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Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Being Honest With Ourselves

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2021 3:00 am

Why Does God Allow Temptation in the Life of the Believer?: Being Honest With Ourselves

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 28, 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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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content.

When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily. Divas learn more and sign temptation is universal where all of what we call the temptation pastor Greg Laurie says we often set ourselves over the phone was out of God's will we go to the wrong places we do what you want to godly people, godly places, because the best defense is a good offense and coming home. I drove into the wrong house collided with a tree. I don't have a car was legally part is 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 pastor Greg Laurie understand the birth of the Forrester look for look at six things about them 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 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 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 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 your 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. Now Britt is written, he will give his angels charge over you to keep you and in your hands will bear you up, lest 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 can tempt us 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 on 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 can anyone 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 help you 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 in turn away from it, but will often come after times of great blessing. Point number four. How does temptation come in most cases the comes of the doorway of our mind. Most cases it comes with the doorway of our mind. Second Corinthians 11 three says, I'm afraid, as he was deceived by the serpent coming your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ your mind when those flaming arrows among godly thoughts, we need to have our guard up. Because second Corinthians 10 four says we use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons and knocked on the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. Listen to this. We capture these rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. No, I'm not good that I'm not going to be filled with horror right now worried. Take a hike, no I want to pray instead.

No, I'm not going to give into fear. Right now I'm in a trust in what God says in his word, no. Luckily, given the lust right now. I reject 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 clothes imagine such a thing and her husband was a real cheapskate to so she said honey I'm going down the mall 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 is 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 an up and walking by the store that this cute outfit in the window and I was interested. I did walk-in but I've no intention of buying it and and the salesperson said here try on. I was still wasn't in a bind and I put it on in honey devil himself appeared in 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 where's the best place to be answer 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 ungodly 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 but so 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 a love being around it.

Krispy Kreme donuts.

I mean really, so put yourself in a place Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan that one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home.

I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents we have church in the home for you every weekend is called we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvested home and one of the most requested messages of the year.

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 and notice what 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 is with the devil saying he Jesus said 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 man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from God's mouth. What Jesus was showing us when 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 needs.

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 have 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 where 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 adhere. I said that. She said yes you did.

It said then it 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. I said why she says what I was can use to manipulating guys and getting them to do what I wanted them to do that that well here's a guy that loves God so much. She'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 with okay so there's a great line single people. My son Michael hey how's it going hey if you do and the way my relationship with God neurotic. I don't even know you yet know.

Maybe I should use online later.

I'm not sure I get confused. So really, he's putting the physical above the spiritual.

Now this second temptation is really interesting debate 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 I've 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 chosen 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 before me, all will be your the devil Satan.

This is my stop but 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, missing keys, the one that is effectively pulling a lot of rings right now on planet Earth, though ultimately he's overruled by God who is sovereign and in control with the devil has a certain leeway on this planet and he same Jesus I know, are you 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 you 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. All you have to do is just worship me. That's all the devils ever wanted 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 are 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 know what it is 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 who needed help. 22% of their goal was to be leaders in their community and 10% of today's young people said they wanted to become more spiritual seats and self regeneration is know we all want to be a celebrity. We want well when 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. While I think he knows to because he's rich and famous.

But you see this is what people look for in the devils and him and I'll give it to 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. What you do notice something the devil didn't say serve me, he said. Worship me is that if you worship before me. I'll give you the kingdoms of the world and Jesus said you shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. Why did Jesus add that answer because Jesus understood that a moment of worship can lead to a lifetime of service. What is 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 about my own personal experiences as a kid with that I could 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 but did you know you just start there came an ominous will do 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 boy you know I I was in a target the other day and about animal crackers know you know an animal crackers are direction cookies and I don't know what it is I love animal. 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 bear and I bought a big giant thing was a good deal of target of animal crackers for the grandkids dog and 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 camp full for the month 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 resist and assist those little bites and get to started Greg Lord practical insight on how temptation affection so strongly, and he has more to share as he wraps up one of the most requested messages of the past year here on a new beginning with Mr. Greg as many of our listeners know our mission here at harvest ministries is to make disciples.

We reach out as far as we can with the gospel and then we help new believers get started in their walk with the Lord. That's right now were making available the TV series called the chosen is a great series yes how can this resource help those who are new to the faith. But I think it it strengthens us and what we believe these are true stories center in the Bible of the greatest stories ever told.

But when they're traumatized when you see them in cinematic form, they can come to light for you and a way that maybe they didn't come to life. Are you reading them from the page. Of course, I encourage everyone to read the Bible, but I appreciate any tool that is out there that will reinforce the great stories of Scripture I can't think of anyone who's done a better job of this than Dallas Jenkins who was the producer and director of this new series on the life of Christ, called the chosen. It is a monster a success.

Millions and millions of people have watched it and are watching it and I'm very excited to announce that we are offering this month.

Season one of the chosen you're gonna want to sit down and watch us with your family and me at this. What a great way to start in evangelistic conversation invite somebody over and have them watch an episode of the chosen with you and then afterwards talk about Jesus, you'll find this is a very engaging series. It's something that's going to actually be a blessing to you and I have to say it's very entertaining as well so order your copy of the chosen. I will send it to you for your gift of any size.

Let me encourage you to be generous because we will take the resources that you send the money you send and use it to expand this ministry to reach more people. Look, I've dedicated my life to teaching the Bible to telling people about Jesus. So this is a great resource to reinforce that help us to continue to bring the message of the gospel to our generation. So whatever you send will be put to good use and will rush you your copy of season one of the chosen yeah that's right in your investment helps us reach literally all over the planet. In fact we receive this note, is that I'm 16 years old from the United Kingdom. I've been listening to the new beginning podcast for the past seven years since I was nine. I'm so thankful for the content you put online you been a blessing to my friends and family what you know it's only through the investments of listeners that we can reach out like that. If you been a partner with us. Thank you so much and if you can partner with us right now.

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You can donate securely or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 Pastor Greg has more insight for us on resisting temptation and standing against our spiritual adversary counsel from one of the years most requested studies join us here on a new beginning pastor Bible teacher Greg Laurie everybody thinks or listening to beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner.

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