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Temptation-Part 3
4/14/2010

Temptation - Part III
The Lust of the Flesh

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. 1John 2:15-16 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals on "Temptation."  In Part II we learned that we get our biblical meaning of "Temptation" from the word, "Peirasmos," pi-ras-mos´; which basically means to "Test" or "Prove" someone.  So in essence, Satan's temptation of man is his way of testing us or attempting to prove that we will fail in our obedience to God and His will for us in that particular situation.  

We also learned that "No Temptation" has overtaken us except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that we may be able to bear it."

In these next few devotionals, I would like to look at some ways that God has given us to keep us from stumbling when faced with these temptations or "Tests." 

In the Book of James we are told that it is our "Desires" for pleasure that war within the parts of our body that causes us to be tempted to do sinful acts.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:1-3 (NKJV)

And in 1 John 2:15-16 we are told, "Do not love the world or the things of the world."  This is probably the best wisdom for helping us in dealing with the whole basis of temptation.

If we change our hearts desire from the things of the world to the things of God, then temptation will have no effect on us when we see these things in a proper perspective.  Additionally, when it is our hearts desire to want the things of God, we will find that He gives us our heart's desires.  We see this principle given to us in this Scripture:

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4 (NKJV)

Q:    Why are we warned against "Loving" the world or the things of the world?

A:    Because God knew that these things would be a distraction to usthey would become more valuable than the things of God such as compassion, serving and sharing with others, and seeking to do His will.  

In 1John 2:16 we can see the 3-ways in which "All" temptation is introduced to us.  Let's take a look at these 3-categories and see what we can do to properly deal with these temptations.  

1.    The Lust of the Flesh
2.    The Lust of the Eyes
3.    The Pride of Life

The Lust of the Flesh:  The word, "Flesh" here is referring to our human nature and its sinful propensity.  It is referring to the true condition of the human heart as depicted in Jeremiah.

 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

It is our heart that takes legitimate desires, and twists them and devises evil schemes to carry out - these are works of the flesh.  We are told about this in the Book of Galatians.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

Q:    What must we do to deal with the lust of the flesh?
A:    We must practice self-discipline.

We see the Apostle Paul speaking of this, as he too, had to discipline his flesh so that he wouldnt lose his testimony and be disqualified in serving in ministry.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, we need to get in control of our own body - tell it what to do, not the other way around.  This can only be done by our choosing to think upon proper things - things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy.  Let's purpose within our hearts to do what is right - God will help us to do His will.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about the human heart according to the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you spending time practicing spiritual discipline - things such as praying, reading the bible, stewardship of the resources that God has given you, fellowship with other Christians, and fasting?

APPLICATION: Purpose in your heart to do the will of God and crucify your flesh in any area that is in rebellion.  

Father, Thank You for Your Word and the truths contained within it.  Father, I acknowledge Your will for my life and I submit my will to You.  Help me to see the areas where I am weak and help me to see these things as You do.  Fill me with Your Spirit today and empower me to do what needs to be done.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000