Sun, Jan 27, 2008

VICTORY OVER SIN! GENESIS 39:7-20

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Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION!
GENESIS 39:7-20
 

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Genesis chapter 39, as we look at a topic I call: VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION!  Obviously there is temptation around us every day. That really is not the issue. The real issue is how we deal with those temptations. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote this in regards to temptation:

            In our members there is a slumbering inclination towards desire which is both sudden and fierce. With irresistible power, desire seizes mastery over the flesh. All at once a secret, smouldering fire is kindled. The flesh burns and is in flames. It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire or ambition or vanity or desire for revenge or love of fame and power or greed for money or, finally, that strange desire for the beauty of the world, of nature. Joy in God is . . . extinguished in us and we seek all our joy in the creature. At this moment God is quite unreal to us, he loses all reality, and the only desire for the creature is real; the only reality is the devil. Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God. . . . The lust thus aroused envelops the mind and will of man in the deepest darkness. The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Temptation

            How many Christians make foolish decisions because temptation has overpowered their sense of right and wrong! They do the exact opposite of what God desires because the lust of the flesh, greed, or whatever the temptation that Satan is using clouds their judgment so badly they don’t even see it as wrong!

            If you doubt that, you are a fool. I had a pastor friend years ago that was married and had several children.  His wife had a few health issues and things were tough.  He was the pastor of a church and a really good Bible teacher.  He fell in love, or should I say lust with another woman in the church.  They had gone as far as buying a wedding dress and they both felt this was God’s will for their life! Satan’s temptation hooked them both. He left the ministry, their marriage I believe was healed but what a mess all because they let Satan blind them from the truths of God found in the Word of God. Even though they did not commit sexual fornication, by their actions they committed emotional fornication! And again, they did not see this as wrong!

            Here in Genesis chapter 39 we pick-up once again with the story of Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob.  And we have seen in our studies how Joseph’s brothers hated him, they envied him and that grew to the point where they plotted his murder! But Judah steps in and makes a good point. If they murder Joseph they will get nothing out of the deal, so they sell Joseph to Midianite trades who are going to Egypt!

            Keep in mind that Joseph has done nothing wrong. God gave him two dreams, which his brothers didn’t like. But they were the truth, they just couldn’t handle the truth, they were not willing to submit to what the Lord was saying in these dreams, that they would one day bow the knee to Joseph.  And this is how God rewards Joseph? And folks, it only gets worse! These Midianite traders see a good deal in Joseph. He is 17 years old, a strong, good-looking young man and they sell him as a slave down in Egypt to Potiphar, the captain of the guard or the head of the execution squad for Pharaoh!

            Instead of being angry with God, bitter at God, instead of turning from God, Joseph shines brightly for God as a slave in Potiphar’s house. And Potiphar, this pagan man sees the hand of God upon Joseph and puts him in charge over everything in his home, Joseph knows what Potiphar has more than Potiphar knew, that is how much he trusted Joseph!  And Potiphar knew that God through Joseph was blessing him!

            Now we know the end of the story and how this all works out for Joseph, but put yourself in his shoes or should I say sandals.  God told him by two different dreams that not only would his brothers bow down before him, but so too would his parents!  Well, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen – he is a slave down in Egypt and his family is in the land ofCanaan!  But it doesn’t stop Joseph from being the best slave in Egypt and as he did he brought glory to God! You see, he trusted in the promises of God and thus, he surrender to the will of God for his life!

            But folks, this is not the end of the story and it is going to get even worse before it gets better as we will see.  With that as our background, let’s begin reading in Genesis chapter 39, starting in verse 7 and see what the Lord has for us so we can have VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION!

GENESIS 39:7-20

            Joseph is placed in a difficult situation to say the least and how he responds in this temptation is a lesson for us to grow by. Now, what is a temptation?  Very simply, it is an enticement or invitation to sin, and there is the implied promise of a greater good being derived from following the way of disobedience to God. Obviously succumbing to temptation pushes a person from God!

            Then what about trails, what are they?  God uses trials in our lives to see if our faith is genuine, to purify our faith, to keep us humble, to help increase our patience, to bring us to a better place, to bring glory to God and to help others. Trials will draw you close to God if you allow them to!

