When life is throwing everything it possibly can at you, how do you keep going? How do you get off the mat and face another day? We begin a series today called Resilient. We're going to be talking about the ability not to give up, not to give in, to bounce back strong, regardless of the circumstances.
This is one we all need to hear. Stay with me. And welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry featuring the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drewy, and in this program we begin a new series called Resilient, withstanding the storms of life. It's been a tough season, hasn't it? Illness, politics, finances, school, jobs, many are still in the thick of it, taking what feels like wave after wave of bad news and hardship. Well, in this new series, Resilient, we're calling a time out to recalibrate our thinking, so the storms that hit us don't have the power to take us out for good.
Chip's teaming up with his son Ryan Ingram, who's a pastor of a growing church in California. So today we're going to hear from Ryan as he brings us part one of his message, It's Tempting, from James chapter one. The people of God, the church has always been resilient in times of crisis, and it has to do back to our solid foundation that we have in Jesus. And really this idea of resiliency, just the definition is the ability to withstand or recover from a difficult situation. And isn't that what we need right now?
The ability to withstand in this season or to recover in this difficult situation. Well, we're diving back into the book of James. And here's what's great about the book of James.
I love James and it's an incredibly practical book. See, James is the half brother of Jesus. He didn't come to really believe in Jesus until after the resurrection. And after that, he became the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Well, the church in Jerusalem started experiencing intense persecution.
Stephen was stoned right there in the city and killed. And then a wave of persecution from Jerusalem began to spread and hit the followers of Jesus. And so these followers now, instead of being all located in Jerusalem, worshiping together in their homes, they had their own shelter in place reality where they couldn't gather, but they were scattered. They were separated and they were actually had their entire life up ended.
And now instead of finding community, they were now being ostracized and isolated and alone. And this is the letter. In fact, the very first letter and writing we have of the New Testament is written about 40 to 45 AD, just about 10 years or so after the resurrection of Jesus. This is the letter in the context that James is writing to us of how to be resilient in the face of difficult situations, in the face of storms. I hope you just set down the distractions for a few minutes and you just tune in and keep your eyes focused and your heart attentive because I think this is really an important sermon today. We're talking about resiliency in the face of temptation. See, one of the biggest things that will determine your resiliency in this situation is how you respond to temptation. One of the biggest things that will determine your resiliency, your ability to withstand this difficult situation, your ability to bounce back is how you respond to temptation.
And isn't it true? Isn't it true that everything seems to be magnified right now? Like maybe it's with your marriage and the problems in your marriage now in light of this shelter in place reality has been magnified, hasn't it?
Maybe it's emotional stuff in your life that you're wrestling with and maybe you have anxiety or some of these sort of things and it just magnifies it. Maybe there's habits in your life that are bad habits and they have been magnified and it's true. Isn't it true that temptations have been magnified? We no longer have the things that keep us so focused and driven and for some the temptations that once were minor or not a big of a deal have now become overwhelming, haven't they? Or they have taken over for some your life.
And so we want to wrestle with this question today. What do I do when temptation knocks? What do you do when temptation knocks at your door?
Why? Because temptation is knocking way more often it seems in this season. I remember when I was a young man, especially as a college student, I really battled with lust and it's not like I don't battle with it today, it's just a different battle now. But I remember being so defeated and I wrestled with this because what I found in my own life is the minute I gave way in a moment, maybe you've had this experience, the minute I gave way in a moment to lust, it just felt like that backslide became a landslide. Like I just gave way in that moment and it wasn't just that moment but it was the after effects.
It was like I took that step forward and then all of a sudden everything else fell down behind me and it just felt like I just got caught up into a whole world and then I'd feel so guilty and bad but I'd be stuck in it and then finally I'd be going, God help! And I'd go through this cycle and have this backslide become a landslide. So I started to ask this question, how do I keep a backslide from becoming a landslide in my life?
