Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Surviving Temptation (Knowing God: David pt 3)

The story of David and Bathsheba is the story of forbidden lust; er, I mean, forbidden love. All because David and Bathsheba did not survive temptation.
Today I want to give you 3 steps for surviving temptation. They are road markers as you walk through your life. You will need to keep this near you every year. If you follow these steps, you will increase your chances of surviving your next encounter with temptation.

David should have been leading his army as most kings did, but he neglected his military responsibility.
Step #1, Be where you are supposed to be
This means when you’re supposed to be at work, be there. When you’re supposed to be with your family, be there. When you’re supposed to be at our worship gathering, be there. When you’re supposed to be at our worship gathering, be there! (you get it) When you’re supposed to be at school, be there! When you are supposed to be in a place of Bible study and prayer, be there. This is so important. David wasn't leading his people as their King as he was supposed to be leading his people. He was laying on his bed, idle, and then walking out on his rooftop.
Discipleship Journal surveyed the most common sins amongst their readers. They found the most common ones were:
1-Materialism, 2-Pride, 3-Self-centeredness, 4-Laziness, 5-Tie between a) Sexual lust, and b) Anger/Bitterness, 6-Envy, 7-Gluttony, 8-Lying
They also found that 81% of survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God; 57% when they were physically tired.
On resisting temptation: 84% said that resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer; 76% said avoiding compromising situations; 66% said with Bible study; 52% said by being accountable to someone.
Are you using your position and free time to be where you are not supposed to be? If so, you are preparing yourself to fall into sin.
Be where you’re supposed to be.

Step #2, Think what you are supposed to think
David’s 2nd problem was that he was not thinking what he was supposed to be thinking. If you’re not where you should be, then neither will your mind be where it should be.
He was restless. In v. 2, he was so restless he got up out of bed and wandered around. That’s when he found trouble.
Has that ever happened to you? Your mind wanders? Late at night, trying to sleep? The best advice I can give you if you can’t sleep is this: If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep, talk to the shepherd.
David only had to look and a woman was bathing down below. Bathsheba knew she was in the king’s sight, probably in an open courtyard on their property. She had placed herself within David’s sights. Also, in v. 4, we’re told she had purified herself from her uncleanliness, which according to the law meant that she was available.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
There will always be a Bathsheba, out in the open, setting a trap for you to fall into. There will be something you want that you know you shouldn’t have, right within your reach!
Christian men, you’d better set up walls of Bible verses around your mind or your unwalled city will be invaded! Christian women you'd better set up walls around your mind or your unwalled city will be invaded. Proverbs tells us a man without self-control is like a city without walls.
At this point, David should have sent someone to Bathsheba and said, “Don’t bathe outside where I can see you!” But what does he do? He sent someone to get her so he could have her. C. S. Lewis writes, in The Screwtape Letters, when speaking of how the devil can conquer believers, “The long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather.”
You will be tempted sometime in the future to let your mind wander, and if you do, it probably will not land in a safe place.
Satan is the Master of the suckerpunch, disguised as an angel of light. He will lie to you. And you will convince yourself that you are innocently bringing glory to God! But then you will discover guilt, shame, and pain!
Proverbs 5 warns against the temptation of sin saying, “Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, ‘How I hate discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.” You’ll say “I blew it! I wasted my life!” Don’t waste your life. Think what you are supposed to think.
God’s purpose for your mind is for you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, one Bible verse at a time. Today, it’s 2 Cor 10:5. When you memorize that, move onto another one.

So here we go: Be where you're supposed to ___, and Think what you're supposed to ___, and step #3, in surviving temptation is Do what you are supposed to ___. That's right, do.
David violated all three principles. The author of 2 Samuel 11 records 4 times where David sent for something. In Hebrew, it is the word sha-lah, “to send, or dispatch,” a right of the King or authority figure. The excitement of sin filled David and he used the authority of his position to satisfy his lust and cover up his sin.
You want to yell into the cedar walls of David’s palace, “Stop! Don’t do it!” But he did it. David fell headfirst into sin.
One of my pastor friends in Mexico, Pastor David, and I would go out for supplies sometimes. And whenever we saw a pretty girl, short David in his high pitched voice would nudge me and say, “Fuego, fuego!” “Fire, fire!”
Not this David. He got burned.
Notice how quickly King David acted. He didn’t consult anyone, or spend time romancing Bathsheba, but it was a one night stand, based on what he could get out of it. God had told Samuel that David was a man after His own heart. Up until now, in Scripture he was a godly man. 4 chapters earlier, God made a permanent promise with him that he would always have an heir on the throne. David defeated the giant Goliath and thousands of Philistines and was the most feared warrior king in the middle east! Yet he could not conquer himself.
Here he was, showing he was also a depraved sinner, even though he was used by God. After discovering that Bathsheba was pregnant with David’s child, David had her husband killed, and for 9 months lived a lie.
I watched this second hand many years ago. One of my friends fell morally about 10 years ago, and I’ll never forget walking with him through the process of public confession and removal from his ministry.
Have you given into sin? Have you followed David’s bad example? You can say you don’t feel bad, but that’s just a cover up. If you believe in God, and are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in you and has been needling you.
David wrote about his experience of torture in Psalm 32, saying, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”
You will be tempted to cover up your sin. The greatest tool for unplugging Christians from church is secret sin.
But there is Good news:
1st piece of good news—There is a way out. I love it how for everything bad that the world offers the Bible has good news to counter it! There is good news for temptation and sin today!
It’s called Doing what you’re supposed to do. 1 Cor 10:13 says, “but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with every temptation will provide a way of escape so you can bear it.”
God has always has a fire exit for His people! He always has a lifeboat that you can find! You can never say, “God abandoned me!” He will provide a way of escape. Awesome!
When tempted you need to look for the way of escape. Next time, Pray for the way out!
I’m not here this morning to beat you up because of your sin, because I have sinned too. I will sin sometime in the future too.
2nd piece of good news—2 Samuel 12, when David was met by God through his servant Nathan the Prophet. David finally did what he was supposed to do.
Your sin can be forgiven. In 2 Samuel 12:13, David says, “I have sinned against the Lord.” What was God’s response? “The Lord has taken away your sin.” There were consequences, but God had taken away his sin.
Doing what you need to do means saying to God “I have sinned,” and you will find that God is “slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness.” God word says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” God’s word says, “Come, let us reason together, though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” God’s word says, “if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!”
David sent and used his authority, but God sent His word by His authority through His prophet to talk about God’s omnipotence! All powerful! He can forgive any sin, as many times as you commit it. If you need to feel clean and healed, and get back on your feet, God sent Jesus to die for not one, two, three, four, 20, 100 of your sins, but all of your sin! And He will forgive you. Do you believe this? In Psalm 32, David didn’t end on a bad note. He writes, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and You forgave the guilt of my sin.” Come to God this morning. Be where you should be, Think, and Do what you are supposed to think, and do. Come to God.

No comments: