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Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Understanding Temptation

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2021 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Understanding Temptation

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 1, 2021 3:00 am

Drivers have told their car insurance companies some doozies. “Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.” “My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.” “As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before.” It’s similar to the way we try to rationalize our sin before God. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us understand temptation.

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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 some special friends of this ministry.

Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal blog@blog.greglaurie.com temptation is universal. We are all why do we fall to temptation. Pastor Greg Laurie shares. We often set ourselves up for the fall see here's the thing was we get out of God's will we go to the wrong places we were surprisingly do what you want to godly people, godly places, because the best defense is a good offense coming home.

I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree. I don't have a car was legally parked back into another vehicle. As I approached an intersection assigned suddenly appeared in the place where no stop sign. It appeared before similar to the way we try to rationalize our sin today on a new beginning for Greg Laurie understand words or 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 look at when temptation comes when temptation comes number three.

How does temptation come. How does temptation come number four Buddhist temptation come to go to visit 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 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. Underlying 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, and 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. Underlying 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 forward. It is written notice" in 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. 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 okay when this temptation generally come after times of great blessing. Often, after times of great blessing and the surprises us out of people don't go to church on Sunday but you guys you take time out to come here and open God's word and you know that's a wonderful thing.

Or maybe you go to a great conference or retreat, or you have a great time of worship and in your sin. This is so fantastic and it shocks you when you walk out of church and you don't even have to get outside a church. Guess what, Satan content does in church. I was we can keep them out of here. We can he's a prince of the power of the air and you know maybe you're even in worshipful Lord you're so glorious you're so wonderful and suddenly seemingly out of nowhere like a flaming missile from hell. This wicked range, crazy thought comes to dislike their belief in thinking this first point, you wouldn't necessarily come up with that. I mean maybe your twisted knee a bit. I don't know, but really seriously sometimes you were thinking about anything like that. You literally were thinking of the glory of God. You literally were taking them the word of God in this thing just came out of nowhere. You known them talking about and now you're feeling better because you have the son of commitment see this thing is like. Just like there is so embarrassed you didn't do anything wrong. You didn't do anything wrong. You don't have to apologize not to process it and make it your own. You do but you could just think this is from the devil get out of here. Forget this. I resist as I rebuke this turn away from it, but will often come after times of great blessing. Point number four. How does temptation come in most cases it comes to the doorway of our mind.

Most cases the comes of the doorway of our mind. Second Corinthians 11 three says, I'm afraid, as he was deceived by the serpent's coming your mind may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ your mind when those flaming arrows of my godly thoughts, we need to have our guard up.

Because second Corinthians 10 Ford says we use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons and knocked on the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments with some of this, we capture these rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. No, I'm not going that I'm looking to be filled with fluorite. No worry. Take a hike, no I want to pray instead. No, I'm not going to give into fear. Right now I'm in the trust in what God says in his work. No, luckily, given the lust right now. I reject that the no I'm not going to give into bitterness right now, to forgive the person know you draw the line right there right here in the month commencing music get behind me Satan told that story before that woman that like to buy close imagine such a and her husband was a real cheapskate to so she said honey I'm going down the model number just you know window shop is no you're not because every time you go windowshopping you buy something, just don't go to those I will buy anything honey, I promise that a come on, you know, our budget, it's tight this month. Please don't but I will not buy anything.

I was going to Brown so she went out of the mall and came back two hours later with a new dress. He says that I told you not to buy anything. She said there you don't know what happened when he whatever. Okay, here's what up and walking by the store that this cute outfit in the window and I was interested.

I did walk-in but I had no intention of buying it and and the salesperson said here. Try it on. I was still wasn't in a buy it and I put it on in honey devil himself appeared of the dressing devil appeared what you say that the devil said to me you look good in that outfit husband said that's crazy. You should said get behind me Satan.

She said I did and then he said it looks good from the back to buy. Number five, where's the best place to be.

Where's the best place to be answered in the will of God in the will of God.

Where was Jesus at this point he was in the will of God. How do we know that well. Jesus was always in the will of God actually he said in John 829 I always do what pleases the father and I could never say that.

Could you what an amazing thing to say that I always do what pleases the father but you know what Jesus did.

But remember he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness he was in God's will see here's the thing that happens what we get out of God's will we go to the wrong places we hang out with the wrong people, and there were surprisingly do the wrong thing so if you're hanging around ungodly people and ungodly places been tempted to do ungodly things. Don't be surprised when you give into it.

That's why you want to hang around godly people and godly places and do godly thing because the best defense is a good offense.

So instead of standing around in places where you're vulnerable saying all this is so hard going out with God's people like being here. This is a great place. Let's say your problem with alcohol. So you hang around the bars. Why do you do that great penis, one week there don't hang up the bar. Not so I got them trying to go on a diet but I love being around it. Krispy Kreme donuts. I mean really, so put yourself in the place Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this 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, 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 helping us learn from the way Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness good insights to help us resist our temptations unnoticed with the devil says to. Here's the first of three temptations of diversity. If you are the son of God are said to the son of God, command the stone to become bread. With the devil saying he Jesus instead around the corner here. Notice that baptism heard what your father said this is my beloved son in whom I will please okay if you are who you say you are. Prove it turn to stone turn a rock into a loaf of bread. Now why would that be tempted or if you had been for 40 big should be hungry to Artie told about how hard it is for me to resist fresh bread. Jesus could have created fresh bread.

Jesus could've materialized anything he wanted to eat at the moment that he did not do that and so Jesus responds by saying it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God and showing us how to face temptation mentioned not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from God's mouth. What Jesus was showing us one tempted keep your priorities in order.

Stand your ground and use the word of God. Here the devil comes source of the same temptation today really the bait in the first temptation was designed to hit him physically. It was effectively saying put your physical needs above your spiritual need. The devil still does out with us today to go ahead and enjoy the sin you know it'll be fun to play. Now pay later you with needs enjoy the moment. Come on, it'll be great, but by saying mention on live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God's mouthpiece and you gotta keep your life in the proper balance. There's nothing wrong with eating to live but you don't want to live to eat.

There's nothing wrong with having stop what you don't want stuff to have you. There's nothing wrong with having relationships.

You don't want a relationship with another person to become more important than your relationship with God by when I was first going out with my wife to be A we were very young, and she says I said something to her up. Maybe your first or second timeout.

Jesus you turned me and said, if you ever get in the way of my relationship with God. Your I said that.

She said yes you did. Said Bennett was such a romantic wasn't a great thing to say to a girl.

She says exit was a really great thing to say to me is and why she says what I was coming used to manipulating guys and getting them to do what I wanted them to do that that well here's a guy that love God so much. He's going to just say it right up front and he loves God, even more than he loves me that's a guy want to be listed okay so there's a great line single people. Keep in mind the Maestro.

Hey, how's it going, he is in the way my relationship with God neurotic.

I don't even know you yet know. Maybe I should use online layer. I'm not sure I get confused. So really, he's putting the physical above the spiritual. Now this second temptation is really interesting. The bait in the second temptation was to avoid the cross which was the objective of Jesus, why did Jesus come to planet Earth to give us the greatest teaching that have ever been given. That's not the primary reason to do mighty miracles and change people's lives is wonderful as it was, that was not the primary reason to provide for us a great example of someone who loves God yeah he was that a much more. Of course, actually the real reason the primary reason Jesus came to this earth was to die for the sins of planet that's his main objective. So all these other things as wonderful as they were were really secondary to the main goal of going to the cross and died because there was no other way to satisfy the righteous demands of God to here's what the devil says look at verse five of Luke four then the devil taken them to a high mountain shows him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, the devil said all of this authority is mine, and I can give it to you and their glory bridge been delivered to me and I'll give it to whomever I wish.

Therefore, if you will worship performing all will be your the devil Satan. This is my stop and I can give it to you if I want to note Jesus did not refute the statement of Satan and you want to know why he didn't refute it because it was true because Satan is the god of this world. The Bible says Satan is the prince of the power of the air. See, he's the one that is effectively pulling all artists rings right now I'm planet is not ultimately he's overruled by God who is sovereign and in control with the devil has a certain leeway on this planet and the same Jesus, I know why you're here. I know you come to Diana cross I get it. I'm telling you what to make you an offer you cannot refuse.

I'll give it to you on a silver platter. I give you all the stuff he came to redeem humanity to God. The kingdom buyback that which was lost in the Garden of Eden year to get the title deed of planet Earth.I'll give it to you know cross no suffering no crucifixion, no bearing this in the world I have to do is just worship me. That's all the doubles over one the top job. He wanted to be worshiped. And so here we see him say no I Jesus, you can have it right now, he still offers us the people today I read an interesting poll done by USA Today among young people in a reveal what today's young people really want more than anything else you want to notice, to be rich and famous, 81% of those that are 18 to 25-year-old said they want to get rich and they want to be famous get rich and be famous. 30% of their top goal is to help people needed help 22% of the goal was to be leaders in their community and 10% of today's young people said they wanted to become more spiritual sense of self regeneration is not know we all want to be a celebrity. We want will want her own reality show, even if it's not on TV will have it on Facebook 11 Instagram we all want to be the center of attention. We all want to be the celebrity or whatever.

I remember a quote by comedian Jim Carrey.

I hope one day everyone will get rich and famous have everything they ever dreamed of. So the know that's not the answer. I think he knows to because he's rich and famous. But you see this is what people look for in the doubles and him and I'll give it to you. You promise anything to anyone. Not that he delivers. Occasionally he does a lot of times it just hey I got to where I want to. I'm not even given it to you now. But Jesus refuses the devil. Look at verse six Jesus answered and said to him, get behind me Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve want you to notice something the devil didn't say serve me, he said. Worship me is that if you worship performing. I'll give you the kingdoms of the world and Jesus said you shall worship the Lord your God in them.

Only shall you serve.

