How to Resist Temptation

Audio: mp3


I’d like to tell you something that I don’t like. I don’t like to see people eaten by lions. Neither does God. He doesn’t like to see people consumed by a roaring lion. But unfortunately, there is too much of this going on. The devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking for whom he may devour. He’s looking. He’s not just strolling around the earth just whistling his tunes and enjoying himself, he is looking for people who he can devour. The best place to look if you want to devour somebody is in a place where they’re not to devoured. You need to go to a place where there’s still life and unfortunately, that just so happens to be God’s church. The devil comes to church licking his lips wondering who he can have for a snack. For those who may be forsaking themselves from assembling, he has definitely got them on his menu to eat and God doesn’t like that. He doesn’t enjoy seeing people eaten.

I don’t think there would be anybody who follows God who wouldn’t be interested in knowing how to resist temptation. Unfortunately, too many people go looking for the devil and when you go looking for the devil, guess what? He’s already looking for us so it doesn’t take too long to get into trouble. We’re on his radar and we’re heading straight for him. He’s very happy.

The first point I’d like to make about resisting temptation, is that if you don’t have to be tempted then you don’t have to resist it. That’s the best way on how to resist temptation. Don’t be tempted. Jesus said this to His disciples, “watch and pray lest you enter into temptation”. Don’t put yourself into situations that you know you can’t handle. Do not put yourself in situations that you know is a weak spot of yours. If you know its weak guard it? How many people find it hard to resist temptation? You will find it hard – that’s normal. It is hard.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:

This word endureth, denotes or indicates hardship. Do you have to endure lying on a beach in the sun resting? No because that is easy. The things that we have to endure are actually difficult.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:

The Bible is telling us that temptation is hard. If you find temptation hard then that is normal. But do you know that we can make hard things harder? When we have a task to do, maybe you’ve been asked to shovel all the sands out of the Sahara desert and then you try and do it with a toothpick. It’s going to be very hard. It’s a hard job. If you use the wrong equipment, it becomes even harder if not impossible. I’d like to suggest that perhaps the hardness you find in temptation is actually harder than God actually wants you to experience. The hardness and the endurance that we go through is beyond that which God is calling us to endure.

The purpose of this study is to know how to resist temptation and to look at key ways from the Bible and from the Spirit of Prophecy on making a hard thing easier but it never makes it not hard. Let’s not be imaginary; this is not a magical sermon in which you get a pill so you’ll never be tempted, not at all.

As a mechanic I have watched people do a hard job and when I’ve observe how they do it and what tools they use, it is obvious they’ve made it a lot harder than they need to. It’s still a hard job but it makes it a lot easier if the right method and tools are used. We often use the wrong tool for the wrong job. What is the job? Is the job resisting temptation? Is that why we’re here? It’s not to resist temptation. The job, the primary reason is to actually develop a character to develop who we are. We are building who we are. In other words, you are not necessarily the ‘you’ that you will be. Unfortunately in this day and age a lot of people have an identity crisis. They always say that they are something and that they’re trying to be something they’re not or to follow the Lord they feel like they have to become something they’re not.

There is a truth that you can never be something you’re not because if you are the something you think that you’re not, you are that person. In other words, you are what you are. Say you were something today and then in a year you are now something different to who you used to be, you are still you. As long as it’s you then it’s you. That’s who you are. The idea of saying that by the time I’m 16 I am who I am is a fallacy. It’s like building a house and laying the foundation, putting up the framework and saying this is my house this is just the way it is when it hasn’t even been finished yet. You haven’t been finished. How can you say you are something and then exclude everything else additionally to what you are not? How can you exclude that from saying, “that can’t be me?” If you become that, then that’s who you are.

The first thing to understand is that our job, our purpose is to develop somebody, and whatever you develop, that’s who you are. Jesus makes this very clear in His parable of the Wise and the Foolish men. What did they do? They had to build a house. Now we can imagine the houses were the same but what was the fundamental difference between the two houses? The foundation was different and then the result that came was a consequence of the foundation. So this is the question. What foundation are you building?

