Overcoming Temptation



In this message, we learn that we fight from victory, not for victory.

Welcome to Valley Creek Church. We want to give a big welcome to our Denton campus and everybody who is watching online. Will you welcome them with me. We are so glad that you guys are here. If this is your first time at Valley Creek Church, welcome. We’re so glad you came to hang out with us today. And last week, by the end of the 9:30 service, I completely lost my voice. And so I’m super grateful that we leverage technology to present the gospel of Jesus because we were able to use technology to still have an 11:00 service. It’s a part of our strategy. It’s a part our vision and what we believe here at Valley Creek Church. And I went home after that and it got worst throughout the week, I really haven’t had a voice all weekend. I’ve been sick all week. It really just felt like a spiritual attack. And so here’s just kind of what I was thinking and I just wanted to remind you and ask you, I need you to pray for me.

I don’t know if that’s a part of your discipline or your journey with Jesus. I don’t know if you think about this place when you leave here after the weekend. But if you’re a part of Valley Creek Church, I need you to pray for me. I need you to pray for me and my family for strength and protection, for wisdom. I need you to pray for the leaders of this church, for our staff, and for our elders, for your serving team leaders, your small group leaders. We need your prayers because Satan wants to destroy this church in every way that he can. And God gives us leaders to lead us forward on the things that he has called us to do and called us to be. And the bible says that when we pray for our leaders, we get to lead a Godly peaceful and quiet life. How many of you like the sound of that? I like the sound of that, too. And so I just want to tell you that we need your prayers. I need your prayers. Our staff needs your prayers. And I think if you will just step into that and work that into the rhythm of your life, not only will we see the fruit of that but you’ll feel a whole lot more connected to this place just by praying that God would protect us and strengthen us and so on and so forth. Okay? So if you could do that, that would be great.

Alright. If you got a bible, 2 Samuel chapter 11. 2 Samuel chapter 11, I’m going to do the best I can with my voice because it’s still not back yet. But we’re in a series called “How?” And we’re getting really practical. And we said last week that we often use a lack of understanding as an excuse for a lack of obedience. And so we’re getting really practical in this series to have some basic understanding. Somehow we do some really practical and basic things on our journey with Jesus. And we started last week by talking about how to forgive from the heart. So hopefully all of you took notes and you applied it this week and you got set free in some deep and profound ways. And what we’re going to talk about this weekend is to how to overcome temptation. Anybody want help overcoming temptation? I think it’s really basic, really simple, really important for us. We’re going to use the story of David. A familiar story because I want you to just kind of have a baseline so we can jump right in.

2 Samuel 11:1, In the spring at the time when the kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. He slept with her. Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David saying, I am pregnant. Okay. This is a great story for us to learn how we can overcome temptation and we’re going to use the life of King David to learn from because he’s a great example for us here because this isn’t one of those stories in the bible where you’re like, “I could never leave up to that standard.” This is failure and we’re going to learn from it, how we don’t have to repeat that same cycle. Okay?

So I told you this is a little bit of a different series. This is how. So are you ready for this? I have six points for you today. And three sub-points. Okay? We are in uncharted territory, baby. So we are going to do the best that we can. And so if you’re practical, get out your pen, write these things down. I think this is going to help you. First thing is this, if you’re going to overcome temptation, you have to understand temptation. You have to understand temptation. If you’re going to defeat your enemy, you have to understand your enemy. Hosea 4:6, God says, My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. When we don’t understand things, we’re unable to move forward and follow God. But the bible says we’re aware of Satan’s schemes. Like, we have his playbook. We know what he is going to do. And so here’s what you need to understand. First thing is this, sub-points for you, okay? First thing is this, everyone is tempted. If you’re going to understand temptation, everyone is tempted. Moses was tempted. Joseph was tempted. Jesus was tempted. And you’ll be tempted.

