You TOO can TRIUMPH

Written by gregdenham on March 30th, 2009

Joseph was a seventeen year old good looking young man, who had been isolated from his family in a strange land with strange allegiances, gods and customs.

 

It was a “another world” for him. His support system had disappeared and because of this, he was a perfect candidate to lose his identity and bleed into a new world order and lifestyle.

 

But, this did not happen!

 

Joseph remained true to the God of his fathers!  Over and over again, in the face of difficult circumstances, challenges, and the harsh temptation from Potipher’s wife to compromise sexually, we see Joseph being triumphant over temptation.

 

In Christ, we too can TRIUMPH like Joseph! 2 Cor 2:14 says, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ …”

 

Yet, we are still going to need to know something about temptation and how to respond to it with the strength and wisdom God that has given to us. I have posted the main points and a few remarks from Sunday’s message below. If you would like to listen to the message in its entirety you can access it on this blog. J

 

SEVEN realities about TEMPTATION and how to TRIUMPH in Christ.

 

#1 Temptation is an enticement that promises pleasure but delivers pain and erosion! Succumbing to temptation is saying, “Lord, I don’t believe Your way is REALLY the best!”

 

 #2  There is a COMMON breeding ground for temptation: it is the perception that it can be hidden and gotten away with. Joseph was tempted by Potipher’s wife when they were alone in the house. Following is biblical wisdom in dealing with temptation …

 

  • AVOID ISOLATION! “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment …” Pr. 18:1
  • INVOLVE YOURSELF WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY! Heb 10:24-25
  • CONFESS SIN! Pr. 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

 

#3 Succumbing to temptation is a MOMENTARY INTOXICATION that blinds a person from the consequence of their actions. I have never known of someone who awakens in the morning and says, “I think I’ll ruin my life today!” Rather they allow themselves to be led into temptation. Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, lead us not into temptation!” NLT translation captures it better “Do not let us yield….” There are obvious DANGER ZONES that we need to AVOID! Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).

 

#4 Temptation ITSELF is NOT a sin. Joseph was tempted but did not sin. JESUS was ALSO tempted but did not sin! Jesus felt the presence and pressure of temptation just as we have and He was victorious over sin! Jesus knows what you are going through and is there to help you (Heb 2:17-18).

 

#5 Temptation is best overcome when it is responded to IMMEDIATELY and RESISTED in the victory we already have in Christ! When Joseph was tempted with sexual immorality the Bible says “he refused!” Being successful with temptation is a GODLY HABIT that responds immediately by not giving the temptation any room in your life. When Jesus was tempted, He replaced the temptation immediately with the truth of God’s Word.

 

#6 The PERSISTENCE of temptation does not mean that it owns you and that you might as well give in. Potipher’s wife persistently tempted Joseph! Temptation can be persistent. It doesn’t mean you are losing. IT doesn’t mean that it’s YOU! You are the Lord’s! I Cor. 6:20 says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

#7 Use the FOUR words, “I’m dead to that!” At the point of temptation resist the temptation by faith and obedience by appropriating the freedom you have been given in Christ. John 8:36 says, “…If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Romans 6:11, “Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” It may be that SIN has been RULING your life. Did you know that as believers the power of sin has been unplugged – so, you don’t HAVE to PLUG IT BACK IN.

 

  • Tempted with bitterness? “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Alcohol? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Immorality? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Slander? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with being a Busybody? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Gluttony? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Exaggeration? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Cheating? – “I’m dead to that!”
  • Tempted with Lying? – “I’m dead to that!”

 

#8 It’s more important to lose your possessions and not sin, than to keep your possessions and lose your soul. Jesus said, “What would it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” If Joseph did not leave his coat behind he would have “lost his soul!” This is the SECOND time Joseph lost a coat. The first was when his brother stole it from him and I’m sure he fought for it. What was at stake the second time his coat was taken was an attempt to steal his PURITY and SOUL. If, Joseph, did not RUN, he would have been captured by sensuality and sexuality. Joseph left his coat and remained right with God!

 

Your personal purity and your soul’s right standing with God is more important than:

  • Dating that unbeliever no matter how a good a friend.
  • Frequenting the Internet.
  • Holding onto the Bitterness (someone to blame).
  • Pursuing that goal.
  • Building THAT business.

 

If losing these things means keeping your right standing before the Lord – then LOSE THEM! Run like Joseph did and leave them behind! In doing so — you are running TOWARD God.

 

p.s. BTW, I would love to hear how the Lord spoke to you Sunday morning!