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own..

What?

1 Corinthians 3:8 …labour.

Whatever you build is what you’ve built, and however that is, that’s your reward. That’s what you’re going to get.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Who is going to live inside of your house that you’re building; your character your personality who is willing to live inside of that? God is willing. Then it says in verse 10:

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

We may say we are building on Jesus Christ therefore we have a good foundation. But can I put into my good foundation something that is not good? Yes, we can. So it’s one thing to get a good foundation and it’s another thing now to consider how you’re going to build upon that foundation.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Do you know how God tests your building and the way you have developed yourself through His grace? Do you know how He does that? He tests it by temptation.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall.

Receive the reward; the promise that God hath given. When a temptation, trial or experience comes across our path, it will determine what were made of. If we are falling under temptation do you suppose that we have a good building? Not at all. The work we have to do is to build a house and the test of that is resisting temptation.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Temptation brings forth what? Sin which is the transgression of God’s law. What is God’s law? It is His testimony. It is clear from the Bible that Moses came down with the stone and on it was the testimony. It was called the testimony and Ten Commandments were put on the ark of the testimony. When someone gives a testimony, it is the verbalisation of themselves in their life’s experiences. Am I right or wrong? When God decided to give the law, He wrote it with His own finger as well as spoke it with His own mouth; He gives a testimony of who He is. That’s why it’s called a testimony.

What is sin? It is the transgression of that testimony. Sin is anything outside of God’s character; anything that cuts against who God is. That’s why when you sin you are sinning against whom? God. When you sin against your brother, your brother can be upset because he’s been sinned against, but who actually is the sin against? It is against God. That is why David in Psalms 51 confesses his sin with Bathsheba and killing Uriah her husband. When he confessed he said, “To thee and to thee only have I sinned.” I have transgressed who God is. I have made a personal confrontment to whom God is.

Temptation is simply the invitation to put into your character something that is not godlike. Does that make sense? Temptation is just an invitation. That’s all it is. Have you ever declined an invitation? Temptation is resistible. There is a possibility of resisting. The devil knows your building and he says, hey, put this brick into your building or put this ingredient into your building. Here’s a bit of a straw, put that in the base. That is what the devil is trying to do. He is trying to put into you and me something that it does not belong to God. That’s what temptation is. When temptation has come to fruition and you have accepted the invitation, you then have put it into whom you are and when sin is conceived it brings forth death.

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is life. If you put something into your building that is not Jesus, then it must stand that you’re putting something into your building that is not life. Does that make sense? If it’s not life, what is it? Death. We are putting death into ourselves. When God comes to a person who is being putting death into themselves and suggests a change, they say, I don’t want to change who I am because I’m who I am and you need to love me for who I am. God is saying you’ve got all the elements of death. He wants to put life into us so we can be somebody, not death because death is nobody. What are you going to put in your building? What tools are you using to build? Do you know what tools there are to use?

Every faculty in man is a workman that is building for time and for eternity. Day by day the structure is going up, although the possessor is not aware of it. It is a building which must stand either as a beacon of warning because of its deformity or as a structure which God and angels will admire for its harmony with the Divine Model. {2MCP 545.2}

The mental and moral powers which God has given us do not constitute character. {2MCP 545.3}

They do not constitute your character. The moral power, your intelligence is not you. It’s not your character. The faculties of your brain are not your character.

They are talents which we are to improve and which, if properly improved, will form a right character. {2MCP 545.3}

A man may have precious seed in his hand, but that seed is not an orchard. The seed must be planted before it can become a tree. The mind is the garden; the character is the fruit. God has given us our faculties to cultivate and develop. Our own course determines our character. In training these powers so that they shall harmonize and form a valuable character, we have a work which no one but ourselves can do.—Testimonies for the Church 4:606 (1881). {2MCP 545.3}

No one can get inside your head and use your tools for you to build that which you are.