            One writer put it like this, “What is temptation? Seduction to evil, solicitation to wrong.  It stands distinguished from trial thus: trial tests, seeks to discover the man's moral qualities or character; but temptation persuades to evil, deludes, that it may ruin. The one means to undeceive, the other to deceive. The one aims at the man's good, making him conscious of his true moral self; but the other at his evil, leading him more or less unconsciously into sin. God tries; Satan tempts.”

              - Fairbain, quoted in The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, J.D. Pentecost, p. 99

            In James 1:12-16 we are told, Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Now verse 12 seems to contradict verses 13 and 14 and yet, we know that God does not contradict Himself. So what is going on? Let me explain.

The words “trials” and “temptations” come from the same Greek word, PEIRASMOS, (pi-ras-mos’). Thus, when we read of situations that will strengthen us, help us to grow, mature us, they are from God and they are trials to test our faith.  On the other hand, Satan will come along to tempt us, to exploit the trial we are going through so we might sin.  God wants to build us up – and He uses trials to do that. Satan wants to destroy us – and he uses temptations to do that. It can be the same situation; it just depends on how we respond to it!

            How often do we like to blame God for our sin! But it is impossible for God to tempt you; it is a foreign concept to God.  Now, I have heard people say who are living in an adulterous relationship, “God has brought us together!”  No, the Devil tempted you and you took his bait and got hooked. You can’t blame the Devil, he didn’t force you, it was your choice!

When James says drawn away it comes from the Greek word EXELKO, (ex-el’-ko) and it was often used as a hunting term that spoke of a baited trap that was used as a lure to capture an unsuspecting animal.  The word enticed is the Greek word DELEAZO, (del-eh-ad’-zo) and it was used as a fishing term to refer to bait, to bait a hook!  That is Satan’s plan, to deceive us into thinking that sin is good, and we take a bite.

            You see, we are drawn away by our own fleshly desires and as we begin to think about sin, fantasize about it, the end result is that sin is birthed in our lives and sin will bring about death!  It is as Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.  Folks, sin is not a sickness, we can’t blame God for it, but it comes from our own evil heart if we give into temptation!

Alexander MacLaren, in a sermon entitled “Faith Tested and Crowned,” distinguished between being tempted and being tested or tried.  He said that “the former word conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong.  The latter means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand. Temptation says, ‘Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.’  Trial or proving says, ‘Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.’ The one is a sweet, beguiling [enticing] melody, breathing soft indulgence and relaxation over the soul; the other is a pealing trumpet-call to high achievements.”

            Every hardship of life holds the possibility of being a temptation and a trial. By resisting all suggestions we know are wrong and accepting all circumstances as opportunities for growth, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His sanctifying work in us. We move toward that desired goal of being “perfect and entire, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). – D.J.D.

- Our Daily Bread, August 21

            Think of our lives as diamonds and understand that Jewelers, to test the genuineness of a diamond, will often place it in clear water. A real diamond will sparkle.  On the other hand, an imitation stone will have very little sparkle to it. When we are placed in the midst of a trial, do we sparkle with brilliance as the light of God not only shines in us but through us, or is there almost no sparkle at all?  You see, how you handle trials will reveal whether your faith is living or dead!  May we learn the lessons this morning and leave here growing in the Lord, sparkling for Jesus not matter what may come our way!

            And so with the remainder of our time this morning we are going to look at what happened to Joseph and see what lessons we can glean from him so we can be victorious over temptation and grow in the trial!  In this section I see four points that we will be looking at. They are: SATAN’S TEMPTATION- GENESIS 39:7JOSEPH STANDS IN GODLINESS – GENESIS 39:8-9SATAN NEVER GIVES UP – GENESIS 39:10-12a, and JOSEPH FLEES TEMPTATION – GENESIS 39:12b-20.  So let’s look at this and learn the lesson the Hoy Spirit is showing us.

1.  SATAN’S TEMPTATION- GENESIS 39:7

            Now keep in mind that things were going well for Joseph down in Egypt. Yes, he was a slave, but God blessed his work and Potiphar recognized that and put him in charge of his whole household.  It is at this point, maybe Satan thought Joseph let his guard down, and he put forth this huge temptation right before Joseph.

