Archive for the ‘Temptation’ Category

May 20th, 2015

Predictable Process

“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’” 2 Samuel 11:2-3 (ESV)

We have God-given desires that are natural and are vital to life. For example, we have the desire for food. Without that desire we would die. We also have the desire for rest. Without that desire we would die. Yet, both desires can become sin when we take them beyond God’s intended purpose. If we take our desire for food too far, we commit the sin of gluttony. In like manner, if we take our desire for rest too far, we commit the sin of laziness.

King David experienced a fatal attraction. His lust lassoed him into a sinful spiral. Not only did he commit the sin of adultery, but he committed murder to cover up the affair. David could have won the victory over sin by avoiding the temptation from the start.

Arm yourself with the knowledge of the predictable process of temptation. We idolize something we desire. The next step is that we rationalize why we should have the desire fulfilled. In other words, we talked ourselves into compromising convictions. Then we strategize by coming up with a plan to obtain the object we are idolizing. Ultimately, we capitalize on the opportunity by seizing what we have desired. Remorse and guilt follow.

Look back over poor choices you have made in your lifetime. See if you can identify this predictable process. Here’s the key to victory: The sooner in the process you avoid the sin, the more likely you will overcome the temptation.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category 2 Samuel, David, Temptation.
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September 30th, 2014

Living in Two Worlds

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Gal. 5:16-17 (ESV)

Every believer is living in two worlds: the world of the Spirit or the world of the sinful nature. Light and darkness abound. They are in conflict with each other. As a result, the believer has to combat the gravitational pull of the sinful nature. At salvation, a believer receives the Holy Spirit and is made fit for heaven. However, the believer retains the sinful nature and must daily crucify the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Have you been combating the cravings of the flesh? Have you noticed that your sinful nature is addicted to sin? However, you must daily crucify the flesh. “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24 ESV). In Christ, you must starve the flesh. Whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies. Feed the Spirit living in you and starve the cravings of your sinful nature. Do not be a slave to sin. Choose to be a slave to righteousness.

Pray with me: Father, thank You for redeeming me from my sin. You have rescued me from this body of death. You have brought me out of the kingdom of darkness and placed me in the kingdom of Light. Help me to crucify the sinful nature and to live by the Spirit. Enable me to live the Christ-centered life in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to finish strong for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Holy Spirit, Sin Nature, Temptation.
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August 14th, 2014

Victory in Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians10:13 (ESV)

Temptation is an opportunity to honor God. Our response to temptation will determine whether we honor God or dishonor God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not temptation exempt. Living in a fallen world and retaining our sin nature guarantee the presence of temptation. It is not a matter of if we will face temptation, but a matter of when we will face temptation. Even Jesus was tempted.

Temptation is a common feature in this life. Of course, temptation comes in different forms depending on where we are most susceptible. Satan knows what our weaknesses are and what will entice us toward sin.

We are not left alone to fend for ourselves. God is here! God is faithful! We can anchor our faith to the faithfulness of God. He will never leave us. He will not abandon us. In fact, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear with Him. Temptation is a constant reminder of our dependency upon God. We need God!

God will also provide an exit strategy. When temptation knocks at our door, we don’t have to submit to the temptation. God will always provide a way of escape so that we can stand up under the load and stress of the temptation.

How will you respond when temptation comes your way? Will you seize the opportunity to honor God?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Temptation, Victory.
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April 19th, 2014

Sympathetic High Priest

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)

Jesus understands your trials from without and your struggles from within.

In our contemporary vernacular: Jesus has been there and done that. Jesus has been tempted in every way, just as we are. He understands our struggles. Jesus endured temptation and chose to honor God throughout the process. Jesus entered the process and completed the process sinless. Our example is Jesus. Our pattern for victory is Jesus.

God never intended for us to live the Christian life outside of His enabling. In and of ourselves, we are insufficient. Our sufficiency is found in Christ. As we abide in Christ and submit to the Spirit’s control in our life, victory results.

  • I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (ESV)
  • “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” Eph. 5:17-18 (ESV)

Surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Surrender fully to the Spirit’s control in your life. Jesus has been where you are and He knows what you need in order to walk in victory. Jesus demonstrated a life of instant obedience and total surrender. Abandon to His call and allow Him to live His life through you.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, April 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category High Priest, Jesus, Temptation.
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March 8th, 2014

Faith Tested by Temptation

“For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” 1 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV)

Paul cared about the status of the faith of the church of the Thessalonians. He sent Timothy to encourage them in their faith and to measure their progress. Paul knew the power of the evil one to dilute passion and to diffuse spiritual power. The tempter might have tempted them to return to the lifestyle God had delivered them from.

As you walk with the Lord each day, be alert to the strategy of the evil one to distract you from your passion for God’s will. The enemy will seek to divert your focus from godliness to worldliness, from selflessness to selfishness, and from eternal things to temporal things. Satan’s goal is not to get you to move twenty miles off mission. He just wants you to move an inch today. And then, tomorrow he will seek to get you to move away from God another inch. Before you know it, you will have drifted far from God and lose your passion for the things of God.

  •  But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thess. 3:3 (ESV)

Stand firm by anchoring your faith to the rock of God’s character. The Lord is faithful. He will not waver in the storms of life. God will not shift in the assault of Satanic attacks on your faith. The Lord will strengthen you in the midst of the battle. He will protect you from the flaming arrows of the evil one. God’s grace is more than sufficient for the temptation you encounter and the battles you fight.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, God's Character, Temptation.
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February 21st, 2014

Temptation and Predictability

“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:15 (ESV)

Temptation has a predictable process.