Why did Jesus said that answer because Jesus understood that a moment of worship can lead to a lifetime of service, what resentment a moment of worship at the altar of sex can lead to a lifetime of regret a moment of worship at the altar of drugs and by the way I'm so against the legalization of marijuana. That's a current trend so against and I could go on.

Why am against it and I can talk them on my own personal experiences as a kid with that I can talk about what it did to people I knew that there is no question that is entry level gateway drug that leads to other things. Okay and I just think that that's just a world of pain in a world of hurt to make this more assessable especially to young people today particularly good to start their payment to Minnesota.

One joy I want to do this one time. Look at the porn site. One time when I have this one little itty-bitty affair, and I have the whatever however you rationalize it. One act of worship. If you will. Turning away from God and going at this altar can lead to a lifetime thing is it just a little bite. You know I I was in a target the other day and about animal crackers number you known animal crackers are direction cookies and I don't know what it is and I don't like them with frosting. I like him natural and if the thing is there something about it because her sublease. We only wanted to see another and because are smaller elite like you know hundred and so I got this giant thing in the shape of a bear.

Big bear so it's really big in the middle because he's a fat there and I bought a big giant thing was a good deal of target of animal crackers for the grandkids dog in the grandkids came overnight.

Give them a few little crackers.

But in the little plastic pendant joint and then I would sit down in front of the TVS if you credit for can fold the mom thing even when the time go back again before I knew what that thing was like three quarters gone and the grandkids didn't eat them and pop I had gained a few pounds and so I got rid because I couldn't risk estimates as those little bite to get you started your great glory.

Practical insight on how temptation affection so strongly it is more to share as he wraps up his message here on a new beginning. And if you weren't able to hear all of today study from Pastor Greg. You can hear the entire broadcast online@harvest.org lesson from the beginning were fast forward to the part you missed or you can even download the MP3 to hear later just look for the title. Why does God allow temptation in the life of the believer or college for CD copy at 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 one Pastor Greg. Many of us I think it been on sort of a news diet watching the news can just cause so much stress and disappointment of the world.

This is a mess.

Yes it sure seems like God may be up to something you think. Yes I I sure pray and hope so because of tell you what our nation needs a healing. I cannot remember a time only been more divided.

The only parallel would be late 60s with all the riots and racial division and issues at that time, I would say it's as bad today.

I would say it's maybe even a little bit worse today because you know it did back in the late 60s. We didn't have social media. We didn't have twitter. I wouldn't have all these platforms were you'll could be thrown onto pre-existing flames and I think everybody just needs to step back and I'm talking up primarily to Christians and we need to live and behave as followers of Jesus Christ. Because really, we should seek to be bridge builders not bridge burners. We need to be peacemakers, not troublemakers.

And I think we need to really pray that God would heal our land. Now I know I've quoted this first. Many times, but man, it is so clear and really gives us the prescription for the healing of a nation, and end of course is second Chronicles 714 where the Lord says if my people notice. He pointed his finger and his people. When a nation is in trouble.

God doesn't point his finger at the government.

He points his finger at his people. He says if my people, which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then God promises I'll hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. We need to healing and it's happened before and it can happen again.

The last great spiritual awakening in American history was known as the Jesus movement or the Jesus revolution. Some historians believe not only was it the last great revival. Some even believe it was the greatest of all the revivals I here's what I do know I came to Christ in 1970. I walked into the epicenter of the Jesus movement I and I saw amazing things in my life was impacted and a whole generation was impacted. The nation was impacted and I wrote a book about it in the title of the book is Jesus, revolution, and I might also add that I cowrote it with a lady named Ellen von Ellen von was also the co-author of my autobiography called lost boy of theory gifted writer in her own right and she help me put this book together.

She did extensive research so you can understand the backdrop of the Jesus revolution and I think as you read this book, you're going to say well.

This reminds me of right now and so here's a word say Lord do it again as Scripture says, will you not revive us again that your people may praise you, so we need another spiritual awakening, I don't think we can organize it, but I think we can agonize for it in prayer and I don't think we can make it happen.

But I think we can prepare the ground for the work of the spirit and I think reading this book will inspire you because you know it's been said that fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So learn about the theme of revival learn about what God did in the last great spiritual awakening in America. And let's pray that it will happen again.

I want to send you this book Jesus revolution at no cost. All I ask of you is that you would send a gift to help us continue to preach the gospel and teach the word of God.

So for your gift of any size will rush you a copy of my book Jesus revolution. Yeah that's right it's an inspiring look at what happened during the 60s and 70s and how it can happen again.

In fact, the subtitle of the book is how God transformed an unlikely generation, and how he can do it again today and along with the book will even include the brand-new study guide that helps you dive even deeper into the insights. Pastor Greg presents so to thank you for your generous donation right now.

We hope you will ask for Jesus revolution you can write a set a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest God for what next time. Pastor Greg has more insight and resisting temptation standing against our spiritual adversary turn into join us here on a new beginning for Greg Laurie was made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor greats free daily email, devotions at harvest data work


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