It’s not a sin to be tempted. It’s a sin when you give in to that temptation. Jesus was tempted and that’s not sin. It’s not sin when you’re tempted. It’s sin when you give in to that temptation. And what you have to understand about Satan is he is an opportunist. He will come to you when you’re weak, when you’re vulnerable. He will look for any crack in your life because all he wants to do is destroy you. He’s an opportunist. And what’s temptation for you is probably not temptation for the person sitting next to you. And what’s temptation for them is probably not temptation for you. Which means we don’t judge each other based on the temptations we struggle with. Some are more socially acceptable than others. But the reality is we’re all tempted with different things. Some of us are tempted to cheat on our taxes or to brag about ourselves. Some of us are tempted to be gossipers. Some of us are tempted with anxiety and worries. Some of us are tempted with mental loops of despair. Some of us, it’s pornography. Some of us, it’s our sexuality. Some of us, it’s cutting or self-loathing. Some of us, it’s bitterness or unforgiveness.

I mean I don’t know, we’re all tempted in different ways. And so here’s the question I want to ask you, is where right now in your life are you being tempted? Okay. I want you to think of this for a second. Don’t pull back and hide because we talked about temptation. That’s Satan’s greatest trick is to shame you and make you think you’re weird and alone like you’re the only one struggling in this room right now because it just got really quiet, men. Okay. So think about your temptation right now. A place you just fell. A place you’re struggling with. A place you know you’re tempted by. I want you to think of that in your mind. You got it? You got it? Three of us are tempted. The rest of us are free. So you come up and teach them. I want you to think about this for the rest of this message. And I want you to think about all the steps I’m going to give you and I want you to apply it to that specific area, okay?

Temptation is when Satan tries to get you to pursue in the world what you already have in Jesus. It’s what it is. Temptation is when Satan wants to get you to pursue in the world what you already have in Jesus. Think of Adam and Eve. They’re in the garden, everything is perfect. Sin hasn’t entered the world and Satan comes to Eve. And he says, “Did God really say?” He always wants you to question God’s voice. “Did God really say you can’t eat from any tree in the garden?” And she says, “No. God says we can eat from all of the trees except this one. We can’t even touch it or we’ll die.” And Satan says, “You will not surely die.” He says, “God knows when you eat of it, you will become like him.” He’s trying to get Eve to fall into the sin by telling her she can became like God if she will eat this fruit. But what you have to remember is this is the perfection of creation. Eve was made in the image and likeness of God. She was already more like God than she will ever be in her entire life. And Satan tries to trick her to pursue in the world what she already has in God which is what he will do to you.

Satan wants you to pursue in the world what you already have in Jesus. He wants you to trade the superior for the inferior because he knows you are a slave to whomever you obey. Romans 6:16, You’re enslaved to whomever you obey. So he wants you to get him to — he wants you to obey him because then he becomes your master in the sense. But all you have to remember is you already have everything you need. You already have everything that you will ever want. You don’t need to pursue it in the world. You already have it. Ephesians 1:3, You’ve been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 2 Peter 1:7, his divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness. Philippians 4:19, My God will meet all of your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Romans 5:8, He has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which he has given us. You already have everything you will ever want and ever need. You already have it in Jesus. You do not need to pursue it in the world.

God doesn’t want you to sin because sin is so bad. He doesn’t want you to sin because freedom is so good. Okay? Everyone is tempted, that’s sub-point one. Sub-point two — it’s awesome to say sub-points. I’ve never done this. I don’t know how to do this. Sub-point two, if Satan tempts us, God tests us. James 1:13, When tempted, no one should say God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone. A lot of times we think that God is tempting us. God doesn’t tempt you. If Satan tempts you to break you, God tests you to strengthen you. In the original language, those two words are very different. Tempt means to put pressure onto break. Test means to put pressure on in order to strengthen. When God tests you, it’s like a carpenter who builds a bookshelf. And when he’s done, he pushes on the corners to see if there’s any cracks or pops to reveal a weakness so he can strengthen it to make sure it’s strong.

God will test you to make sure that you are strong to reveal character weak spots so he can strengthen you. Satan puts pressure on you in order to break you. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God wants to fill you with faith, hope, and love. Satan tempts, God tests. And the third thing is this, sin has already been defeated. Romans 6:17 and 18, But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you’re entrusted the gospel, the finished work of Jesus. You have been set free from sin and had become slaves to righteousness. Sin has already been defeated which means you are fighting a powerless enemy. The bible says you’re a conqueror. You are victorious. You are an overcomer. You are victorious even though you may not feel like it.

