Understanding Temptations and Trials Pt. 3





Sunday 10/14/18 

Series: For edification

Message – Understanding Temptations & Trials Pt. 3


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Understanding Temptations and Trials

In this mini-series on Temptations, Trials and Tests, we have covered the why’s of Temptation and last week we began to look at the HOW’s of temptation.

If you remember we only covered one verse last week, it was in James 1:14,

“But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires.

Flesh=sin tendency or appetites We identified the source of these desires which we took to mean tendencies rather than actual desires – but – what did we discover was the source? OUR BODIES

Desire=soul So we changed the word from desires to tendencies because our bodies do not actually have desires – at least not on an emotional level because emotions are the domain of the heart NOT the flesh. But when these tendencies and fleshly hungers meet and influence the soul, it does so in the form of desires!

No longer ‘I’ Paul told us that since he had come to Christ, when he sins it is NO LONGER the “New Paul” who is sinning, but the sin which remains in his flesh. Those sins and the death they bring come from the flesh according to Romans but they manifest themselves in Paul through his soul.

These are the words he used, “Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.” ~ Rom. 7:20 SLIDE 001

We determined that THIS cannot be said of the lost – they are 100% ONE with their sin and rebellion.

This slide I think clearly illustrates the problem which is stated JUST LIKE THIS in Gal. 5:17 –  SLIDE 002

Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT to what we are learning about right now which again is what? HOW temptation works!

The Devil cannot work with your new nature, he is limited to drawing you away from your new nature and intimacy with Christ by DECEIVING you into believing that what your FLESH is demanding is both desirable and will satisfy!

Which is what the word Enticed means. It means to beguile or deceive.

Each man is tempted when he’s throwing away by his own desires and tricked by them or deceived by them. They will NOT satisfy! understanding

HE IS LYING!!!! Temptation IS deception!

Remember also that even before the action of sin is committed, the heart of sin has already accomplished 50% of it’s goal by drawing you away.

James 1:14,

“But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires.”

Last week we saw in the parable of the heart soils that a person in the throws of temptation is already hearts #s 2&3 IN THAT the seed of the Word deposited in the heart is not being nourished towards fruit – but is being choked out through poor soil, lack of sun & rain and development of weeds. (a.k.a. A selfish and shallow heart, one with very little true worship and honor for God and many other untamed desires Jockeying for position of “lord” on the throne of our hearts.)

So we need to ask the question – what is being drawn away? OUR HEARTS!

The thing which produces fruit! {and glorify God… Making temptation avoid Him NOT you}

This is one of the places the teaching of the Gospel often gets off track.

God made this life a “journey of desire” and Christianity in the modern age has done one of two things with it.

Either it…

  1. Exalts desire to a place of preeminence (even above God)
  2. They kill desire replacing it with religious duty and if desires were inherently evil like some terrible dragon to slay….


When you experience desire it is telling you something true about yourself… It is not directly lying. It’s just lying about where you’re itch of desire can be satisfactorily scratched.


Paul essentially said so himself…

“(14) (I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.)” ~ Rom 14:14

Now to be fair and to maintain context Paul was talking about clean/unclean in reference to the Laws of the Old Covenant, but the general truth remains.

  • It isn’t food or alcohol that is sin – it is excess.
  • It isn’t being angry – it is being angry for selfish reasons.
  • It isn’t excellence that is wrong, but pride and arrogance in your performance.
  • It isn’t sex that is wrong, but sex outside the context of a loving monogamous heterosexual marriage that is wrong.
  • …and the lists which could be made here are virtually endless!

So it isn’t the desire itself that is most often wrong but our pursuit of It in replacement of Him, sin is a substitution (whoever WANTS – JAMES 4)

But we know this on other grounds as well.

Consider nearly every complaint God has ever registered and gone on record about with man.

Was it not that man’s heart was not passionately dedicated to Him?

Turn Jeremiah 2:1-34…

This is why God says and asks in Isa. 55:1-3,

1  “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3  Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live”

So desire is NOT our enemy, however the source of our desire is… that is our flesh.

Ask yourself… Does the source of my desire come from the truest part of me… from my Spirit or from my flesh? Which does it agree with?

and enticed.


Now, lets press on to James 1:15…

“(15) Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin (EVIL FRUIT – PROOF of UNION), and when sin is finished, it brings forth death.”

REMEMBER – God is NOT the only seed planter in your life!

Satan scatters seeds too!

Just like the Word of God is a seed – so are the words of satan (known as temptation)!

Temptation is a seed, planted in the heart intended to bear the fruit of unfaithfulness and infidelity towards God – it is soul sabatage!

But like any seed – the seed of temptation needs to germinate.

In heart language that is the result of contemplation… Meditation… You have to TAKE the thought.

Now we’ve been cross-referencing the progression  of Temptation as taught in James with the parable of the heart soils in Mark 4, but today I want to read it in Luke 8:11-15,

“(11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (12) Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Fail to believe


(13) But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

Abandon belief


(14) Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

Loose focus of belief


(15) But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.


This process is the same for evil fruit as it is for good fruit.

Notice the first three hearts spent NO TIME with the word sown.

  1. Wayside – no initial attention much less further thought
  2. Stoney – only believed until opposition came
  3. Weeds – Heard and WENT OUT (no time spent, only hear and run….BIG PROBLEM TODAY).
  4. Good – heard with a good and noble heart, diligent to keep (keep here does not mean to obey it – but to retain it – hold on to it – take possession of it – seize it!

Honest or noble – Constitutionally good without necessarily being benevolent; expresses beauty as a harmonious completeness, balance, proportion. Good as to quality and character.

The first 3 were not balanced and did not hold to or regard truth in balance or proportion.

Balance and proportion in regard to revelations of Jesus (seed) is a Jacob heart – a heart of tenacity that will not let go!

We will continue from here next Sunday!

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued critic.
As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

As I said, as of 2009 I’ve been a Pastor for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!