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Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Growing Christians are Tempted

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2021 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Growing Christians are Tempted

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 26, 2021 3:00 am

Our spiritual adversary is a formidable foe. And he knows that if he can take down a believer who’s actively living out his faith, he scores a big win for his kingdom of darkness. Not only is the believer’s life affected but many others around him, as well. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us understand the tactics of our adversary and be prepared for his attacks. We’ll learn how to stand our ground and resist the temptations that seem to surround us constantly.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God check out virtue our website for Christian women go to harvest.org/virtue today. Greg will report showed healthy growing Christian is sometimes the favorite targets or spiritual adversary.

You are growing as a Christian you are progressing the front stairs. Why become a bona fide to his view. Find yourself constantly being arrested may be an indication you're on the right track. He knows that if he could take down a believer who is actively living out his faith with darkness. Not only is the believer's life of many others around well to the beginning. Greg Laurie helps us understand the tactics of our adversary's attacks learn how to stand our ground. Resist the temptation to surround this message is why does God allow temptation. The life of the believer to the Scriptures you go to look for in James one.

Look for in James one, so turn there if you would quick up Paul before we get started, how many of you have ever been tempted to sin. Raise your hand up okay. How many of you have given into the temptation this and raise her hand up to how many of you have resisted the temptation to sin, measuring interesting mother quite as many hats.

I don't understand that maybe other whatsit really need to be here, but listen, here's what you need to know everyone gets tempted. It's not a sin to be tempted.

It's only a sin when you give into but everyone faces that even pastors. Of course, heard a story about a minister that want to make off hospital call and he couldn't find a parking spot of the circle around and around and finally he double parked any yet, he put one of his little cards under the windshield wiper the case.

An officer came along, he said, dear officer, I will leave for an appointment to minister to somebody and so I circled the block 10 times. I couldn't find a space and then the minister wrote forgive us our trespasses, so the minister want to meet his Byzantine back out of soft parking ticket under the windshield wiper was both surprised by that but he noticed the officer wrote something extra on the ticket and the officer wrote these words dear Rev., I circled this blog for 10 years of I don't give you a ticket. I'll get fired and then the officer wrote lead us not into temptation, but I guess it officer read his Bible to sense what I want to talk about why does God allow temptation know this is a part of our series, whatever he growing Christian needs to know we've already seen the importance of studying the Bible. If we want to grow spiritually. We seen the importance of a prayer life. If we want to grow spiritually, we see the importance of being a vital part of a church that we want to grow spiritually and I will him and talk about why temptation comes. It doesn't make sense. Why would God allow us to be tempted. What possible good can come out of it will. Here's what you need to know if you are indeed growing as a Christian. If you are progressing in the Christian life.

You're going to come into the crosshairs of the devil. Why, because now you will become a bona fide threat to his kingdom.

If you find yourself constantly being harassed and tempted that may be an indication you're on the right track. If you can't remember the last time you are tempted. Maybe you're not worth attempting to think about that seat so here's what we need to understand everyone will be tempted in. Even Jesus was tempted and that's were looking at here in Luke chapter 4.

Our Lord is beginning his public ministry at the age of 30 is going down of the Jordan River easement baptized by his cousin John and the Holy Spirit. As you recall, came upon Christ in the form of a dog in the father actually spoke from heaven, and said this is my beloved son in whom I am well please.

What in epic moment we see the Trinity in action here, father, son and Holy Spirit. So what happens, we read that immediately after that Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil wants. After a moment like that yes after a moment like that. After the dove came the devil after the blessing came the temptation know why was Jesus tempted, let's get technical, in a literal sense God cannot be tempted. He's not contemptible. He doesn't have a sinful nature backward and told in Scripture. James 13 God cannot be tempted with evil. Neither does he himself tempt any man's only talked about the temptation of Christ. He was tempted in one sense, but in another sense. He did not have the vulnerability to give in to the temptation. Having said that I would add Jesus did feel the pressure in the presence of temptation. Why would he go through that so he would be able to help us to understand that he has walked in our shoes so we would understand that we serve a God that knows what it's like to face temptation and he's sympathizes with us and Becky Bruce for 15 speaking of Christ says this high priest of ours understands our weaknesses pretty face all the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.