Just because you’ve always struggled with that thing doesn’t mean you always will. You have to understand, you’re fighting a powerless enemy. And so I think sometimes we need to start speaking to our temptation literally by faith. Speak to it in the name of Jesus, you are already defeated. When was the last time you looked at your temptation and said, “In the name of Jesus, you are already defeated. You have no power. You have no strength. You have no stronghold. So long as I agree with God, you have already been defeated.” You’re fighting from victory, not for victory. And there is a big difference. Which means you’re not fighting up the hill. It means you’re on the top of the hill fighting down. You’re trying to keep him down instead of trying to get up and over him. And you got to make sure you have that perspective in line because Satan is only empowered through your agreement. He’s been defeated by Jesus. He only has power when you choose to agree with him. You are empowered when you agree with heaven.

I mean, remember, Romans 5:19, it’s a big verse for our church. Through the disobedience of one man, Adam, the many were made sinners in identity. But through the obedience of one man, Jesus, the many were made righteous. So through the disobedience of Adam, we were made sinners. It was our identity statement. We were trapped in a prison of sin. And what does sinners do? They sin. When you’re a sinner, you have no hope of overcoming temptation because it’s your identity. It’s all you can do. But Jesus came. And through Jesus, his obedience, we are now righteous. He brought us out of the prison of sin and he put us into a prison of righteousness. We now are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus which means we can live righteously. And it’s really important to understand which of your identities you believe that you are because who you are will always determine what you do. Identity determines behavior which is why — we couldn’t even do it. Not one message without some why there. So why?

Which is why we talk about identity all the time. Because if you call yourself a sinner and believe you’re a sinner, all the time then by faith, you will live a life of sin. You will never overcome that temptation because your identity always determines your behavior. But if you, by faith, believe that you’re a righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, you won’t fall to that temptation because by faith, you will live righteously because that’s who you believe you are. Are you with me on that? Remember Romans 10:17 says, Faith comes by hearing. So whatever I’m hearing more about, my faith in that thing is growing. Very few of us need our faith to grow in the power of sin. All of us need our faith to grow in the power of Jesus’s forgiveness. Okay? Sin has already been defeated. That’s why we talk about this all the time. You got to understand temptation. Okay? That is a good sub-point.

Okay. Number two, number two is really is like number five or something. But it’s really number two. It’s engaged in the mission of God. Engaged in the mission of God looking for a swan in the spring at the time when kings go off to war, King David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites, besieged Rabbah but David remained in Jerusalem. So catch this. This whole thing with Bathsheba could have been avoided if David would have just gone to war. If David would have engaged in the mission of God, this situation would have never happened. David is not supposed to be at home on the palace. He’s supposed to be out on the battlefield. He’s not supposed to be sitting around and hanging out on the sidelines. He’s supposed to be advancing the Kingdom of God, engaged into God’s mission. And so he becomes entangled in something he should have never been exposed to in the first place. While his army is winning the victory, David is being destroyed and defeated.

I’m convinced a whole lot of us fall to temptation all the time because we never engaged in the mission of God. We’re more focused on what we want to do instead of what he asks us to do. So we become entangled in things we should never be exposed to in the first place just like David. I mean, think of the first century church. If you read through the book of Acts, you will find very little occurrences of the first century church fall into sin and temptation. You’ll find very few examples of the first century church getting caught up in temptation and sin. Why? Because they are the upside down church. They’re turning the world upside down. They’re raising the dead. They’re preaching the kingdom. They’re healing the sick. They’re casting out demons. They’re taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. They don’t have time for sin and temptation because they’re turning the world upside down. They’re so engaged in the mission of God that things of this world aren’t even interesting. I mean, listen to me, when you’re in awe of God, you won’t be in awe of sin. When you are bringing heaven to earth, it’s really hard to be interested in earth.