            Remember, Joseph was a young man, his hormones were flowing and now he is tempted with sexual sin! Today, in our society there are many who feel that our children might be able to say no to drugs but they can’t say no to sex. Thus, since they are going to do it anyway, let them practice safe sex!  How foolish they are.  Look at the increase in sexually transmitted diseases in our country. Look at the commercials to treat, not cure these diseases. There is only one way that a person can have safe sex and that is between a husband and wife, period! And if we allow ourselves to compromise in the area of sexual sin, what is next?  What else are we going to give in to and say that we have no control over?

            Paul, in I Thessalonians 3:5 tells us, For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.  The Amplified Bible puts this verse like this, That is the reason that, when I could bear [the suspense] no longer, I sent that I might learn [how you were standing the strain, and the endurance of] your faith, [for I was fearful] lest somehow the tempter had tempted you and our toil [among you should prove to] be fruitless and to no purpose.

            You see, Satan’s desire is to destroy our faith and yet, how many people fall prey to his devices.  And when we speak of sexual sin, it is not only the physical act. You can have emotional fornication where you are enraptured with another person who is not your spouse, and that is a sin and the more you play with that, the more you fantasize about it, you are working to bring it to pass as my pastor friend was doing.  Be careful, be on guard and if you are involved in this, repent and get right with God!

            In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the "sundew." It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim.

- Our Daily Bread, December 11, 1992

            That is what Satan does with us, if we allow him to. And it is not just sexual sin that Satan uses, but that is obviously a big one in our society today.  And folks, especially when things seem to be going well, God is blessing, be aware that the Devil is stalking like a roaring lion to devour you!

            C. S. Lewis wrote that, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means--the only complete realist.

- C. S. Lewis

            Make no mistake about it; Satan will bring temptation your way, that is not the issue as I have said. The real issue is how you will respond to the temptation. Will you turn it into a trial where God will help you to grow or will you succumb to the temptation and walk away from the Lord?  Let’s look at our second point and see what Joseph did.

2.  JOSEPH STANDS IN GODLINESS – GENESIS 39:8-9

            How did Joseph stand against this temptation of Satan? By knowing what God desired in his life, what God desired of him and he did it. You see, it is one thing to know what is right but if you don’t do it, then that information is meaningless.  For Joseph, he saw this sin and how it would affect those around him and he also saw this as a sin against God, and thus, he refused to go forward with it, he shut the door to it.  It is as Charles Swindoll wrote in his book, One Step Forward:

            Some people fall into temptation, but a great many make plans for disaster ahead of time.

"Son," ordered a father, "Don't swim in that canal."

"OK, Dad," he answered. But he came home carrying a wet bathing suit that evening. 

"Where have you been?" demanded the father. 

"Swimming in the canal," answered the boy. "Didn't I tell you not to swim there?" asked the father. 

"Yes, Sir," answered the boy. 

"Why did you?" he asked. 

"Well, Dad," he explained, "I had my bathing suit with me and I couldn't resist the temptation." 

"Why did you take your bathing suit with you?" he questioned. 

"So I'd be prepared to swim, in case I was tempted," he replied. 

Too many of us expect to sin and excite sin. The remedy for such dangerous action is found in Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Whenever we play with temptation, it is easy to drift into great danger. A woman was bathing in the Gulf of Mexico. She was enjoying the comfort of relaxing on an inflated cushion that kept her afloat. When she realized that she had been swept about a half mile out from the beach, she began to scream, but no one heard her. A coast guard craft found her five miles from the place where she first entered the water. She did not see her danger until she was beyond her own strength and ability.

- C. Swindoll, One Step Forward, p. 85

            Here is what I have seen in the over 20 years I have been in ministry, some 10 years as an assistant pastor and 12 years up here as a pastor of this church. For the most part it is not that Christians don’t know what God desires, they do know but they just don’t agree with it and that is what gets them in trouble.  I can show them in the Word of God that what they are doing is wrong and their response many times is, “But . . .” And when you start with “But” you will finish trying to justify your sin and explain why God’s Word does not apply to you. I know, it sounds foolish until you are walking in sin and then, since you are not listening to God, it just seems right!  It is not!

            David tells us in Psalm 119:9-11, How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.  Did you see that?  If you want to walk with God, then take heed to His Word!  If you don’t, then you have opened the door for temptation to overtake you and before you know it you will be drowning in sin! Joseph understood that and stood upon God’s Word to keep him free from falling into or really walking into temptation. May we do the same.

            Now, in saying that, don’t think Satan is going to give up that easy. He is not going to roll over and play dead. Look at the third point and you will see what I mean.