So let us come boldly to the throne of grace of our gracious God that will receive his mercy and find grace to help us when we need it so you can feel God doesn't know what it's like to live in the 21st century cognizant know what it's like to face temptation.

Actually, God does know what it's like and he basted. Here's another reason why believe Jesus was tempted the occupy ground that we can occupy. Let me restate that Jesus face this so will see how we should face it gives us a template to follow for the next time we come under him patient so he's giving us an example to follow us know nobody likes being tempted. It's a horrible thing to have to go through but but there is some value that can come from it. It's been said one Christian is been tempted is worth more than a thousand who haven't been on another person said Christians are a lot like teabags you don't know what they're made up to you put them in hot water maybe here in the hot water of temptation right now in your thinking.

Why is God allowing this in my life because it can make you stronger. It can cause you to be more dependent upon God and see his abundant resources that are at your disposal.

It sort of toughened you up as a follower of Christ to listen to this statement and this is our first text here. James one verse 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation for when he is been approved to receive the crown of life whom the Lord's promise to those who love him to write up about. We see some important things about temptation number one for can be adored. It can be resisted on that later. Number two. There is a reward for the person who endures temptation because the promises will receive the crown of life at thirdly you'll be a happy person if you resist temptations call because it says blessed is the man or literally happy is the man who resists or endures temptation not hers will get a look at the verse of the Forrester look for you. Look at six things about temptation number one will get a look at where temptation comes from where temptation comes from number two will you look at when temptation comes when temptation comes number three.

How does temptation come. How does temptation come number four who does temptation come to who doesn't come to five. Where is the best place to be when it comes. And lastly, number six.

What is the primary weapon we should use to resist how that's ready. Let's read look for you to read verses 1 to 13.

Now Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

Being tempted for 40 days by the devil. And in those days. He ate nothing and afterwards when the it ended, he was hungry.

The devil said to him, if, by the way this can be translated since so it wasn't a question of if Jesus was the son of God seat was effectively affirming it to be translated since since you are the son of God, says the devil wanted to commend the stone to become bread.

Jesus answered him, saying it is written, underline that phrase man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God, then the devil took him up to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time in the devil said all this authority I will give to you and their glory.

This is been delivered to me and I can give it to whomever I wish.

Therefore, if you will worship before me. All of this will be yours. Jesus answered and said get behind me Satan, for it is written, underline that phrase again. You shall worship the Lord God and him only shall you serve. Then Satan brought him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said since you are the son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written notice." Scripture no bread is written, he will give his angels charge over you to keep you and in your hands will bear you up lets you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus answered and said it is been said, you shall not tempt the Lord your God. Now when the devil it ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It church in your home.

If you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ. Join us this weekend harvest@home.o today. Pastor Greg is beginning to offer six observation on how to resist temptation based on the Lord's response to temptation, recorded in Luke chapter 4.

Let's continue. Okay so let's deal with issue number one.

Where does temptation come from, where does it come from well we play a key role in our own temptation.

Satan needs our cooperation in this area where there is no desire on our part. There is no temptation if Vince said it takes two to make a successful temptation and you are one of the two okay so it's very easy to blame everything on the devil or blame everything on someone who may be tempted your own whatever it is you're facing. But the reality is you have to cooperate with it. James one 14 says everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires is enticed and what desire is conceived to give birth to sin, and sin when it's full grown, brings forth death. Now in this simple verse of these two verses I should say we have the five steps of temptation).

James 114 to 16. First of all, we have the temptation itself.

Everyone is tempted, again reminding us that everyone faces it first Corinthians 1013 says there is no temptation taken you but such as is, and the man you're not the only person that had those crazy thoughts know you're not losing your mind you're not the only person that's been under that pressure. You're not the only person in his face.

The temptation that you face it, and the man we all face it, so we need to understand that and everyone is tempted, but there's always a way out number two let's say you're drawn your you're attracted to that thing you're tempted now you're under its power. Verse 14 drawn away by your own desire. Your own desires. This is the whole thing of try this sample take a test drive. Go ahead and buy, you can return it if you want that this is a strategy of that because you know I'm pretty good with resisting dessert.