Purpose makes you pure. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Purpose keeps purity in your heart. I mean, maybe this whole great commission thing when Jesus says, Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations. What he tells you as a follower of Jesus, maybe that’s more about us than it is really about them. Maybe he’s telling us to go and make disciples. To get engaged in the mission of God so that we don’t become entangled in things we should never be exposed to in the first place. Maybe it’s not really about them. Maybe it’s really about us. I mean I’ve told you a bunch of times that this whole preaching deal, it’s just hard for me. This is not easy. And this is a reality of my life but it’s part of the mission of God that he’s called me to. And one of the greatest things about preaching is I only get six days to drift. Think about it.

Every six days, I’m back up here. I got six days to let my heart drift. And I know I’m going be back up here talking to you. And so I just flat out tell you, there is temptation in my life. I defeat for no other reason than because I know in six days, I’ll be standing right back up here. And you say, “Well, that’s pretty lame.” No. That’s called truth, man. There’s little compromises in my life I don’t make. I’m telling you, for no other reason than because I know I’m engaged in the mission of God. This is part of my purpose. This is my calling. I’m going to be back up here in six days so my heart can’t drift that far. So my question for you is, are you engaged in the mission of God at all? Are you on a serving team? Are you in a small group? Are you making disciples developing leaders? Are you taking the kingdom to your neighborhood, your school, your marketplace? Are you involved in the mission of God at all? Because if you are, your heart only has about six days to drift.

And there’ll be a whole lot of temptation. You will defeat just like that. Because your focus changes and you become part of the mission of God instead of what you want to do. When you’re in the mission of God, you’re desperate for him. You stay aligned with him so you don’t get entangled in those things. I mean, listen, if you don’t engage in the mission of God, two things happen, you either become busy or you become bored. If you’re not engaged in the mission of God, you’re one of those two things. You’re either busy, fill your life with all kinds of things you want to do, your activities and hobbies and things and all that stuff. Man, the moment you’re busy, you’re weak and susceptible. Satan can pick you off anytime he wants. Okay? And Jesus was never busy. That’s part of the reason he didn’t get picked off. So you either become busy or you become bored. I’m convinced a whole lot of the sin in our lives comes because we’re bored. I bet if you back your life up, some of the worst decisions you have made in your life have been because you’re bored.

If you don’t fill your life with the purpose of God, you will fill your life with the things of this world. That’s David’s problem. He’s bored. David isn’t a sideline, sit-around-in-the-palace type of guy. He’s a warrior. His hands are scarred and calloused. They’re blood stained. David belongs on a battlefield, not walking around on the top of a palace. He’s bored. He’s trying to make his heart feel alive. So he does something stupid which is what we do when we become bored. But listen to me, the mission of God is not boring. There is nothing boring about raising people from the dead casting out demons and healing the sick. Can we agree with that? And you say, “Well, that doesn’t happen today.” Okay. Then I’ll give it to you like this. There is nothing boring about helping someone else take a next step, healing a hurting heart or praying for someone who’s broken. Those first things do happen but if you don’t believe, that’s fine. I’ll give you this. It’s not boring.

If you don’t engage in the mission of God, you will always fall to temptation. In fact, let’s just take verse 1 and personalize it, okay? Ready. This is fun. You’re like, “Go back to the why series. We like those better.” “I know. Me, too. It’s okay.” Okay. Listen, personalize it. Ready? During the week, when followers of Jesus go and advance the kingdom of God, you — fill in your name — reads one of two things, went out and fought a great battle and won a great victory for God. Or you sent someone else to go do the mission of God. Stayed home and got entangled in some things you should have never been exposed to in the first place. Your daily story reads one of those two things. Which is it? You don’t need to get off the sidelines and get into the game for us. You need to get off the sidelines and get into the game for you.

If you’re not engaged in the mission of God, this is the only thing you need to take away from this entire message. Because until you engage in the mission of God, you will recurringly fall to temptation over and over again. Because until your heart is full of the purpose of God, you will fill it with the things of this world. Are you with me? Okay. Number three, guard your eyes. Guard your eyes. It says, From the rooftop — verse 3 — David saw — or maybe it’s verse 2. He saw Bathsheba. She was a beautiful woman. And he didn’t look away. He kept looking. And that look let lust into his heart. What David saw became a thought. A thought turned into a desire. A desire turned into action. Action became sin. And sin led to destruction. That’s how it works. And it all started with his eyes. Whatever you’re looking at is growing in your heart. And you know it’s true.

