The world loves a good scandal. The newspapers ooze out the latest conspiracy theories. Whether you lean toward FOX News or CNN you’re world news now is only one fair and balanced report away from knocking down someone’s reputation. Check Twitter. You’ll find out Charlie Sheen is ‘#winning’ again!?
Scandalous news travels fast.
There’s a comfortable scandal that takes place everyday in the hearts of Believers. We don’t talk or think about it much, but it’s there, just under the surface. There’s a subtle line of obedience we simply aren’t willing to cross. We read the Bible. We hear what Jesus has to say. We agree in spirit and nod our heads in affirmation until we realize He’s talking about us. He’s telling us that these are things He expects us to do. That’s where the scandal lies. Like the 5000 people Jesus miraculously fed, we sit back satisfied by His provision, entertained by His words and confident we are doing just fine and then Jesus says something controversial. “Wait a minute Jesus. I’m willing to follow you, but that’s asking a little too much,” we think quietly to ourselves. It happens to us and it happened back in Jesus day as well. John 6:66 is the passage. Jesus has spoken some difficult things to the people who followed him. John 6:66 says, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with him no more.” They came to the line they simply weren’t willing to cross. Scandalous…
There’s 4 reasons why we walk away. And 4 ways to take the leap of faith Jesus asks us to make when He challenges us to do the difficult, impractical or unbelievable. Most everyone has drawn a line that says, “Jesus, I’m willing to follow you this far, but no farther.” I wonder, as you consider these 4 things how you might redraw your line.
4 Scandalous Distractions that Set the Limits of Our Faith
Over the next several days we’ll talk about each on. Today – let’s focus on Temptation.
TEMPTATION – We all face it. It’s built in. We’re sinners by nature and sinners by choice. The temptation to meet a God given need in a God-forsaken way is part of who we are. More than that. We sin because we like it. Let’s be honest, we think there are some sins that are just too much fun to give up. It’s like we have an appetite for sin. Think of it like the difference between vegetables and chocolate. It’s easy for me to eat chocolate. I have an appetite for it. It’s difficult to get me to eat vegetables. I’ve not found one yet I genuinely enjoy. What I need is for God to do a miraculous work in my life. I need Him to change my appetites. So I pray…the Lord’s Prayer says, “Lead us not into temptation.” That’s a good start. “God, help me avoid those places, people and circumstances that would tempt me to sin.” But my prayer doesn’t stop there. “God change my appetite for sin. Make it disgusting to me – like eating vegetables – only worse. Give me a hunger and thirst for righteousness.” And then I remember God’s Word, 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Where do you draw the line? How do you keep temptation from limiting your faith? You OVERCOME. Ask God to protect you from temptation. Ask Him to give you a hunger and thirst for righteousness. And when you’re faced with temptation look for the way out. God made a way. You overcome when you find it and take it.
What temptation causes you to draw the line? How far are you willing to go for your faith? Today, pray that God would protect you from temptation, change your appetite for sin, and help you find the way out.