A Noble Character Formed by Stern Battles with Self

Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-around character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. {2MCP 546.1}

God gives us the talents and the powers of our brain and you and I form who we are; not God.

Our character is formed by hard stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 331 (1900). {2MCP 546.1}

In James we read that when temptation has conceived it bringeth forth sin and when sin is finished it bringeth forth death. Then it said, don’t err brethren. Don’t err, but every good and perfect gift cometh from above from the Father of light of whom there’s no variableness nor shadow turning so we would be some first fruit of His creation. God has given us tools in our brain, in our mind. He has installed into our hard drive software that is extremely useful and we don’t often use it; and because we don’t use it, we find temptation altogether impossible to resist.

There is a mentality in many Christian circles and while ever it is true, it can definitely become unbalanced and that is, I can’t do anything without God. It is true but the problem is we start thinking we just can’t do anything and because I can’t do anything and God does everything, I do nothing, God’s 100%, I’m zero, I just flop around. God is just wonderful because He does everything for me. Is that real in practical life? What would happen in that scenario if that were the mindset? God would ask a modern day Christian, “I would like you to plant a garden. I’m going to give you the seed. I’m going to give you the soil. I’m going to give you the sunshine, I’m going to give you the rain, I’m going to put life in the seed, and I’m going to give you a rake. I’m going to give you a shovel and a watering can. I’m going to give you muscles and a brain, I’m going to do all this for you”. Then the modern Christian would say, but I can’t do it Lord, I can’t do it. Lord will say, use those muscles, take that shovel, and dig the soil that I made for you. I’ve given you everything. The muscles are there and they work, I built them, they’re from me to you for a gift. You didn’t earn it. But Lord, says the modern day Christian, I still can’t do it. I can’t do anything without you Lord. And He’d probably flop on the ground and be useless for the rest of the day. Is that Christianity? – Not at all.

Iif that man thought he could do it without God, He would soon realize he has no seed to plant, no soil to put it in, no sunshine and even if he had soil he actually wouldn’t even exist. Then he couldn’t build the garden and couldn’t do anything without God because he doesn’t exist.

If we think that we can do anything without God, we are wrong, but if we think that we can’t do anything at all without God or that God has to move our hands for us, He may as well dig the garden. It’s just not practical. God has given us tools to use and He built them and gave us the capacity to use them and if we don’t use them, who’s to blame? Don’t blame God. Don’t say, God’s not hearing me, God’s not doing things for me, it’s just that God has given us the wherewithal and we just go hhmm.

We don’t realize what tools we have. To resist temptation we first need to know what we have to resist temptation. We read about the faculties. Man’s faculties are workmen. Faculties are the facilities in which to do a noble work. God gave us faculties. They are not character and who we are, but we are to use them to build who we are. What are these faculties?

All Faculties Can Be Cultivated

Many are not doing the greatest amount of good because they exercise the intellect in one direction and neglect to give careful attention to those things for which they think they are not adapted. Some faculties that are weak are thus allowed to lie dormant because the work that should call them into exercise, and consequently give them strength, is not pleasant. All the powers of the mind should be exercised..{2MCP 441.2}

How many? All should be used. Are some dormant? Some are dormant, but all should be used. In other words when you come to your garden to do some gardening there are rakes and shovels laying under the thick grass that you can’t even see because you haven’t used them. We propose to dig our garden without a rake or shovel and we find it difficult. The difficult doesn’t lie in the job itself, it’s just that we don’t understand the tools that are in the grass.

All the powers of the mind should be exercised, all the faculties cultivated. Perception, judgment, memory, and all the reasoning powers should have equal strength in order that minds may be well balanced. —Testimonies for the Church 3:32, 33 (1872). {2MCP 441.2}

The Faculty of Memory and Will

The memory is a faculty. Do you use your memory? Is it possible not to use your memory very much? Is it possible to use our memory in the wrong way? If you and I as serious about overcoming temptation we need to use our memory. Another faculty is your will. You know the stubbornness people have. That drive that gets things done that pushes people over in the process of getting something done; that thing we do so well in the negative. Is anyone here is stubborn? The part of the brain that can do is a tool. It can be used for good. It can be used to resist temptation.

