

PRINCIPLE: Realize temptation often comes when we least it.

PRINCIPLE: You are most to temptation when you’re weak or when you think you are strong.

Matthew 26:41
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
Genesis 39:8–9
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

PRINCIPLE: Think about the if you fall into temptation.

Genesis 39:10
And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

PRINCIPLE: Avoid areas of temptation.

Common Areas of Temptation



Proverbs 4:14–15
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.


Matthew 6:9, 13
9 Pray then like this… 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Genesis 39:11–12
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

PRINCIPLE: from temptation at all costs.

“Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.”
— Frederick W. Faber

1 Corinthians 3:10
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.

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