I mean just think about it. If you want to buy a new car, the more you look and go to a car dealer and you look at that thing, that thing is growing in your heart like you got to have it. Or you want a new phone and you keep looking at the latest phones, the more you look at it, the more you need it. Or clothes, you go clothes shopping. Like, “I got to look like this.” The more you look at it, the more you need it. I mean I tell you, for me, hunting. The more I look at hunting magazines and hunting pictures on Instagram and see this ginormous bucks that people are killing. All of a sudden, it’s like, “Ah.” I’m dreaming about it. I’m thinking about it. I’m trying to figure out ways that I can get out and do it. It’s growing in my heart. But it’s amazing how when I don’t look at those things, I don’t think about hunting all that much. Some of you are like, “I’ll think about it no matter what.” I know. But just go with the analogy. Matthew 6, here’s what it says, The eye is the lamp of the body. Jesus says this. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness.

That’s heavy, man. Jesus is flat out telling us that our eyes are the gateway to our heart. That whatever we look at is growing in our hearts. This is why pornography is so dangerous. Because what you see becomes a thought. What you think becomes a desire. What you desire becomes an action. Action becomes sin. Sin leads to destruction. And it’s not just about pornography because that’s what we think. When we say guard our eyes, we think sexuality. Okay. But think about this. If you struggle with comparison. That’s your temptation, comparison. You probably shouldn’t go on Facebook. Because as you’re scrolling through people’s feeds, you’re looking at their lives thinking, “Why doesn’t my husband act like that? And why don’t my kids look like that? And why didn’t I get asked to that party? Why don’t I have that — “It’s growing in your heart because you’re looking at it. If you struggle with anxiety and worry, you probably shouldn’t look at the news.

This is basic stuff, people. You’re laughing at me but I’m telling you. Why? Because if you’re looking at the news, it’s all doom and gloom. The more you look at it, the more it grows in your heart and it’s sucking you down. If you struggle with like a health stuff, you probably shouldn’t be cruising all the time on the internet looking at sick people and sick things and diseases and all that stuff because it’s growing in your heart. There’s a guy in our church, he came up to me one week after service and he said for years he was depressed and kind of grumpy and down. He had a pessimistic view of the world because all he did was read the news. He loved the news. That was his thing. But because the news is so negative, it was shaping him. It was pulling him into this vortex. So he made a decision to say, “I’m not going to read the newspaper or watch the news anymore. I’m going to fill my heart with the things of God.” And all of a sudden, he got set free from that. He started to experience miracles in his life. God started moving profound all because he just guarded his eyes. Maybe you need to turn that thing off. Cancel that subscription. Delete your account. Or just drive a different way to work. Okay? You got to guard your eyes.

The fourth thing is this, take the exit. Take the exit. Look at verse 3, it says, And David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, David’s servant, Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? This is the warning signs going off. “David, no. No, no, no. David. No, no, no. Take the exit, David.” I mean 1 Corinthians 10 — listen to this — 12 and 13, it says, So if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don’t fall. If you’re sitting here thinking, “I don’t struggle with temptation.” Be careful you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to men. Freedom from some of you right now. There is no temptation you face that makes you weird. There is no temptation that you face that means there’s something wrong with you.

Whether you struggle with pride or fear or homosexuality or addiction or pornography or drugs or cutting, you name it, there is nothing wrong with you because no temptation has seized you except that which is common to man. That makes them wrong with you.

We’re all tempted in different ways. And what does he do? And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. In other words, God says, Whatever temptation shows up in your life, he promises you that he will provide a way out. He will give you an exit. The problem is it takes humility to take the exit. Would you rather keep your job or your marriage? Because it will probably take humility to resign from that job. Would you rather keep your group of friends or be free from an addiction? It’s probably going to take humility to give up on that group of friends.

