Depleted Debate: Overcoming Temptation Message by: Pastor CJ Johnson
Hey Southland! In week two of yet another great series, Depleted Debate, we look to Jesus to find our best strategies against the enemy’s tricks and temptations.
It shouldn't surprise us that the enemy has his own strategies that he's used for centuries. He's known for a couple specific tactics. He tries to trip us up when: we are just getting started, hungry, or getting close to our breakthrough. So if you're in one of these situations be aware of the devil's tactics. It's so important to be aware of temptation because it is inevitable. You and I will face it, but we don't have to fall for it. Just like Jesus, we can stand our ground until the enemy flees.
So what should we do when we face it? How can we stand our ground?
According to Matthew 4:1-11, there are five things we need to do when encountered with temptation:
1. Refuse to be intimidated
Does Jesus run from the temptation? Nope! He stands his ground and eventually the devil flees. Don't allow retreat to be your go-to setting in times of tempting. Sometimes it is necessary to exit a certain situation, that's just common sense, but don't allow the enemy to dictate your every move. You can't be victorious and cowardly at the same time. You will never be able to live an extraordinary life if you can only face ordinary problems.
2. Recognize your pattern
We all have our weaknesses, so in order to stop our weaknesses from luring us into a regretful position; we need to be aware of our tendencies. People who fail to recognize their tendencies, tend to fail. Ask yourself three questions to help you recognize your patterns: 1. What is it? Where is it? When is it?
3. Refocus your attention
Whatever gets your attention will get you. When your attention gets focused on something that isn't good or productive for your life, bounce your eyes, redirect your thoughts, and refocus your attention elsewhere.
4. Reveal your struggle
There's an aspect of Matt 4 that is not directly stated but implied. You see, in order for this story to even be in Matthew's account of Jesus' life, means that Jesus must have told his disciples the story. Jesus didn't hide his temptation He revealed it. You and I would be wise to do the same. You may think that what you’re facing or hiding isn't a big deal, but if you can't talk about it then it is a big deal and should be expressed.
5. Request God's help
Psalm 50:15 says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." God is available 24/7 365. He is always there for us to ask Him for help, next time you're in a situation that requires a little something extra, seek out God and His wisdom.
Our best protection against the enemy’s lies is with the truth of God's Word. So if you have a habit of being tricked by the lies of the enemy, the Bible is a great way to get the Truth of God into your heart and mind to provide you with the wisdom and strength necessary for standing firm in the face of temptation.
Pastor CJ shared an incredible message; this of course is just a quick summary. If you have a few minutes you wont regret taking a listen! Just click the link at the top of the page!
Have a great week!