Lest Ye Enter Into Temptation
Junior Level

In the lesson this week, we will look at ways in which we are vulnerable to attacks of the enemy.  Satan uses our vulnerabilities and he attacks us at our weakest points.  When we learn how to recognize his strategy we are better equipped to stand against temptation.  I urge you if you can at all to get and read Beth Moore’s book “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.”  What eye opening truths based on God’s Word she gives as to the tricks of Satan.  I certainly have learned a lot.

Handout:  Lest Ye Enter Into Temptation

I will begin this lesson by going to a passage of scripture in Matthew chapter 26 the 41st verse where Jesus is speaking to His disciples when He found them asleep after He had been praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.  The Spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus knew what it was to be tortured and tempted of Satan.  He knew that mere human beings are no match for the tricks of the evil one and that only through prayer and by the Power of God could we escape the tempters enticements.  After all Satan had tempted the very person of God, God’s only begotten Son knowing Christ was sinless.  So most certainly he will work very diligently to entice the children of God into sin.  We find the account of Satan tempting Jesus in Matthew chapter 4. 

Satan works hard to find our weakest areas and those are the areas he will try to use for his own advantage to get us to enter into his temptation.  Don’t be fooled into thinking the devil won’t use your weakness for his own advantages.  He most certainly will.  The more helpless you are, the more he will strike.  Notice he waited till Jesus was weak from physical hunger before he made his attack. 

Matthew 4:1-3 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred.  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and He would endure the attacks that Satan brings against us.  Christ came to earth and He lived as we live and He fully understands what we go through on a daily basis, which is wonderful for us.  So in the passage where He is telling His disciples to watch and pray that the flesh is weak, He understood that we can be led astray very easily if we are not careful.  Jesus overcame and did not sin, but He understands that we can easily fall because we are weak human beings of our own strength. 

Hebrews 4:15  “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Hebrews 2:18 “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Next we need to understand that God does not tempt us.  When we are tempted it is from Satan. 

James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.”

James 1:14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

No one is ever forced into a season of sin.  God always makes a way of escape from it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken  you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.”

Now that we understand where temptation comes from, let’s take some time to study some of the ways we are most vulnerable to entering temptation. 

1.  Ignorance.  What we do not know CAN harm us!

The Apostle Paul wrote several different times in his epistles, I would not have you ignorant.  He understood that the things we do not know can be detrimental to us.  In 2 Corinthians chapter 2 Paul writes that we should forgive in order to keep the enemy from gaining the advantage. 

2 Corinthians 2:11 “11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Paul understand the schemes of Satan, sadly today many believers are not wise to them.  We cannot simply think that if we ignore the devil he will go away.  That is sticking ones head in the sand so to speak.  Ignorance is a huge red target on our heads.  Be certain that the devil will fire.  Also be warned that he is a master marksman.

Many of us when remembering past failures can painfully identify with Psalm 73:22 as well as Proverbs 30:2-3

Psalm 73:22 “22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.”
Proverbs 30:2-3 “ 2Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. 3I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.”
We must pray for wisdom and knowledge of that which is Holy so that we know that which is Holy and that which is not. 

The Second way that we are vulnerable to entering into temptation is:

2.  Lack of Discernment/Understanding.

I think if you look back at instances where you yourself or other examples in God’s word that have fallen into temptation, those instances were not times of great discernment of the fallen.  Let’s go to God’s word and see what it has to teach about discernment and understanding.

Proverbs 14:33 “Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.”

Proverbs 28:11 “The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.”

Proverbs 19:25 “ 25Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”
Philippians 1:9-10 “ 9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
Colossians 1:9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”

Beloved, know that God is pleased with the one that prays and seeks discernment.  Remember the Biblical account of King Solomon?  In 1 Kings Chapter 3 we read that God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said what shall I give you Solomon?  Let’s read Solomon’s reply and God’s reaction to it.

1 Kings 3:9-13 “ 9Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
10And the speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
 12Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.  13And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.”
Yes! God wants us to pray for wisdom and divine discernment.  That is discernment of all things including self discernment and understanding lest we enter into temptation.
Psalm 19:12-14 “12Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
We are stronger in the battle when we recognize our own errors and sins.  The sin we have fallen into blindly and the ones we have jumped into willingly.  LORD helps us.  Recognizing our own personal weaknesses and places in which we have gone wrong is one of our best defenses against present and future enticements of the evil one.  God’s word says in Genesis chapter 4, verse 7 God told Cain that sin was crouching at the door and it desired to have him but that he must master it.  We must master it as well or it will devour us.
Satan certainly knows our weaknesses and he will prey upon them!  Pray for knowledge about your own weaknesses and vulnerable areas so that you can take care of them and let God use them for His glory instead of Satan using them for his advantage.  God can work all things out for our good.  (Romans 8:28)

Our pasts can be a great source of pain and weakness.  I urge you to let God redeem every bit of your past.  Let Him redeem the injustice as well as the blatant sins.   Not just the accidental sins but the willful ones as well.  When you give it all to God, those memories of failures that were painful before are turned into memories of God’s redeeming power, His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Yes Dear One, God can use them for our good and for His glory!  Give yourself the upper hand against the devil, take your past before God.
Psalm 130:3-4 “ 3If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  4But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
Psalm 130:7 “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”
The third thing I want to discuss that leaves us vulnerable to enter into temptation is:
3. Spiritual Passion that Exceeds Biblical Knowledge.
2 Corinthians 11:3 “ 3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Satan will attack the mind of the believer.  Satan knows that our minds control our actions.  It begins with a thought. Thought stimulates an emotion.  Emotion then results in an attitude.  Attitude then produces behavior.  That is why it is so important to guard our mind and dwell only on Holy thoughts from the Spirit of God. 