Would you rather be included in the neighborhood ladies or be a gossiper? Because it’s going to take humility to stop gathering or gossip the festers. Would you rather have a Facebook account or be grateful for your life? Because it’s going to take humility to cancel your account and delete that thing. The reason the bible says pride comes before the fall is because humble people take the exit. That’s why. Pride comes before the fall because humble people, when the warning signs go off, they get off on the offer. They take the exit. There’s a young man in our church, I’m so proud of him. He told me the story. He said that he was struggling with getting caught up in drugs. And a lot of his friends were into it. And there was this whole thing that was pulling him down this vortex that he was getting caught in. And he came to church one weekend. God spoke to him. He gave him an exit ramp. And that night all his friends were getting together to party and he knew God gave him an exit ramp. So he didn’t go. And that night the cops broke into that party. Everybody got arrested. All kinds of consequences. And this kid took the exit ramp and that one exit ramp has changed the trajectory of his entire life. So he’s walking with Jesus and pursuing him because he took the exit when it came.

I mean listen to this, 2 Timothy 2:22, Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call in the Lord out of a pure heart. Flee. Do you know what flee means? What it literally means in the original language? It means flee. Run. Run, Forrest, run. That’s what it means. It means do not negotiate with temptation. We do not negotiate with terrorists or temptation. I just want you to know. The moment you rationalize is the beginning of failure.

Proverbs 22:3 say, The prudent, the wise man, sees danger and takes refuge. The simple keep going and suffer for it. The only difference between a wise man and a fool is the wise man takes the exit. They both see the danger. The wise man takes refuge. He takes the exit that God provides for him. The simple keeps going and suffers for it. Turn that thing off. Get up and walk out of the room. Leave the situation. God has given you an exit. Obedience rarely feels good in the moment. It always feels good later. Temptation usually feels great in the moment. It never feels good later. Okay? Take the exit.

The fifth thing is this, confess your temptation. Confess your temptation. Verse 4, Then David sent messengers to get her. So he sends his servants to go get Bathsheba. Here’s my question. What if instead of that, what if David would have kept walking around on the palace and he would have gone and he would have found Nathan the Prophet or some of his mighty men and he would have just said, “Oh, guys. Here’s this girl over there. And I just got to confess some temptation to you guys. Man, because I just — I don’t know.” What if he would have confessed temptation? You sit there and you say, “What? I can’t do that. That’s embarrassing.” Okay. Well, maybe if we would confess more temptation, we wouldn’t have to confess as much sin. It’s embarrassing, okay. But if you confess temptation, you probably won’t have to confess sin. If David would have told the mighty men, this whole story would be different. The moment that he comes out of the darkness and into the light, it loses its power. Do you know why we don’t confess temptation? Because we don’t have Godly relationships. We don’t have people we learn about, talk about, and become like Jesus with. And we talk about all the time around here.

And so we don’t have people in our lives that we could confess temptation to and be loved and accepted and embraced by them even though we’re struggling with it. We usually have people in our lives. We know if we told them, they’d be like, “Dude, I’ll cover for you. Go man. Go.” Not good friends. You actually defeat temptation before it happens by investing in Godly relationships when you’re not tempted. Because it takes sacrifice and inconvenience and selflessness to find relationships like that. Sin will take you further than you want to go. It will keep you longer than you want to stay. And it will cost you more than you want to pay. You will either confess temptation or sin at some point. The choice is yours. My encouragement for you is confess temptation long before it’s sin. Okay?

And the last thing is this and some of you just need to hear this. Get up again. Get up again. 2 Samuel 12:13, David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. Nathan replied, the Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. David falls and he falls hard. He falls big time. But what I love about David is he doesn’t run and hide from God. He runs to God. And the reason I wanted to use the story is because this is David. This is David. A man after God’s own heart. The King of Israel, David, who is a worshipper in everything he did. David who loved God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. And yet David fell hard. But what makes David a mighty man is that he got up again. You will fall. You will fall. But God is more interested in your next step than your misstep.