How do you keep a backslide from becoming a landslide? James is going to give us four things that are going to help us respond to temptation, to be resilient in the face of temptation. If you've got your Bibles, would you open them up to James chapter 1 verse 13? James is going to tell us, okay, what do I do when temptation knocks? The first thing he's going to say is recognize the source of temptation.
Hey, pay attention, recognize the source or the root of it. Listen to what he says, when tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. No one should say, when I'm in the middle of that moment, God, you're tempting me, you're behind this.
Why? For God cannot be tempted by evil. It's impossible for God to be corrupted. He's morally pure, nor does he tempt anyone, if not in his nature, to put anything in front that would cause you to stumble. But each person is tempted when they are dragged away, underline that word if you got your Bible or highlight it maybe in your phone, dragged away by their own evil desires. Would you go ahead and circle own evil desires? But each person is dragged away by their own evil desires and entice and go ahead and underline that word entice.
How do I keep a backslide from becoming a landslide? James is going to say first we have to recognize the source of temptation. But before we talk about the source of temptation, let's talk about the nature of temptation.
The nature of temptation, James actually uses two words here that give us great understanding into what temptation really is. He uses the word I had you underlined, dragged away, and then entice. These are words taken from the hunting and fishing arena. Dragged away is the trap set by a hunter that's getting out in the woods and he's going to disguise it and set a trap to catch his prey. And then entices the word of a fishing lure.
And I think this gives us such profound insight into temptation. He gives the picture of a lure and says okay, temptation is just like this lure. Meaning first it's handcrafted for your desires. This lure was crafted and created for a certain type of fish.
And it's going to be put in the water and it's crafted. Maybe it's a bass or maybe it's a trout. Obviously I'm not a fisherman so I don't know. But what's interesting, what's interesting is there's a bunch of lures out there to attract different type of fish. And this is, he's saying, you know what, there are temptations out there that are handcrafted specifically for your desires. It's made to go, hey, if this doesn't get you and all of us have just a little bit different lure that's attractive. And for some, you might be wrestling, it might be a temptation for you that isn't for another person. And it's going like, okay, there's a tackle box, if you will, that our spiritual enemy has that he wants to just throw these lures in front of you. The second is, if you notice about a lure, is it's designed, it's really designed to be attractive and appealing. Can we just say that about temptation?
Because I think sometimes, you know, we kind of look like, oh, I shouldn't. Well, it's designed to be tasty. A fish bites into this because it looks attractive and it's appealing. It's like, oh my gosh, it's got all this silvery stuff that catches your eye, that makes you go, I want to throw caution to the wind and try that out.
It looks tasty. The second thing, if you notice about a lure, is it looks and moves like the real thing. See, it tricks a fish. And so this is actually another minnow or whatever that is bait.
It's moving in the water in a way that looks and moves like the real thing. And that's the subtlety in this deception of temptation, is it looks and moves like the real thing. And it offers what it can't make good on. And here's the final thing, all temptation comes with these hooks.
They all come with a catch. See, it's handcrafted for your desire. It's appealing and attractive.
It looks and moves like it's the real thing, but it's fake. It's not really going to satisfy. It's not ultimately going to gratify. And it comes with these hooks that the minute you bite into it, it sinks deep into your soul. He says, this is the nature of temptation.
And I think it's important. The reason why James starts here on temptation is because we're most vulnerable in three different arenas in our life to temptation. We're most vulnerable to temptation when we're tired. A lot of you are tired right now, aren't you?
Parents, I know you're exhausted as you're trying to do work and you're trying to help educate your kids. I know people's work has been off the chart and we're running around and just you're tired of the way things are going. When we're tired emotionally, when we're tired physically, when we're tired spiritually, we're vulnerable. We're vulnerable when we're isolated and alone. And we're literally isolated right now. And so we have to be alert, we have to be aware that we're vulnerable. That's why we need community. We're going to talk more about that in a minute. And we're vulnerable when we're stressed. And what we do when we're stressed is we often shift from the things in our life that are life giving or nourishing to things that are numbing.
