Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010

I read an interesting article on 21 things that became obsolete in the last decade. Many of them were once the rage but now are passe’: Maps, the Palm Pilate, landlines, film development, video rental stores, dial-up internet, newspaper classifieds – just to name a few. These things served a need but were short-lived and replaced by something more modern. I bring that up to contrast it with the fact that the devil been using the same four-step strategy to tempt people for centuries and it still works as well as ever! Those four steps and what we are studying this month:


THIS MORNING WE WILL TALK ABOUT DELAY – The devil will try to get you to sin by giving temptation a second thought.

Last Week’s Principle – We are tempted because we are sinners.

This Week’s Principle – Temptation exposes what we truly love.

Bob had been on a diet. Bob was always on a diet but this time he had sworn off donuts. They were his weakness and everyone knew it. That’s why they were impressed when he went several months without a donut. And then one day he showed up at work carrying a box of bakery fresh donuts!

“Bob! What’s going on?” Declared one of his co-workers! “What are you doing with those donuts? Did you give into temptation?”

“Not at all!” Bob insisted, “It was God’s will!”

“Really?” His friend asked, “Are you sure? How did you know?”

“Well, I prayed that if it was God’s will for me to have donuts then let there be a parking spot open right in front of the bakery! And sure enough, on the tenth time around the block – THERE IT WAS!”

Temptation is a test of our will that exposes what we truly love. We should never give temptation a second-thought!


I didn’t get into a definition of temptation last week because it was so obvious in the context of the story from Genesis 3.

Definition of temptation – “an enticement toward evil” “it is the conflict between two wills” - Those are classic definitions but this morning I want to add another thought – “temptation is a test that exposes what you truly love”

Wesley’s definition of sin - John Wesley's own working definition of sin: "A willful transgression of a known law of God" (Based on I John 3:9)

Sin is a decision of the will. There are sins of ignorance and sins of judgment, etc. Therefore, temptation is directed at the will. The lure of temptation is to get you into a conflict of wills where you will decide to choose your will over God’s will. Where you will love yourself more than you love God. THAT IS THE DEAL with temptation and sin. We will examine that idea.

If we, as we established last week, are tempted because we are sinners, how is it that Adam could be tempted and Jesus could be tempted when neither of them had a sinful nature?
Neither of them had a sinful nature but they DID have a human nature and a will. Adam, because he was created that way and Jesus, because He was conceived that way.


The “DELAY” is double-mindedness. The Delay was a hesitation of the will caused by giving temptation a second thought. If you give temptation a second thought you will become double-minded.

The Greek word translated "double-minded" is dipsuchos, from dis, meaning "twice," and psuche, meaning "mind." James uses it to describe someone who is divided in his interests or loyalties, wavering, uncertain, two-faced, half-hearted.

Temptation can really play havoc with our lives. Especially when you give temptation a second thought. There was a humorous "Cathy" cartoon strip sometime back. Cathy is struggling with her diet. See if this progression is familiar:

Frame 1: I will take a drive, but won’t go near the grocery store.Frame 2: I will drive by the grocery store, but will not go in.Frame 3: I will go in the grocery store, but will not walk down the aisle where the candy is on sale.Frame 4: I will look at the candy, but not pick it up.Frame 5: I will pick it up, but not buy it.Frame 6: I will buy it, but not open it.Frame 7: Open it, but not smell it.Frame 8: Smell it, but not taste it.Frame 9: Taste it, but not eat it.Frame 10: Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat!

Os Guiness gives a very helpful definition of doubt in his book In Two Minds. He says, "When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in ’two minds.’" That is what James calls, in Chapter 1, a "double minded man," or as the Chinese say, "Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each."

E. Stanley Jones stated it graphically, "If you don’t make up your mind, then your unmade mind will unmake you. Here is the place where there must be no dallying. For any dallying will be the Trojan horse that will get on the inside and open the gates to the enemy. God can do anything for the man who has made up his mind; he can do little or nothing for the double-minded"

Let’s Glance At Two Temptations – Adam’s and Jesus”

Adam hesitated because his will was operating separately from God’s will.

Jesus didn’t hesitate! Why? What’s the difference?

Genesis 3:1- 6; Luke 4: 1-13

WHAT TO DO? (James 4:7-10)

Become single-minded! Be of one mind and one will – God’s!

Like Joshua - “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Like The Three Hebrews - “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:16-18

Like Daniel, who disregarded the Kings order against praying to God – prayed to God as usual. He was single-minded that here is what the King said when he threw Daniel into the lions den - So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"


“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:7-10

SUBMIT = “LINE UP WITH” – Line your will up with His – Like Jesus Did. Stop trying to get God to line up with you!

STAND = Stand on the Word and resist the devil – Like Jesus Did. Put on the armor!

SANCTIFY = Cling to God, Repent of sin, Receive the Holy Spirit, and Know His Will

SERVE = Humbly live God’s will with one heart and one will.


Am I “double-minded”?

What do I love more than I love God?

Do I give sin a second thought?

Where do I need to submit to God?

Where do I need to stand and resist the devil?

Will I sanctify my will and commit to single-minded love for God?

Will I serve God in the Holy Spirit with one heart and one will?