The Faculty of the Conscience

Does it work? Does it work properly?

The Faculty of Desire

We can have a will, memory and conscience. What about our desires? Do you know your desire is not your will? Have you ever desired to do something that you didn’t do? Why? Why didn’t you do it? What was missing? The will? Yes, so your desire is a faculty but it’s not your will. We often get confused saying, “Yes I will to be saved.” But that’s not our will that’s our desire.

The Faculty of Intellect

Intelligence. When it comes to Christianity, unfortunately many people don’t use this part. They don’t have an intelligent faith. They think it is very mystical. They don’t know what it is. Belief, or hope? They don’t know the difference between the two. It becomes all airy-fairy and the intelligence is lacking, therefore because the intelligence isn’t putting into faith we separate faith from real life. We have our life, we go a work and use our intelligence there but when it comes to our faith and our religion, that’s just another segment of life. It’s got nothing to do with intelligence. Many people go to church and just leave their intelligence at the door.

The Faculty of Imagination

How many people have an imagination? Unfortunately this one’s gets exercised way too much in the wrong direction. Imagination is good and it can be used for the right thing. It can give scope to your faith.

The Faculty of Judgment and Perception

There’s also another faculty in your mind called judgment and perception, how you view something. Your intelligence hangs heavily upon your perception. You could be very intelligent when it comes to mechanical things and then you come to human beings which are so complicated and your perception can be wrong and your intelligence just gets totally baffled with humanity because you don’t perceive what you’re seeing. Perception and judgment are also faculties in our mind.

The Facility of the Holy Spirit

There is also a powerhouse for resisting temptation. Do you know what that is? It’s a faculty given to us by God that is definitely not us. Do you know what that is? It is the Holy Spirit. Can the Holy Spirit be in your brain? Yes. Can a devil be in someone’s brain? We know people can be devil possessed. We can have the Holy Spirit. The brain has the capacity to house the Holy Spirit.

You will find that overcoming temptation will be easier if these faculties are used correctly than if you don’t use them. Now the all-important ingredient is the Holy Spirit because these faculties of our brain are actually crippled and so we need someone to come and reformat our hard drive and to reinstall these great software tools that God has given to us.

The Spirit of God does not create new faculties in the converted man, but works a decided change in the employment of those faculties. When mind and heart and soul are changed, man is not given a new conscience, but his will is submitted to a conscience renewed, a conscience whose dormant sensibilities are aroused by the working of…{OHC 104.2}

What?

…of the Holy Spirit. {OHC 104.2}

When conversion takes place, God doesn’t install some superman software that no one else has where all of a sudden you can just do magic and throw off temptations and be a holy person for the rest of your life. If that were true you could honestly say, “I thank you God that I am better than other men.” You could honestly say that and not be lying. God is going to take what you’ve got and renew it, reinstall it the way it should have worked in the first place. The Holy Spirit is the key ingredient to make everything work.

Zechariah 4:6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD.

The Holy Spirit has a definite work to do and the work of the Holy Spirit is guided by the word of God. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. God spoke and the Holy Spirit moved. The word “moved” is an acting word it’s an action, it’s the doing of it. The Holy Spirit is shown in the beginning of the Bible as a very practical being. But its practice is dependent upon the words that had been said. Is that understood? This becomes very evident in Psalms 33.

Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

How many ingredients are there in this text; there is the word and the breath? The word “spirit” is the same word as “breath” or wind. When Jesus is speaking about the Holy Spirit, He says the wind blows and you don’t know from where it comes or where it goes, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit. The word and the breath go out of His mouth. You can’t say a word without breathing, and so we see a due relationship between the Son the second person of the Godhead and the Holy Spirit. We read in John 20 that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to His disciples. What did He do? He breathed on them the Holy Ghost. Now some people have concluded that because it was breath it’s not a person. But, if you think about it are “words” a person? In the beginning was the WORD. Here we have a WORD. Is a WORD a person? To just a simple understanding now it’s not. But we see that in the Bible this WORD whom we could conclude is not a person because it’s is just a word. (When I speak, I’m not having people running out of my mouth – they’re words.) But we see the WORD is actually a person, therefore the breath is equally a person. Just because it’s “breath” and we think, “well your breath is not a person, you don’t breathe people, and you don’t speak people either”. But the WORD and the Breath are a relationship between two beings in their action. The word gave expression to the thought the other is the moving on it. If there was no breath or wind, could any words that came out of my mouth do anything in your head? They couldn’t travel. If you don’t have the breath or the wind to use as a body of transfer the words become meaningless. And so it is that without the Holy Spirit God’s words do not impact their life.

God breathed into man and he became a living soul. What does that breath do? It’s living. It brings something that was dead alive. That’s what the breath does according to the word. Job 33:4 tells us that the spirit of God made me.

In Ezekiel 37 there is a vision about the valley of the dried bones. What is that chapter about? If you’re not familiar with it please look it up and go through it so this will make sense later. Ezekiel 37 is all about a big valley of God’s people and they’re all bones, dead bones as far as you could see, and Ezekiel was told by God to prophesy unto the wind.

Ezekiel 37:9 Prophesy unto the wind.

Ezekiel prophesied and as he was preaching, (The word “prophesy” is connected with preaching.) the spirits started affecting these dead bones. As these bones were affected the sinews and life came on them and that which was dead became alive through the Spirit.

Ezekiel 37:11
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

The action of the Spirit is totally dependent on the words that are spoken. The Holy Spirit is totally dependent upon the words that are spoken. When Jesus spoke, he said:

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

These scriptures tell us the Holy Spirit will take of Jesus, and Jesus is the Word. The Holy Spirit will take the word and will show it to us. He will implement the word into the cognitive function of the brain. As that word gets put into the brain that word starts working upon the faculties to bring them back to life, so you can use them. The Holy Spirit can work and my brain faculties might get sharper and better and then I could still think I can’t use them, it’s going to be God that does everything and we fail miserably because we don’t use what God has given. The Holy Spirit is subject to the words of God and Christ said this very clearly. He said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I say to you they are Spirit and they are life.”

If you find it hard for your brain to work then I will introduce to you a book called the Bible. Right here is God’s word. If you read it like ink on a page, they won’t profit you because these words are Spirit and they are life. Will you allow the Holy Spirit into your life? What does that mean? That means the words that I do not like to hear because they cut against me I will still accept.

When Steven was preaching to the Sanhedrin before he was stoned, he presented to them the word of God in a most powerful sermon. As he was preaching, the words were picked up by the Holy Spirit and put it in the brains of the leaders. But as those words came into their ears, their teeth started biting, “ah I don’t like what I’m hearing.” Then Steven says to them “Why do you resist the Holy Ghost?” You don’t like the words that are being said that mean you’re resisting the Holy Ghost.

If you want the Holy Spirit to come into your life, don’t resist God’s word. Don’t say, “I don’t like that” and push it away with that stubborn part of the brain. Don’t do that, otherwise there is no hope if we resist the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to re-run or reinstall our software and for that to happen we don’t be happy clappies like the Pentecostal movement which are devoid of God’s word but all about the feelings and emotions of spiritualism.

Is there more Bible readings or less Bible readings in the Pentecostal movement? -Far less. If there is less words spoken, there’s less Spirit moving because the Spirit has to take the word and apply it. If there’s no word, the Spirit can’t work. If we have a lot of scriptures and evidences in our messages, there are no apologies because that’s how the Holy Spirit is going to work. We have to preach the word.