3.  SATAN NEVER GIVES UP – GENESIS 39:10-12a

            Notice how Potiphar’s wife keeps tempting Joseph, day in and day out, she does not give up and Joseph does not give into this temptation to lie with her. But when her advances didn’t work, her goo-goo eyes, her flirting, she rolls out the heavy artillery.  Now she grabs hold of his outer garment and tries to seduce him!

            In his book, Hand Me Another Brick, Charles Swindoll wrote this:

            Back in 1958 a small community in northeastern Pennsylvania built a little red brick building that was to be their police department, their fire department and their city hall.  They were proud of that building; it was the result of sacrificial giving and careful planning.  When the building was completed, they had a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and more than six thousand people were there – nearly all the town’s residents. It was the biggest event of the year!

            Within less than two months, however, they began to notice some ominous cracks on the side of this red brick building. Sometime later, it was noticed that the windows would not shut all the way. Then it was discovered that the doors wouldn’t close correctly. Eventually, the floor shifted and left ugly gaps in the floor covering and corners. The roof began to leak. Within a few more months, it had to be evacuated, to the embarrassment of the builder and the disgust of the taxpayers.

            A firm did an analysis shortly thereafter and found that the blasts from a nearby mining area were slowly but effectively destroying the building. Imperceptibly, down beneath the foundation, there were small shifts and changes taking place that caused the whole foundation to crack. You couldn’t feel it or even see it from the surface, but quietly and down deep there was a weakening. A city official finally had to write across the door of that building, “Condemned. Not fit for public use.” Ultimately, the building had to be demolished.

            There is a moral there. Erosion goes unnoticed when you play with temptation until your character is permanently damaged.

- Charles Swindoll, Hand Me Another Brick

            Satan will keep hammering, chipping away at you until you finally crumble and give in.  I know, it seems hopeless, but folks, it is not!  The reason that this happens is because many take their eyes off the Lord and focus on self and they think, “Well, God must have brought this across my path, it keeps happening!”  Foolishness. You see, why are you even playing with sin, fantasizing about it?  It is as James tells us, So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:19-22.

            In other words, it is one thing to know the Word of God, to know what is right and what is wrong, and it is another thing to do it, to do what God wants you to do, what God has said in His Word.  That then leads us to our last point.

4.  JOSEPH FLEES TEMPTATION – GENESIS 39:12b-20

            Who would know if Joseph slept with her? God would know and thus, instead of giving into the temptation he fled. And please understand that Joseph knew that there would be consequences to his actions of not succumbing to her advances, for standing up for righteousness, but he stood strong in doing what was right! What an example for each of us to follow!

            Thus, Potiphar’s wife, not getting what she wanted, Joseph, cries out that Joseph tried to rape her. Obviously he didn’t do that, he ran away.  Now Potiphar, in hearing that his slave tried to rape his wife, being the head of the executioners, you would think he would put Joseph to death. But he doesn’t, he puts him in prison instead. Why is that? Because I believe Potiphar knew the integrity of Joseph and he also knew his wife and that she had done this before. But that really doesn’t help Joseph much here does it? He is still in prison! But God is fully aware of what is happening to Joseph and He is using this to help Joseph to grow, Satan’s temptation was the Lord’s trial for Joseph and he passed!

            Here’s the thing. You may find yourself in a situation of temptation and if you don’t succumb to it, it may cost you something. Are you going to surrender to the temptation to obtain something or will you do what is right and maybe lose that promotion, lose that friendship or whatever?  You see, you need to do what is right at any cost! God will see you through it and you will grow, as Joseph did, even though it took several years!  You need to flee temptation!

            On the TV show "Hee Haw," Doc Campbell is confronted by a patient who says he broke his arm in two places. The doc replies, "Well then, stay out of them places!"

He may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor's advice and "stay out of them places."

            Isn’t that a wise thing to do? Of course it is. If alcohol is a problem for you, stay away from bars! I’m not sure why you would go to bars in the first place but in our town many of the restaurants have bars, you just need to be wise!  If pornography is a problem, stay away from computers. In other words, be wise!  Paul, in Ephesians 6:10-13 tells us, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

            Listen carefully to how The Amplified Bible puts these verses, In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

            Do you understand how we are to stand strong and how we can obtain the victory over the enemy?  By filling ourselves up with the things of God, by putting on the full armor of God, that is how we stand strong against the wiles, the schemes of the Devil!