 

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. pam goldbeck says:

    pastor greg, what a blessing the message was on sunday. I have a terrible time with being tempted by sweets. I can now say I’m Dead To That, and it is done. The seven realities will be posted in my kitchen. thank you

  2. Jim Mc Farland says:

    Learning from Joseph
    Its been said:
    Sow a thought, reap an act.
    Sow an act, reap a habit.
    Sow a habit, reap a character.
    How does one develop the pursuit of excellence?
    What was it that drove Joseph despite his circumstances to develop into the man of God we see?
    To name just a few, he must have:
    [1] been still and knew that God was God.
    [2] In all his ways he acknowledged God, and God directed His paths.
    [3] He must have been a seeker first of the kingdom, of God, and them all these things were added unto him.
    What are some of the other things involved by way of the means for pursuing our best?
    From the standpoint of that which affects the way we work, there is probably nothing more important than one’s attitude!
    Our choice of attitude impacts every decision we make on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis.
    Our attitude can either fire our hopes and the pursuit of the things that are important or it can extinguish our hopes and pursuits.
    The value of one’s attitude on what we pursue—our values, priorities, objectives, and how we pursue them is very evident in the book of Philippians where one of the themes is that of joy or rejoicing in the Lord no matter what the conditions or circumstances of life.
    Joseph had attitude.
    That attitude allowed him to over come.
    So did the apostle Paul.
    While chained daily to a Roman soldier in his own apartment,
    Paul wrote the following which is literally satiated with a positive attitude that clearly fueled his hopes against all odds,trials, temptations and circumstances.
    Philippians 1:12-22 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel. 13 The results of this are that the whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ, 14 and that most of the brothers, having confidence in the Lord because of my imprisonment, now more than ever dare to speak the word without fear.
    15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 The latter do so from love because they know that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment. 18 What is the result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.
    Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me; yet I don’t know what I prefer:
    Then, in Philippians, as an encouragement to “working together harmoniously for the faith of the gospel” (1:27) Paul wrote:
    Philippians 2:1-2 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
    Note what the apostle is doing. There is encouragement which comes from our being in Christ, consolation or comfort which comes from God’s love for us, the love of Christians for one another, and there is a marvelous fellowship of the Spirit. This leads to affection and compassion in the hearts of God’s people. So Paul encourages the Philippians to allow the above realities to impact their attitudes in their relationship with one another—to have the same mind, maintain the same love, be united in spirit, and intent on one purpose.
    Then, in a context dealing with two women who had served with him in the gospel, but were having difficulties in their relationship with one another, Paul wrote:
    Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 4:5 Let your steady determination be seen by all. The Lord is near! 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, tell your requests to God in your every prayer and petition—with thanksgiving. 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
    4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 4:9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
    Finally, in thanking the Macedonians for their support, we are given these words that display the power of maintaining or choosing the right attitude by faith in what we have in Christ:
    Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
    Joseph knew this. How do I know? Look at his responses to the things that could have torn him apart and turned him into the most hideous of individuals. And why didn’t the circumstances of envy, betrayal, false accusations, imprisoned, and tortured, [ Psalm 105 ], destroy him?
    I think his attitude was God focused. I think he knew to keep his eyes on his savior. To him God was his redeemer and that was all he needed.

    There is a colorful illustration in the life of the great violinist, Paganini, which shows the value and power of attitude on the pursuit of excellence.
    The colorful, nineteenth-century showman and gifted violinist Nicolo Paganini was standing before a packed house, playing through a difficult piece of music. A full orchestra surrounded him with magnificent support. Suddenly one string on his violin snapped and hung gloriously down from his instrument. Beads of perspiration popped out on his forehead. He frowned but continued to play, improvising beautifully.
    To the conductor’s surprise, a second string broke. And shortly thereafter, a third. Now there were three limp strings dangling from Paganini’s violin as the master performer completed the difficult composition on the one remaining string. The audience jumped to its feet and in good Italian fashion, filled the hall with shouts and screams, “Bravo! Bravo!” As the applause died down, the violinist asked the people to sit back down. Even though they knew there was no way they could expect an encore, they quietly sank back into their seats.
    He held the violin high for everyone to see. He nodded at the conductor to begin the encore and then he turned back to the crowd, and with a twinkle in his eye, he smiled and shouted, ‘Paganini…and one string!’ After that he placed the single-stringed Stradivarius beneath his chin and played the final piece on one string as the audience (and the conductor) shook their heads in silent amazement. ‘Paganini…and one string!’1
    If all you have to hold on to God is one string, one memory, one verse, do it. Make Him your attitude.
    We are more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus.
    ________________________________________
    1 Charles R. Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip, Word Books, Waco, 1982, pp. 205-206.

  3. Pastor Greg, thank you so much for peaching and posting God’s timeless truths.

    *****

    Thank you so much, Marci!
    It’s PASSOVER.
    Blessings, Greg :)

  4. James, Kelly, Israel, and Season Hawkins says:

    Greg, Greg, Greg…. You have been such a blessing to our family!! We adore your daily gifts and your words in regards to our Lord Jesus. Praise be to God for you are truly a wonderful brother! Thank You Thank You!! 😉

    Much love and many blessings,
    The Hawkins Family

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