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September 8, 2020 1:00 am
We face temptations every day. They draw us away from God and toward destructive choices that can ruin our lives, families, and futures. We must shake off complacency, realizing we’re in a state of battle with our mortal enemy, the devil.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Looking to Jesus and we faced temptations every day. They draw us away from God and toward choices that can ruin our lives and families and futures. We must shake off complacency. Realizing we are in a state of with our mortal enemy the devil from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is going to win with Erwin Lussier whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line has to looser help us understand why the temptations we all face are part of a cosmic struggle between good and evil Dave. I need to say that behind her temptations. Often times there is an spirit behind the lie is the liar behind the trap is the trapper you know my friends as you listen to this series of messages may I give you a suggestion. Why don't you get on the phone and call your friends and invite them to listen. I say that because in this series were going to be dealing with various addictions, various kinds of temptations that we face, and I believe that these messages will be of tremendous help insight from the Scriptures as to how we can overcome the kind of things that ensnare us, but also as a warning that if we begin down a path it may and very badly, so listen carefully now as we speak about the seven snares of the enemy critically important in a world that seems to have lost its way. I know that we pray just a moment ago would you bow your head one more time father. Whenever your word is preached. Barriers are put up to its truth because by nature. We do not want to be touched either by its power or its conviction. So we ask in these moments that you might graciously take those barriers down and reach to us in love and let us just be honest and we pray that in our honesty you might meet us in Jesus name we pray.
Amen. And I think that if we were honest we had met that there is a war that takes place within us. Sometimes the war rages sometimes it subsides, but it's always there are different ways that the war can be described. It can be described as the struggle of the flesh and spirit that can be described as the struggle between what we know what is right and that which is right and that which we really desire to do and often times we follow those desires. Because quite frankly those desires. They promise us happiness. They tell us you follow me and I will finally give you the pleasure that you so richly deserve.
But the pleasures that were talking about today cannot keep those promises were talking about the war with in and how it might be one take your Bibles today and turn to James. James chapter 4 James four.
He begins by asking a question which all of us. I think of asked and he gives the answer to this is what causes fights and quarrels among you, don't they come from your desires that battle within you. Isn't that the source James here maybe talking about a number of different quarrels and fights he might be talking about quarrels within the church.
He remembered the church in Corinth. They had their quarrels. One person said I am of Paul and other apostles and so they had their various clicks. Their various groups and pulses, your acting like children.
You're acting like immature people grow up and understand the centrality of it all is Christ I get those kinds of quarrels. Maybe if the kind of quarrels that sometimes go on in your vocation at work in the bank or the factory or the hospital.
Oftentimes a lot of on said quarrels are going on and tension begins to build and you have animosity and and at any moment. It could very easily be fanned into a flame. Maybe James has in mind the quarrels that does sometimes happen in our homes or some homes were there so much hostility so much attention that it doesn't take much until two people. Usually the parents are shouting at one another and go over every small matter that becomes a huge issue because of the level of frustration. The level of anger. James asks the question, he said, what is really the source of all of these quarrels and all of these fine pieces.
It is the desires that battle within you the desires I like to do today is to help you to notice that James actually talks about to conflict maybe three but will boil it down to two. First of all, he says there is a conflict with in us a conflict with in us.
You'll notice he says that these desires. The Greek word is he deny, from which we get hedonism. These pleasures within us. He says they battle with in us and we all experience the tension.
Paul says that the spirit and the flesh they war against my mind. We know that battle now. These desires may be revenge and end.
I'm sure that the two young men who shot as many students as they could. As they went into that school room they were desirous of revenge as they were blowing people away for a moment. It apparently felt good because at last they were to even the score. They thought foolishness, perverseness and stupidity. But isn't that why people do what they do is desires that have run amok. It could be revenge. It could be covetousness. You know that this is actually an introductory message in a series titled seven snares and were going to talk about greed in gambling and alcoholism, and pornography and immorality, and the pleasures of life and occultism snares into which we can fault which eventually will strangle us but isn't that why some people fall into gambling and into all kinds of sins is because of the love of money and it is the sin of covetousness which lies at the heart of greed and debt or it could be another desire. It could be lost. It could be self-seeking on these desires. If we simply pursue them and say well that's the way I am.