I like dessert but I don't crave dessert now you put hot bread in front of me and I collapse I love hot bread and especially with butter on it but tell, you know, dessert us, and I don't want dessert software may be in a restaurant reading some of the ones you dessert now and wanted some Seo.

I wanted to and okay bring the desert with four forks right so everyone to start eating and I'll say to myself on to meet any event dessert just it's a matter of principle. I'm not having an instrument is a truly good great trek.

Okay, try little bit only need is at taste and now it's like I'm a shark that smelled blood. Okay, this is nothing my wife. You know she likes to eat things in a long leisurely way so shall take abided, even for a hold the bite when she talks like this in the moment she turned away, I might you notice the rightmost of intrinsic part of the food go. I don't know it. But here's the thing it was that little taste that gets me or maybe it's a test drive. You never plan on buying the car all over now that you have that new car smell and deep experience and now you said yourself, I must have it will that's temptation you think I will do this thing. I will give into this temptation to take it for a little mental test drive. I would never act on that lustful thoughts, but I'll go ahead and just play it through in my mind just for fun, sort of a little fantasy. There is no harm. There I would never actually reach out in kill a person, but all just sort of entertained the thought of beating them many times. It hurt whatever it is, but the ideas you take it mentally.

You see, you're already getting pulled it step number three are almost took verse 14 James one. You're drawn away by your own desires and enticed.

Now that this is becoming problematic. It's like the hoax. It in your didn't wield it. There's still a way out and remember friends there's always a way out. There's always a way out again.

At first Corinthians 1013 there's no temptation that you face. That's a compliment but God was faithful will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able, but will temptation make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Listen to this. Sometimes a way of escape is as simple as the door. It's just the door.

You know, maybe you're being tempted your laying down on a bed with your girlfriend, your sin, I'm facing sexual temptation in this hotel room we just booked and I'm laying here and I don't know why this is happening.

Number one because you're an idiot. Number two you planted in you set yourself up. Well Otto I resisted your case you need to get out of there as quickly as you can. Simple as that uniquely theirs. It could give me strictness shut up with the to get out get out like when Potter first wife. The original cougar this older woman get on young Joseph.

She pulled them down on the bed and effectively said, have sexual relations with me and he ran. Sometimes I just the best thing to do. Just run see at this point we have a problem you know you're almost took your you're enticed to your thinking your processing your considering that bridges step number four.

The hook is set desire is conceived to give birth to sin. So you act on it, select menu to and maybe there's a little bit of fun but short-lived pitcher lived. Maybe there's not even a little bit fun. Maybe it's just miserable from the get-go.

But whatever little momentary pleasure.

You have now since Edson the deadness of sin sets and you know I'm talking about and the guilt sets in every consciences working so I have a problem though you're separated from God and fellowship, and then the effects of sin said in verse 15 and sin when it's full grown, brings forth death. They get big and it becomes potent, you know, we have a couple rabbits or grandkids do a should say in one is named fuzzy and cute little Robert really liked that Robin they went on about another rabbit that was even smaller than fuzzy. You hold this rabbit in the palm of your hand. I think his name was Martin so there's fuzzy, useful, grown Martens's tiny little Robert Underwood help about Martin just grew like a weed mixing you know Martin is bigger than fuzzy.

In any kind of not cute anymore fuzzies can dark brown.

The Martens and another can of weird like he came in from the field or something and then the thing is is Martin is kind of aggressive it's like fuzzy would let you pet him another Martens around them. Martin is a bad influence on fuzzy any thinking fuzzy back to his wild rabbit ways you know and and and fuzzy as an the little rabbit. You could pet anymore.

They're both, while the barn gets bigger and bigger and then one day, Martin just dies. We don't know why he died.

We said by okay so those in a Martin you can that sin, you know, it starts up it so you just say look that gets bigger will this really bit the promise since I can about your gonna die is going to have its way with you, so don't even start with the thought you have resisted at the get-go.

So having said all of that everyone is going to be tempted and that everyone is going to face it. At some point in their life. And so here we find Jesus facing temptation and you I think it's very easy for us to place the blame on others. Again, quoting James 13 let no man say when he is tempted, I'm tempted by God. Don't blame it on God. We do that sometimes got it's her fault. Adam did that I didn't know who Brianna Blaine who is either God or his wife. But after he gave into sin.