James gives uses the metaphor of childbirth to capture the predictable process of temptation. In his letter to the Jews who were scattered outside of Palestine, James writes about the trials from without and the temptations from within.

We have God-given desires that are natural and are vital to life. For example, we have the desire for food. Without that desire we would die. We also have the desire for rest. Without that desire we would die. Yet, both desires can become sin when we take them beyond God’s intended purpose. If we take our desire for food too far, we commit the sin of gluttony. In like manner, if we take our desire for rest too far, we commit the sin of laziness.

Arm yourself with the knowledge of the predictable process of temptation. We idolize something we desire. The next step is that we rationalize why we should have the desire fulfilled. In other words, we talked ourselves into compromising convictions. Then we strategize by coming up with a plan to obtain the object we are idolizing. Ultimately, we capitalize on the opportunity by seizing what we have desired. Remorse and guilt follow.

Look back over poor choices you have made in your lifetime. See if you can identify this predictable process. Here’s the key to victory: The sooner in the process you avoid the sin, the more likely you will overcome the temptation.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Sin, Temptation, Victory.
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February 20th, 2014

Temptation and Opportunity

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. ” James 1:13-14 (ESV)

God is holy and God is love.

The nature of God will not allow temptation to be an instrument of heaven. God cannot be tempted by evil because God is holy. As John MacArthur affirms, “God is aware of evil but untouched by it, like a sunbeam shining on a dump is untouched by the trash.”

God is not the originator of temptation. God does not tempt anyone because God is love. In His love, God does not initiate temptation, but God will allow temptation to come into a person’s life. The temptation provides the opportunity to choose the righteous path and to bring honor to God through the proper response.

When we choose to give in to temptation, we believe that it is the best option at that moment. Satan’s goal is to get us to doubt God’s Word and to doubt God’s best.

  • “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?’” Gen. 3:1 (ESV)

God cannot be tempted by evil. God does not tempt anyone. How will you choose to respond to the temptation that God allows into your path? Will you take God at His Word and trust Him?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Holiness, Temptation.
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February 19th, 2014

Honoring God in Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

Temptation is an opportunity to honor God.

Our response to temptation will determine whether we honor God or dishonor God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are not temptation exempt. Living in a fallen world and retaining our sin nature guarantee the presence of temptation. It is not a matter of if we will face temptation, but a matter of when we will face temptation. Even Jesus was tempted.

Temptation is a common feature in this life. Of course, temptation comes in different forms depending on where we are most susceptible. Satan knows what our weaknesses are and what will entice us toward sin.

We are not left alone to fend for ourselves. God is here! God is faithful! We can anchor our faith to the faithfulness of God. He will never leave us. He will not abandon us. In fact, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear with Him. Temptation is a constant reminder of our dependency upon God. We need God!

God will also provide an exit strategy. When temptation knocks at our door, we don’t have to submit to the temptation. God will always provide a way of escape so that we can stand up under the load and stress of the temptation.

How will you respond when temptation comes your way? Will you seize the opportunity to honor God?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Obedience, Temptation.
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November 14th, 2013

Tenacity

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)

Staying clean while living in a dirty world is made possible through the rock solid foundation of God’s faithfulness. Anchor your life to the Rock! He will help you stand up under the pressure of temptation and enable you to come through temptation victoriously. Eliminate pride! Take pride for a ride! Obtain an accurate estimation of yourself and recognize your vulnerability and your feet of clay. Acknowledge your dependency upon the Lord to give you the victory in the face of temptation.

You will be courted by temptation on this broken and fallen planet. Temptation itself is not sin. If you choose to yield to temptation, then you commit sin. Remember, temptation is also an opportunity to do the right thing. Temptation is an opportunity to honor God and to choose the path that is consistent with your new identity in Christ.

God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear with Him. When you are tempted, God will provide a way for you to stand up under the weight of the temptation. As you turn to the Lord and rely upon His strength, He will navigate you through the temptation to bring you to the place of triumph.

How will you respond to temptation? Will you crumble and give in to the temptation or will you turn to the Rock of your salvation and to the Source of your strength? Fully rely upon God and walk in victory!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Temptation, Victory.
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November 2nd, 2013

Continue in Him

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9 (NIV)

Continue to live in Him so that you will not live in sin. As a child of God, when you choose to yield to temptation you are no longer acting consistent with your new identity in Christ. To practice sin is to operate out of character as a person redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

If you are born of God it means that you have experienced the divine transaction of transferring your trust from yourself to Jesus alone for salvation. To be born of God means to be regenerated. Your sins have been removed and you received the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ is now in you and He is the hope of glory!

John is not referring to occasional acts of sin. You will periodically step into a pothole of sin as you live in this fallen world. However, as a child of God, your life is not to be characterized by sin. There should be no established and continual patterns of sinful behavior present in your life. You cannot abide in Christ and choose the way of sin simultaneously. You cannot walk in the Spirit and embrace sin at the same time. As a follower of Christ, you have to deliberately choose to rebel against Jesus in order to facilitate even a fraction of sin.

Continue to live in Him by anticipating His return, by starving the flesh, by feeding the Spirit, and by practicing His presence. Choose to bring honor to God by living in alignment with your new identity in Christ. Continue to live in Him by making no provision for the flesh, by confessing sin, and by guarding your heart. God’s seed remains in you!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Certainty, Discipline, Temptation.
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