            Let me illustrate it like this. If you were to climb into a submarine you might think that, as long as it held watertight, you could glide on down to the bottom of the ocean. Sadly, if you tried to do this you'd soon discover how mistaken you are.

Submarines can only go so deep before the pressure of the water crushes them like an empty soft drink can being crumpled by your hand. Indeed, a number of years ago a submarine called the Thresher went down too deep. The water pressure rose to the point that the submarines heavy steel bulkheads were crushed. The sub was torn apart, leaving pieces of debris scattered across the ocean floor for searchers to find.

If you want to go down really deep you need a specially designed research vessel shielded by heavy steel armor. Now imagine you jumped into one of these heavily clad research vessels and headed down to the ocean depths. Guess what you'd find? Fish. Fish! Fish with skin just millimeters thick.

How is it that fish with just a thin skin covering can survive the pressure of such great depths, where a submarine with thick steel plates cannot?

The answer is quite simple: fish have equal and opposite pressure inside them. Submarines do not.

When confronting the pressures of sin some Christians try to become like a submarine, shielding themselves from the outside world, strapping themselves into a narrow space where they are safe from external pressures. They make rules which are designed to reinforce them against temptation. But unfortunately, the deeper into life we go the more inadequate this approach will be. The external pressure will just become too great.

This is why we need to be like the fish, to develop positive pressure inside ourselves. Rather than simply resisting the outward pressure of temptation we need to combat it by building up positive spiritual pressure within, replacing the values the world would impose with the Spirit developed character of Christ.

For Joseph, yes, Satan tempted him through Potiphar’s wife. For Joseph, yes, Satan never gave up.  He kept up the pressure. But Joseph stood strong in godliness, in doing what was right because he knew what God desired of Him. And when Satan refused to give up, refused to let go of him, Joseph fled the temptation and broke that hold that Satan was trying to get on him. Folks, fill yourself up with the things of God, don’t give the enemy any room to get inside of your life, to tempt you away from God because all the enemy wants to do is destroy your life, destroy your faith!

The problem for many comes when they are tempted and they are interested in that temptation. Thus, they stop reading the Word of God. They stop fellowshipping with God. They stop going to church. Why is that? It is not that they are too busy, but they do not want the conviction of God upon their life so they avoid God so they can go down this path of sin.

Where are you at this morning?  Maybe it is some girl or boy at school that is tempting you to do something you know is wrong.  Maybe it is a situation at work where you are being tempted to lie, cheat, steal or whatever and you know it is wrong.  Maybe it is another man or woman that you are flirting with and it is getting out of control even though you know it is wrong. Whatever it is you need to repent and return to the Lord, you need to surrender to Him and obey Him or you will obey the Devil.  Paul admonishes us in Galatians 5:16, I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Listen to how The Amplified Bible puts this verse, “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).  That is a powerful statement, by living in the Spirit, being guided by Him, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh!

Barry McGee makes this interesting point:

Reports the DENVER POST: "Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and 'scare-coyotes.' She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs - fifty last year alone. "Then she discovered the llama - the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama . . . 'Llamas don't appear to be afraid of anything,' she said. 'When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won't have anything to do with that . . . Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.'"

Apparently llamas know the truth of what James writes: "Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you" (4:7). The moment we sense his attack through temptation is the moment we should face it and deal with it for what it is.

- Barry McGee.

            You see, it truly all boils down to this, are you willing to surrender to God? Are you willing to surrender not just part of your life, but all of your life to Him? If you refuse, then temptation and sin will flow from your life I don’t care how strong you think you are!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss put it this way in her book Surrender. She said:

            You don’t want to surrender to God’s control?  You won’t bow to His will in relation to your marriage, your morals, your attitudes, your tongue, your eating habits, your spending habits, or the way you spend your time? Then count on it – the very points on which you refuse to surrender will become “enemies” that rule over you – lust, greed, possessions, food, sloth, immorality, anger, etc.

                                                                        - Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Surrender, p. 43

            As I close this morning, let me leave you with this.  Joseph was able to stand strong against the scheming of the Devil because he surrendered his life to God.  Here is the question I will leave with you. “Won’t you surrender to God because in doing so you will resist the Devil?” You see, if you do you will have that VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION!

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