He said Lord it's the woman you gave me. So even the emphasis is on woman or the emphasis is on you know it's either Adam said it's the woman you gave me, or it's the woman you gave me either way you look at it.

Adam is shifting blame is not taking responsibility is not my fault. God, it's your fault it's her fault. Then of course he says well the serpent trick me so she blames the devil.

No one's accepting responsibility for their actions here, but that's what it is something that were all going to Greg Laurie is highlighting important insights on temptation and how we can avoid it. And there's more to learn from Jesus temptation in Luke chapter 4 as this message continues here on a new beginning. But if you weren't able to hear all of Pastor Greg's insights today. Interruptions can happen.

You can hear the study all over again@harvest.org just look for the message called why does God allow temptation in the life of the believer or for a permanent copy on CD. Just call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven again at 1-800-821-3300. What a privilege to have sports hero Darrell strawberry with us today.

He is known to baseball fans and even non-baseball fans the world over and were making available is brand-new book called turn your season around, you know, Darrell.

So many are working overtime to make lots of money or to make a name for themselves that love to be rich and famous. Well you been both it is it worth it. Is it worth all the pain now is that was all afraid of at the end of the day. It really all is meaningless on the sound when you go to King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes and he talks about how is meaningless on the sound without God you I had all this I built all their sin, you know. He writes the book of Proverbs, and then he goes back to write this book.

Sounds like you feel sorry that he didn't stay on God's plan. You know when you get off God's plan you, you find yourself in a certain place and I think when I will when I was reading that about King Solomon and I read the first three chapters of Ecclesiastes.

She said I 46 times the Holy Spirit made me circle humming sound. He said he said I'd Holy Spirit said. He said because he was talk about himself and had he kept his eyes on God, he would never fallen off the cliff of the lifestyle that he ended up doing investor happens to so many of us if we just realize that having stuff.

It doesn't mean anything at the end of the day. It is important that we keep our eyes on the cross where he shed his blood for sinners like us that we may have life and have it more abundantly and abundant life.

I think most people think his stuff and is really not his peace, joy, wisdom, knowledge, power is far greater. This any stuff that I ever achieve what I have now from God. That's down the side of me. It replaced everything that I was searching for you number to the search for all of bigger house, a bigger car because a card house of the house and is all will do the same thing. You live in the house you will drive aquatic arsenal breakdown house will good okay everybody goes through that everyone goes through that and just at the end of the day. Who are you and then who who was really important in your life and I think the most important thing that I have received was Christ in my life and being a living example of what Christ is all about. When you think about it. Jesus did live in a mansion here right in Cadillac Escalade of Satan and I got this big mattress is nobody here.

You know he met us right will react so you're less the way God calls us to be. You know not consume all these are for material things because heaven and earth will pass away, but not my word all the stuff as well pass away, but the word of God is never was always somebody you know a lot of people disabled Darrell strawberry just said but Darrell strawberry is been there done that, bought the T-shirt. Actually, he's been the T-shirt and the point is, this is a man who speaks from experience and I you know you quoted Solomon and Solomon was at that moment, the wealthiest man who ever lived in and he pretty much chased after everything his culture had to offer.

At that time he billed incredibly huge mansions and had beautiful gardens and that people come and do performances of music for him and chased after sexual pleasure and drink and all the rest of it and he said one day I just look at all of those things and I realize it was all emptiness and it was like chasing the wind. So Darrell strawberries written about this in a whole lot more with a lot of words of encouragement to help you get through this season of life. You may be an you know were in a tough season collectively as a nation, even globally, with this pandemic and we need encouragement and I have words of encouragement for you. Written by our friend Darrell strawberry in his new book called turn your season around how God transforms your life and it be our joy to send this to you for your gift of any size to harvest ministries.

They help us continue to teach God's word, which is so needed. Don't you think and also to proclaim the gospel.

Yet such an important time to share the good news and we want to send Darrell's book. Your way to thank you for your donation really an investment to help us as we touch lives each day with this radio program.

So will you. Contact us today and when you include a donation. Be sure to ask for turn your season around.

You can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org today is our last opportunity to mention touch right away. The next time Pastor Greg has a lot more to share with his six observations about temptation and how we can resist will join us next time your new beginning and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor greats free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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