Just to kind of like take the pain away. Well, that's a little bit about the nature of temptation. What is the source? Did you notice it?
I had you circle it. He says, our desires. It's our desires. He says, at the end of the day, it's actually inside of us. There's a broken reality inside of us and that's the root issue. And our human tendency since the beginning of time is to blame others for our own sin.
You're like, yeah, there might have been a lure out there, but at the end of it, it's me that wanted to bite into it. It's me that responded to it. And what we do is we cast blame.
It's been happening since the garden. Adam did this and he was confronted with this sin before God and says, you know, as he took from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And God asked him, you know, who told you that you're naked?
Did you eat this? And he says, the woman you gave me. You see how he blamed God for his sin? And ultimately, anytime we don't take responsibility, we actually end up blaming God.
A lot of times I hear it this way. Well, God just made me this way. This is just who I am. God just made me this way.
And so, you know, life is really difficult. So I'm entitled to do whatever I want in this season just to make it a little bit more pleasurable. And we just put blame out there. And he says, no, no, if you want to be resilient in this season, you first have to recognize the source of temptation. He says, we have no one to blame. We have no one to blame. You can't blame God.
You can't put it on anyone else. We have no one to blame. It's our broken desires. We have to accept responsibility. As long as you keep blaming, you will not gain victory over your temptation, friends. As long as you keep blaming and say, it's out there, it's over them, then you will never experience the victory God has for you. And so he says, no, no, recognize. Recognize the source of temptation and say, I'm going to take responsibility.
I have nobody to blame. And then he says, address the progression of temptation. Then he says this, then after desire has conceived, watch this progression. It gives birth to sin and sin, when it's full grown, gives birth to death, desire, sin, death, desire, sin, death.
Now it's important for some of you, you need to hear this. When desire is conceived, when you're first tempted, when that lure is just set out there, that's not sin. Some have believed a lie and you end up in that backslide to landslide because the minute you get tempted, you feel defeated. And so already you're like, well, I might as well go all the way. No, no, no, no, no, stop. There's a progression.
Recognize the progression. When you're tempted, that's not sin. Sin is when you act on that temptation. Sin is there's desire and then you act on that. That's sin. And then what happens is if you allow sin to grow, if you allow it to build in your life, ultimately what it will produce or what it will give way to is death. It will kill you.
It will keep you from who you're made to be and it will destroy the relationships around you. And here's what happens. Our natural, our natural is to dismiss or diminish sin, to act like it's no big deal. We say that. We go, well, it's not that big of a deal.
It's not hurting anyone. It's just what I need to get through this. He says, OK, would you say that when sin is full grown, when it becomes its adult version, which means it takes time and it's a process and it starts small and we feel like it's under control and it's just kind of hidden.
It's kind of secret and then it grows and grows and grows and then it's out of our control. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and Ryan Ingram's teaching from his series Resilient, Withstanding the Storms of Life. Chip's here with us and he's got some thoughts about the message you just heard. But before we get to that, I hope you'll take a second to go online or tap share and encourage others to join us for this series too. Navigating life's storms is never easy, which is why Chip asked Ryan to come and share this message that brings such practical application to the daily challenges.
Culture has a powerful voice that influences our attitudes and our thinking. So Ryan's fresh perspective on James Chapter 1 provides the tools we may need to make a few course corrections. For a limited time, resources for Resilient are discounted and the MP3s are always free. Now to order your copy or to send it to a friend, visit us at livingontheedge.org, tap special offers on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003.
That's 888-333-6003. Well Chip, as we launch this series, tell us a little bit about you and Ryan teaming up and what we can look forward to. Well, Dave, it's an incredible delight to get to team up with my son. He pastors a church that he and a group of people planted about eight years ago.