They will lead us to despair and lead us to emptiness and guilt. James says that these do battle with in us. Now let's take one of the ones will be discussing in detail. Let's take for example alcoholism is an alcoholic who has cursed that bottle thousand times and sworn it off buddies back the next day because the bottle mocks him. There is a gambler who says never again but after all he's so far in debt to because of his gambling.
He has to win it all back. So he throws it all away in one more rush to happiness and suddenly it's gone and and here you have this this these desires within us that conflict because every time we do these things, they back fire know it's something like a person awash in an ocean and he's in a boat and he's going somewhere buddies lost any Get back and he is out of water. Freshwater and here he is surrounded by all of this water and the water seems to say is a lapse against the boat, drink me, drink me, drink me, I'm wet I'm accessible and if you do it you will quench your thirst, but he takes it and what does he discover will simply this, that the more he takes the first year he becomes because of the salt and soon that which you looked so good to him.
Ruins him, what an interesting statement that James is making here regarding the battles of the desires he says that our within us and so you can just imagine out all of these things oftentimes done in secret. The snares that we've talked about, they are done in secret, but in being done in secret, they only cause the erosion of the soul and the tension of trying to keep the whole thing hidden is so powerful, along with a sense of guilt and shame you like to live with a person like that know it's quiet in here right now but some of you are saying pastor I do I do tell you it's difficult. I can't help but think of those fellows who came out of the tavern drunk walking along and someone had smeared some strong smelling cheese under their noses as they walked into the clear night air. They said the whole world stinks. Other people like that who see the whole world is the problem and they don't see themselves as being a part of the problem. James says it's the desires that we fight within the battle within it gets worse.
What James says is it is not only the desires that are within and by the way, he says you want something and you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. I don't think that he saying they physically killed one another. I think it's a figure of speech something like a Billy who said regarding his brother. I wish he wouldn't kill me so often. The simple fact is that you have people here who are quarreling and coveting and damaging one another's reputations and having so much hatred in their hearts they are murderers. James is saying all that is happening and you covet and you can have what you want and you're not getting what all of these things promised you.
That's the battle that takes place within not want to look at the text and see the battle that takes place with God. Notice this, we are actually in the middle of verse two, we have to pick it up there in the middle. You do not have because you do not ask God. I need to stop there and simply say that oftentimes Christians don't have God's will because they don't even stop to ask him ever had the experience of doing something that hasn't worked out well and then later on, you begin to think you know I never even prayed about this.
You think to yourself when it's too late. You know, because of the fact that Christians sometimes are amiss matched in marriage. You do know that don't you that there are some very, very unhappy Christian marriages.
I wish I could tell you that when you have Jesus in your heart you know you're good is going to have a happy marriage and everything is going to be sweetness and light. But that's not the way it is. But sometimes I say to these couples and it has to be done tenderly because you don't want to rub salt in their deep wounds, but when you were in that courting stage and when you are planning to be married, did you actually consult God. That's a good question to ask, sometimes, in all honesty I heard things like this know I was afraid to consult because in the depths of my soul. I thought he might say no.
Now this is a parenthesis in the message. But if God said now does he not have your best interests at heart.
Doesn't he know more about that person, then you do ton more if you knew it all.
You have gone with God. How much better to trust somebody who knows all things like that old line that goes you know, don't tell your girlfriend that you are unworthy of her just let it come as a surprise so people get married and reality comes us is as a surprised and sometimes it's because quite frankly, they didn't even ask God say, God, this whole relationship is yours do as you will now. James goes on and he says this when you ask verse three. You do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
And even when you do pray number one you don't, and when you do what you want to do is to say God I will be done instead of God. I will be done and so what you're doing is really asking in vain and then of course God doesn't answer you because the text says he's not going to answer those kinds of prayers were you just want to spend things on your own. He deny, and the same Greek word appears the same pleasures your own heat is him and and so God doesn't come through, and then people say why should I bother God I pray for certain things that he didn't do them anyway. There is no use and I'm just not going to even get into it so you begin to shove God off of your life.
The very one who can finally help you, who can finally put it together, who can give you some sense of peace in the midst of all of your struggles very one who stands ready to help is spurn.
In fact, James now uses some very strong language. We talked about the battle within us and I were talking about the battle with God verse four. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God is say I don't believe it.
I love the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, and that's the world that James is speaking about is not the world of people. It's the world of the world system with all of its values. I love the world, but I don't really hate God and in fact I love him. I go to church and I saying all the right here in this and I sing the right hands, and I stand and I told God that I love him. The text says you hate him as a strong language because remember where this is going. All of us innately without God's intervention. We love the world and God is saying you can't do that and you can't love me too.
In fact, you hate me now the text even become stronger.
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world how much old James.
Not only does he hate God, but he is actually an anime of God.
Now you think about the power of the world in our lives and you think of so-called worldly Christians who love the world were absolutely determined that they are going to take in all of the pleasures of the world were talking about the wrong kind of pleasures now and they're going to pursue these pleasures and entertain them in their lives. And then they're going to learn how to manage their sin so that they can get through a worship service and manage somehow and go back and do the same thing again.
James says you hate God and yours anime of this is so strong so strong but still needed it strong for me and it strong for all of us. He says then you adulteresses you adulteresses my all my now in the Old Testament, you know, Israel was spoken of as having gone after other gods having committed adultery as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have done to me, O Israel, says the Lord says in the book of Jeremiah. Second Corinthians chapter 11.
The apostle Paul says I have betrothed you to one husband, namely Christ that I might present you as a pure virgin now all that you need to do is to talk to a woman whose husband has committed adultery to understand something of the pain and some of your listening can say yeah I understand the pain because you've been through it. The sense of betrayal.
The sense of lack of trust. The sense of hurt that all of the relationship that is been so carefully built shattered in those moments in the rebuilding might take months if not years. That's what we do to Christ, who married us when we were redeemed, this is Pastor Luther and you know, as I think about these things, God convicts all of our hearts. Doesn't he about the fact that he wants a pure bride and we are filled today with the world of temptation seven snares of the enemy. That's the series of messages you are listening to. Let me ask you a different question. Have you been as concerned as I am about the fact that during the covert crisis. We all submitted to our mayors and to our governors and to our governments often times are personal rights were violated in the sense that there were rules that were often times excessive overreach I think is the word. How do we as Christians relate to this. What does it say about our future life given a lecture entitled covert, 19 the economy and our future.
The subtitle is five continuing economic effects of what is happened to us love for you to have it either as a DVD or a CD for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ideal here with a Christian response to what is happening around us and the implications going forward. Covert, 19 the economy and our future.
Let me give you that contact info again and thanks in advance for helping us financially. You go to RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for another chance for you to ask Pastor looks or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life.
Sin exacts a high price torn relationships ongoing mental stress and consequences that never seem to go away. Manfred tells us the story in an email. We recently received about six years ago, my wife committed adultery. She admitted it to me but I refused to forgive her and so we were divorced. I have since remarried but I must say I cannot get my first wife out of my mind. I know I have to move on, but I don't know how to do it.
I regret that we were ever divorced but of course I cannot relive the past.
I think she's also remarried, but I'm not sure how do I mentally and emotionally close this past chapter in my life. Manfred, your question makes me realize once again the divorce is sin. You know the Bible says I hate divorce and I think we all should. Sometimes I think that it is this something that can be done legitimately, but divorce always causes problems in my dear friend you have to close that chapter in your life you can't unscramble eggs. You can't go back to your first wife, obviously, and possibly even she has remarried and you have remarried to just three things very very quickly. First of all you need to confess your mental preoccupation with your first wife you have to in your mind regarding her as being dead, so that you no longer have any emotional or mental attachment because in doing that you're not being fair to your present life. So that's number one number two you have to really submit to God on all levels. You have to ask God to renew your mind to cleanse you from anger from bitterness and also that spirit of unforgiveness that caused your divorce in the first place. You've got some deep issues to deal with here and then finally in the two moments are so that we have together. This is the last point I'm going to make it's very important for you to learn to love your wife, your present life and of course that is a process as well. You need to be able to perfect that love through Scripture through yielded nest through your worship together and you need to move on something else and you get some friends some trusted friends to pray for you to help you to close that chapter to nail it shut and then move on. God will help you in the process. He will be there for you so that now in the end, you can still give him praise. Despite the mistakes of the past. My heart is with you there Manfred God bless you. We like to thank Manfred for being so open and transparent to share his story. We hope it's helped many thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our email@example.com and click on ask Pastor Luther or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Satan tries to derail our walk with God. The appeals to natural desires and gets us to fulfill them and distribute ways. Next time more tough love from James chapter 4 will learn about a war we've no choice but to fight in the many Christians who've already surrendered to the enemy. Dr. Luther will set the stage on facing up to the war of temptation as he begins her journey through the seven snares of the enemy. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the Moody Church