He’s more interested in what you’re going to do now than what you just did. It’s not about what did you do. It’s about what are you going to do now. Are you going to get up again? Because Romans 8:1 says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of all of our unrighteousness and cleanse us from our sins. I mean all we need to do is run to him. But you get — like understand your enemy. Satan tempts you so you fall so he can enslave you with shame because he knows shame will make you hide from God instead of run to God. That’s his whole goal. He knows if he can make you feel weird, make you fall, put some sin in your life, you’re now full of shame. He becomes your master. He pulls over here. He keeps in a prison and says, “God, don’t want to talk to you. God is mad at you. When God comes, you’re going to get it.” That’s what he does.

And we believe it. And so he is empowered through our agreement instead of just saying, “No. I have sinned against the Lord. But I’m going right to him because of what Jesus did.” Hebrews 4, Therefore since we have such a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who was unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. But we have one who has been tempted in every way. You think no one else gets it. Jesus does. Just as we are yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Shame makes you hide. Grace drives you home. Get up again.

You just left your spouse, get up again. You just took another hit, get up again. You just cut yourself again, get up again. You just looked at that thing you said you weren’t going to look at, get up again. You just lied and no one knows about it, get up again. You just made another secret in your life, get up again. Get up again. Get up again. And don’t run to it. Run to Him. We close it with this, in John 8, you know the story. Woman caught red-handed in adultery. Pharisees grab her. They bring her and throw her naked caught in the act right before Jesus. Now, pick up stones. They said, “Jesus, Moses says we should stone her. What do you say?” Jesus says, “Whoever was it without sin, let him throw the first stone.” One at time, they all dropped the stones and they leave. It’s just this woman. She’s got to be terrified. Jesus says, “Is there no one to condemn?” She says, “No one, sir.”

He says, “Then neither do I condemn you. Now, go sin no more.” He gives her the gift of no condemnation. A full pardon of forgiveness. He helps her to her feet and sends her away. Do you think that woman is going to go back to that lifestyle? Yes or no. No. Why? Because grace gives us the power to say no to ungodliness and live an upright self-controlled life in this world. And not only is she now going to be free from that sin and that brokenness and that temptation cycle that probably had her locked in is now broken. Not only is she free from that brokenness, she is now, for the first time in her life, free to live. Free to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give her. You already are in Jesus, an overcomer.

You don’t need to fight for victory. You fight from victory against the powerless enemy who only has power when you agree with him. I don’t know what you’re facing but I know this, you can defeat it. In Jesus name. So will you close your eyes with me. Let me just ask you, what does the Holy Spirit want to say to you? What does God want to whisper in your heart or in your mind? If you’re hearing condemnation, it’s not the Holy Spirit. If there’s any sense that makes you want to hide and pull away right now, that’s not Jesus. What does he want to say to you?

Picture that temptation in your mind. Cutting, addiction, lying, bitterness, pornography, the internet, your sexuality, cheating on something, taxes, fraud. I mean simple things like just bending the truth, taking something that doesn’t belong to you, using words that shouldn’t be used. Whatever it is, just think of that thing. Satan wants you to pursue in that what you already have in Jesus. And I want you to picture that thing and tell it Jesus name you’re already defeated. You’re already defeated. You have no power. I am not a slave to sin. I am not subservient to you. I am a slave to righteousness. And I am a son or daughter of God.

Understand the temptation how Satan works. Some of you, here’s the deal, if you don’t engage in the mission of God, you’re not going to get free. Engage in the mission of God, guard your eyes, take the exit. Some of you, God’s got an exit and there are flashing lights all around it. You’re trying to ask, “Should I do it? Is it God?” Yes. Take the exit. Take the exit. Confess your temptation. Maybe tell someone right after service or build some Godly relationships, talk to them, and then get up again. So Jesus, we thank you that in you, we are victorious. We receive it. We believe it. And we say that we will start overcoming temptation because you’ve told us how. Give us the courage and the strength and the faith to walk that out. And by your grace, we will. We leave today full of life and encouragement and hope because in Jesus there is no condemnation. We live with heads held high. We live with hearts full of faith. We live with lives full of love. And we say, Jesus, you are our Lord. You are our master and we follow you because you are good. And your love endures forever. We love you, Jesus. Thank you for freedom. In Your Name we pray, amen.

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