And it is a multicultural church just filled with a lot of young people, a few people like my wife and myself, but mostly 28 to 30-somethings and maybe a few a little bit older. And you know, when you think about COVID, when you think about mental health issues, when you think about racism, injustice, I mean, there are so many deep challenges that people are facing. And so this series came out of the number one thing that researchers say is important for success, more than smarts, more than money, more than technology. The best predictor of people's future life is resilience, the ability to bounce back.
So that's what we want to talk about from a biblical perspective. Well, whether you're a radio, podcast, or app listener, we've got you covered. I hope you'll set a reminder to be with us for the entire series. And let me encourage you, message notes are available for this series, too.
So if you'd like to jot notes while you listen and get all the extra details, the message notes are a quick download at livingontheedge.org, or just tap Fill In Notes on the app. Well, now here's Chip with a final thought. As we wrap up today's program, I was really impressed with the illustration that Ryan shared with us today about the way the enemy works and how temptation works, especially those words that were so specific that the Holy Spirit had James write about the lure. It's interesting that the temptations that come our way, listen carefully, they're handcrafted for your desires.
Think of that. They're attractive and appealing. I mean, they don't say, this is going to destroy your life, this is going to mess you up, this will ruin a relationship, your future will be a train wreck. I mean, when temptation comes, it's like, wow, this looks so good.
Third, it's deceptive because it looks like the real thing. I mean, when that lure is in the water, that fish is thinking, man, this is going to be great. And then it ends up as a hook in their mouth.
And the same is true with us. It makes things look so deceptively like this will satisfy the deepest desires that we have. And yet, all of us know that when we have taken a big bite into a temptation, huge things happen, and they're bad.
And so I think the thing, as I reflect on what I've heard in today's message, is for me to ask this question of me and then me to ask it of you. So where are your temptations right now? Where are you struggling? I mean, what is it that makes you vulnerable?
What's going on in your life right now, especially with regard to what's happening in the world? Because temptations are always strong, but they're strongest in times when we're tired, when we're under stress, when we're lonely, when it feels like things are really, really challenging. Temptations offer like a quick fix that this will make me feel better for a little while. Let me give you a couple examples as you think about what's your biggest temptation. And then before we get done in our time together, I'm going to ask you to really say, what are you going to do about it? I was talking with a couple fairly young guys, and they were talking about the implications of COVID and just being home all the time and trying to work.
And they have some young kids and the businesses have really suffered. And, you know, one of them said, you know, I've got a really close friend and neither of us are heavy drinkers at all. We'll have an occasional beer or maybe a glass of wine with a meal. And both of us realized that the longer as the months went on, it was like instead of an occasional, we were like maybe having a glass of wine every night or maybe two. And, you know, we got together because accountability and community is the key.
And we were just talking out loud. And, you know, that idea of it's one thing to maybe enjoy something, it's quite different to need something. As I've told, you know, people that I know and love, I said, you never want to take a drink of alcohol or put anything in your body when you feel like I really need this.
And so they decided they would go on a three-week fast. I mean, these are young guys with young families and just decided, you know, no one's telling us this, but we need to get control. And it's not that we're out there, it's not that we're becoming alcoholics, but what we realize is that temptation is growing stronger. And here's the thing about temptation. When you give in to little things, it grows into bigger little things.
And then it's medium-sized things. And by the time that hook is sunk in, often it's way too late. So let me encourage you. What is it that you need to face? Where are you tempted?
And then who knows about it? Because the number one step you have to take is to get honest with yourself, honest with God, and that always means with one close friend, this is what I'm struggling with, this is where I'm tempted, I need your help. Now are you ready? Do that today. Just before we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. One hundred percent of your gifts are going directly to the ministry to help Christians really live like Christians.
A few found Chip's teaching helpful, but you're not yet on the team. Would you consider doing that today? To donate, just go to livingontheedge.org, tap donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. And let me thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well until next time, for everyone here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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