Through the study of His Word their mental powers will be aroused to earnest activity. There will be an expansion and development of the faculties, and the mind will acquire power and efficiency.—Christ’s Object Lessons, 334 (1900). {2MCP 447.1}

Have you ever studied God’s word and gotten really brain tired of doing it? Have you thought this is heavy material for my brain, I just want to sit back and watch TV. It’s so much easier I don’t have to think. That pain you get when you study the Bible is proof your brain’s working because it hurts. Do we stop because it hurts? Not at all, keep going. We can’t read the Bible 24 hours a day 7 days a week but we mustn’t put it away and say, this hurts too much I don’t want to think too hard. God wants you to use your brain. God wants an intelligent faith.

What is exercise if we do deep study of God’s word? Is your intelligence exercised? Does the Bible require intelligence to read it? Have you ever read the Bible and just had no idea what it’s talking about? It’s probably because you’re not employing intelligence. You have to think about it. You can’t just read it and think, I don’t get that oh well. You have to use the intelligence of your brain to come to the problem and to try and work it out and get your head around it.

Truth has a power to elevate the receiver. It has a sanctifying influence upon mind and character…. Only by a continual improvement of the intellectual as well as the moral powers can we hope to answer the purpose of our Creator…. {OHC 106.4}

Does the study of the prophecies require intense brain intelligence to try and get around those prophecies? It’s good for you. Study the Bible. The conscience is also something that needs God’s word to straighten out.

In the Word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences…. Take your conscience to the Word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. {OHC 143.2}

Many people have a wrong conscience they can do the wrong thing consciously. They are conscience people doing the wrong thing. People can front up to them and say “Oh you shouldn’t be doing that.” And they will answer, “Hey I’m just following my conscience.” Is there anything wrong with following your conscience? There is if you haven’t been straightened out by God’s word. How well does your conscience work when you’re being tempted? Does your conscience absolutely flog you over the head about something you’re thinking of doing? Does your conscience rattle your brain and annoy the life out of you? Does your conscience work like that? If it doesn’t, then there is a major problem why you fall to temptation. It is because your conscience isn’t working. If you have a sharp conscience that just runs up and down the streets of your brain rattling every building that it goes past and yelling at its top of its voice and never giving you any peace, how could you do the wrong thing? You would find it very hard to do the wrong thing. You’d say I can’t do it because my conscience is screaming at me.

The devil has to do he has to kill Mr. Conscience so that you could do it or he has to make you think that your conscience is a maniac so that you think my conscience is stupid I’m going to keep doing it. When we push Mr. Conscience aside and say I don’t like the faculty of Mr. Conscience, I’ve got to burn him with a hot iron and we sear the life out of Mr. Conscience. Then you can go and sin with pleasure. You can sin with no worries; enjoy yourself because Mr. Conscience is dead.

Do you find it hard to resist temptation? How’s your conscience? Is it up to date? Has it got the latest installation from the heavenly sanctuary? Is it sharp? I pray it is. I pray your conscience is sharp. If it starts going dull be afraid my friends be afraid. It’s an awful day when our conscience doesn’t work.

You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. Satan takes advantage of an unenlightened conscience, and thereby leads men into all manner of delusions. {OHC 143.2}

Our conscience may work, but is it right? You may have a right conscience but it may not work; you’ve still got a problem. How do you fix your conscience? You need God’s word. You need the Holy Spirit to take into you what is right and wrong not from what you think is right and wrong but what God’s word is saying to you what is right and wrong. When you take what God’s word is saying seriously the Holy Spirit can make your conscience as sharp as a two-edge sword. You’ll be happy when your conscience works properly.

It is not enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates of his conscience…. The question to be settled is, Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God? If not, it cannot safely be followed, for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be established, strengthened, and settled. {OHC 143.3}

God’s word is your friend. God’s word is the way to straighten out your conscience and to strengthen your intelligence so you can understand the why and how to of Christianity. Not just the cliché of Jesus in my heart and the blood of Jesus cleanses me from sin. What does that mean? How can red blood make me white? It doesn’t make sense. When our intelligence and conscience is strengthened, we will have more power to resist temptation. When we understand why something’s wrong you’re more likely to not do it. The reason why we shouldn’t do something is a valid question to ask. Why not do this as Christians? If there is no answer the intelligence just goes ahead and does it. Intelligence and conscience must be lightened by God’s word. This will make it easier to resist temptation.

Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons.{ML 28.4}

Why do we find temptation irresistible? Because we can’t remember a Bible verse that is applicable for the time. When Jesus was met in the wilderness, what was His defense? It is written. Just because you know some Bible texts, that does not mean you’re fully equipped to meet the devil. You might be in a position of fornication and you might think it is written be fruitful and multiply but this is not going to help you at all. You need to know the right text for the right time.

But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed. Thus “when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” {ML 28.4}

The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God’s Word is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions. {ML 28.5}

Keep close to the Scriptures. The more you search and explain the Word, the more your mind and heart will be fortified with the blessed words of encouragement and promise. {ML 28.6}

The more you study and explain the word of God to try and learn your Bible texts by parrot route, it will not work. It’s not effective. You need to study for yourself and then find someone to explain the truths that you have studied to. This is why it’s so important that we all become missionaries. We all need to be missionaries because we need to share that which we have in store. The more that comes in and the more goes out, the more the memory will be blessed.

How’s your memory? What do you do with your memory? Do you remember all the bad songs? Is that what you can remember? Do you remember all the gossip that people say? Is that what you remember? What are you doing with your memory? A mental faculty needs to be used for God’s glory. If you don’t use your memory, you will find temptation awfully hard to overcome. Why? Because you’re not using the tools God has given you. Use your memory. Study God’s word. Share it with others. You’ll remember it. Not just once a week as in one Bible study and then I should remember it. We must go over and over and over it again. Then you will start memorizing the scriptures without even trying will just mean something to you.

The will is really the best tool we do actually have.

The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. {2MCP 685.1}

You might think, I’m not motivated to do this intellectual study of God’s word. I’m not interested in that all. You might not want to sharpen your conscience. Where does the problem lie? It lies in your will, because your will brings all the other faculties to mind. If your will is set you’ll remember. You’ll go through the intelligent course. It’s where your will is at. Will is not your taste.

The will is the governing power in the nature of man, bringing all the other faculties under its sway. The will is not the taste or the inclination, but it is the deciding power which works in the children of men unto obedience to God or unto disobedience.—Testimonies for the Church 5:513 (1889). {2MCP 685.1}

Everything Depends on Its Right Action

The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. {2MCP 685.2}

If we understood how great this tool is and how well it works, we will use it.

The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man—the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, as far as they go {2MCP 685.2}

It’s good to have right desires. Get the right desires. It’s great. It’s good. But as far as they go it won’t do it. You need your will.

Man’s Will Is Aggressive

The will of man is aggressive and is constantly striving to bend all things to its purposes. If it is enlisted on the side of God and right, the fruits of the Spirit will appear in the life; and God has appointed glory, honor, and peace to every man that works good.—The Review and Herald, August 25, 1896. (HC 153.) {2MCP 686.2}

What you do with your memory, your conscience, your intellect, your will, what you do with your desires and your perceptions will make who you are. They are not who you are. They will build who you are. They are your workmen. If your memory is perverted, your conscience is numb, your will is on the side of wrong, your desires are all haywire/mixed up and you don’t use your intelligence and leave it at the church door, you will not get anywhere. When temptation comes you fall and you say, “Wow temptation’s impossible, I don’t think we can overcome this, let’s change the doctrine because we’ll be sinning till Jesus comes.” That’s what will happen if we don’t use what God has given to us. Something amazing will happen when we use our will.