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Spiritual passion is great, but if we do not also have knowledge of God, we will not be able to see the imaginations that exalt themselves above God.  Again I go to Proverbs chapter 30.
Proverbs 30:2-3 “ 2Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. 3I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.”
We can’t just have knowledge about the battle and how to defeat Satan and expect to stay strong.  We very much need the knowledge of God and what is Holy.  The way to gain knowledge of God and Holiness is through study of the Word of God and prayer.  After gaining that knowledge we then live it and gain wisdom.   

We sometimes know bits and pieces of God’s word when in fact we need to grasp more of the whole counsel of God.  There is a big difference between a head full of knowledge and the words of God literally abiding in us. 

Ephesians 6 instructs us to put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the tricks of the enemy.  Our weapon against him is the Sword of the Spirit which is God’s word. 

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Yes spiritual passion that exceeds Biblical knowledge is a weakness, but also the opposite is true.  A great knowledge of Bible scripture without a passionate heart for Christ is dangerous as well.  There must be balance.  We can have that through communication with the Lord through prayer, and study of His word. 

The enemy desires the demise of anyone that keeps the Sword of the Spirit sharp by studying God’s Word.  This is because he knows that our sword, our weapon against him becomes dull if we only read but do not apply God’s word and live by it. 

Please don’t get so busy doing the work of God that you slip away from pure intimacy with God.  God wants relationship with you and I.  In order for God to speak through us in ministry to others, first He must speak to us.  First there must be communication between us and God.  We need to desire and pursue knowledge of God’s word as well as a deep love and passion which develops intimacy with Christ. 

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and for ever Amen.”

So knowing these areas where we can be most vulnerable to entering into temptation, how do we strengthen ourselves against it?  We do this by:

Keeping our Souls fed and filled with the Spirit.

We must fill our minds and souls with good things of the Father.  So that we will be full and not find our spirits hungering because if we are not filled with the Spirit, Satan will certainly place enticing sinful things on our tables for us to partake of.  If we let our spirit man go hungry, we will be more susceptible to fill it with sinful temptations that are alluring to our fleshly natures.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.  The Spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Think of it this way.  If you have made a commitment to have a healthy diet and day by day you eat meals that are good in nutrition and beneficial to your health.  You eat fresh fruits and vegetables and things that keep your stomach filled and satisfied.  If you have just eaten a wonderful meal of hearty vegetables and good things, if someone places an unhealthy food in front of you, it may look delicious, but you can turn it away.  Why?  Because you are already full.  You cannot eat another bite.  However, if you go a few days without eating and someone places that same desirable, unhealthy food in front of you, it will be much harder to resist and in weakness from hunger you may take it and fill your stomach with it. 

The same principle goes for our Spiritual man.  If we keep it fed with righteousness, with God’s word and with prayer and meditation on God, when Satan places that temptation in front of us that looks so good to the flesh, we can turn it down because we are full.  However, when we neglect the things of God and go “unfed” when that temptation is before us we are more likely to take of it. 

Galatians 5:16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

Luke 6:21 “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.”

Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

How do we stay filled with the Spirit?  We do this through prayer and meditation on God’s Word.

Ephesians 5:19-20 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:11 “ 11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints that is the bredth, and the length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 6:11-17 “ Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being our Sovereign Lord.  We praise You for Your righteousness and Your power.  We praise You for Your Love and Your mercy and all the things that You are.  We thank You and praise You because You are our everything.  Every need You supply and we are thankful in our hearts.  Father we thank You for watching over us and our loved ones yet another week and we ask that You continue to do so in the days and years to come.  Father we bow before You today and we ask that You give us the tools we need to resist the temptations of the evil one.  Father we desire Righteousness and Holiness before You.  We know that these things only come from You.  Father we ask that You please give us Divine Wisdom, Knowledge, Discernment and Understanding.  We also ask that You give us the Desire and Passion that we need to study Your word and to learn of You.  Father we do not want to be ignorant about our weaknesses.  We want to learn from the past and to stand through Your power and through the shed blood of Your Son Jesus.  We pray that you help us to be mighty men, women, boys, and girls of valor in this battle with the evil one. We desire to do Your will and to please You.  We desire to serve You and Love You with all our Hearts, minds, souls, and strength.  Father help us to spread the good news of the gospel and live a life that will lead all others to Christ and to You.  We thank You for hearing and answering prayer.  Thank You for loving us with unconditional love.   We love You and we praise You forever as we lift up the name of Lovely Jesus.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

July 1, 2018