Monday, December 5, 2016

#Sinning isn't #Winning

Everyday we are confronted with opportunities to choose God or not to choose Him.  When stated so plainly, all of us would say that of course we want to choose God.  But the reality is we often don’t (#Sinning). So what happens along the way that redirects our good intentions and causes us to stumble?  Going back to the beginning of something is usually instructive and so it is in our case here.  Let’s look at the original rationalization, Eve succumbing to the serpent’s craftiness, and see what we can learn from it to be victors instead of victims (#Winning).

Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. 

Things to think about:

  • three elements to the temptation “Feels Good”, “Looks Good”, Makes Me Feel Better About Myself”
    • see 1 John 2:16  - lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life
  • any one of them is enough to cause us to stumble but if two or all three are present, DANGER!
    • let's think about how we rationalize and get ourselves into trouble
  • Feels Good
    • the fruit of the tree would taste good and be satisfying to her hunger
    • as men, we are primarily physical creatures driven more by our hormones than anything else
    • God created pleasure for our benefit but within certain parameters for our good
    • what are places in your life where Feels Good can override Doing Good?
      • sex, food, sleep, laziness
    • what is the lie of giving in to our appetites?
      • Truth - Luke 12:24, 29
  • Looks Good
    • the fruit was beautiful to behold
    • again, as men we can be overly stimulated visually (to our detriment)
    • God’s creation is beautiful and worthy of our praise
    • what are places in your life where Looks Good can override Doing Good?
      • women, materialism, your appearance
    • what is the lie to giving in to surface-level appeal?
      • Truth - Luke 12:28
  • Makes Me Feel Better About Myself
    • the fruit would feed her ego by giving her wisdom
    • with the various insecurities we have about ourselves, we can be vulnerable to things that would purport to makes us stronger
    • The Book of Proverbs is almost exclusively about acquiring wisdom, so in and of itself, it is a very good thing
    • what are places in your life where Makes Me Feel Better About Myself overrides Makes God Well-pleased With Me?
      • Possessions, power, knowledge, success, gossip, arguing a point, stubbornness 
    • what is the lie of giving in to a weak self-image?
      • Truth - Romans 8:17
  • #Winning
    • 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.”
    • When Eve was tempted, she listened to the lies and gave in.  When Jesus was tempted, he refuted the lies with the Word of God.
    • When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he RAN
    • When Moses was unable to hold his arms up any longer, his friends supported him (Exodus 17:11-12)
    • Romans 8:37-39 
      • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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