The Spirit of God does not propose to do our part, either in the willing or the doing. This is the work of the human agent in cooperating with the divine agencies. As soon as we incline our will to harmonize with God’s will, the grace of Christ stands to cooperate with the human agent; but it will not be the substitute to do our work independent of our resolving and decidedly acting. Therefore it is not the abundance of light, and evidence piled upon evidence, that will convert the soul it is only the human agent accepting the light, arousing the energies of the will, realizing and acknowledging that which he knows is righteousness and truth, and thus cooperating with the heavenly ministrations appointed to God in the saving of the soul.—Lt 135, 1898. {2MCP 691.3}

Human Will to Be Blended With Divine Will

In this conflict of righteousness against unrighteousness we can be successful only by divine aid. Our finite will must be brought into submission to the will of the Infinite; the human will must be blended with the divine. This will bring the Holy Spirit to our aid, and every conquest will tend to the recovery of God’s purchased possession, to the restoration of His image in the soul.—The Review and Herald, August 25, 1896. (HC 153.) {2MCP 692.2}

When we put our will on the side of the right and enlist all our other mental faculties. The Holy Spirit will come in and say, let’s get going, and we’ll have power from on high to overcome sin. We will be able to use the scriptures. Our memory will be able to store the scriptures. Our conscience will be sharp as the needle. Our intelligence will grasp the truth. We will know why and how things work and say, alright Lord here we go, I’m going to flee fornication, and you start sprinting down that road, the Lord will help you to stay away. Can you see how easier it can be if we use what we’ve got?

I want to challenge you. Please study carefully what you do with your faculties. How sharp your conscience is; how full your memory is; where your desires lie; where your will is; how your intelligence is in relation to God’s word. Study it all. Examine yourself to see whether you’re in the faith. If you do all that and you find yourself in haywire/confusion, there is one other problem. Maybe your hardware isn’t working properly. Do you know that your brain is an organ just as much as your liver, skin and kidneys are organs? Are you familiar with that? If your brain is sick, do you think it can affect your thinking? Can a failed hard drive make the software play up? If you’re having an enormous time dealing with your thoughts, I encourage you to be healthy.

Go on a cleanse. Do something that is going to restore the organ of your brain back to health. If your hardware is messed up, there’s no wonder that you can’t think properly. You might think great sermon. I’m going to start looking at my conscience and all this things and we still fall in a heap its because our brain is sick and is deceased. We need to examine how we are eating, because incorrect eating and appetite is a root sin. If you get rid of that one and can eat healthy you will find that so many things will fall into place. You’ll be amazed. Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into a man that defiles a man but is what comes out of his mouth”. Some things we put in our mouth make our brain go wrong that then our mouth say the wrong thing. I can put some acid under my tongue and think what goes in my mouth won’t affect me and all of a sudden I start pouring out of my mouth all sorts of things that I would never imagine I would say.

Jesus was talking about germs that may cause gastro or diarrhea. Fair enough, you might be a bit ill and have to lie in bed for a couple of days, it will not wreck your spirituality. But if you destroy the organ of your brain with a terrible lifestyle don’t wonder why you have trouble with your thoughts.

Mind Affects Body

The relation which exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, from a consciousness of right doing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it creates a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood and a toning up of the entire body. {1MCP 59.3}

A Well-nourished and Healthy Brain

The brain is the organ and instrument of the mind, and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy. And in order for the brain to be healthy, the blood must be pure. If by correct habits of eating and drinking the blood is kept pure, the brain will be properly nourished.— Manuscript 24, 1900. (MM 291.) {1MCP 60.1}

To summarise, we need the Holy Spirit in our life. We need to study the Bible. We need the Word of God over time to straighten out the faculties of our mind and while we’re doing that, be healthy. Live a healthy life. Make sure the blood is pure. Purify your blood and you’ll find your brain will perform much better.

I pray that we can use these things to make temptation a bit easier. It’ll still be hard but sometimes the way we face it, it is downright impossible to resist, not because it is God’s fault but because we are not doing what we are meant to be doing. I pray that this message has been a benefit and may the Lord give grace as we tackle the lions in our life.

Amen.

 

Posted on June 15, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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