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The Most Important Ability

John Shin

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John Shin

Physician-fellow of oncology and hematology, Mayo Clinic- Rochester, Minnesota

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  • January 23, 2016
    10:00 AM
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For those who don't know me. My name is John Shannon. I'm currently doing my internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota and. And last week we had a little cold spell. And the meteorologist. Was saying something like you know. In parts of the town. The wind chills can get down to negative sixty. That's six zero. And he's like and folks just so that you have a point of reference That's colder than the surface of Mars back to you in the studio. What. Last time I checked Mars was not inhabitable. So I appreciate the chance to visit you guys. In such a time his. But before I die didn't I just want to stress to you and encouraged you to go out to restoration and encourage others to go as well you know as I was listening to testimonies of people talking about restoration. It reminded me of my experiences there. And when I was here as a student. I had several of my non admin is Christian friends tell me later on and say you know what that is to first time. I really learned what. Admin is truly believed. And it's the first time I felt like it was attractive. And so that's not a slam to the rest of the institution but that. It's so necessary to have a targeted time. Where you are out reaching to the student body here. In a way that you know relevant to them in a way that works around their unique schedules. So please keep that in prayer. Before I begin and. Let's start with the word of prayer. Heavenly Father. The topic I'm about to share today. I feel very inadequate to talk about. But Lord I pray that you will use this opportunity and use me as your mouthpiece. I pray Lord that you will help us to rid our minds and our hearts of all the cares and concerns of the world. Emptied of all the noise. That's built up there over the week. And may your spirit while there instead. Bless us now as we study your word in Jesus' name we pray Amen. I came across a story recently. And it's about a new technology to help students. Salmonella in food products and. Unlike conventional salmonella testing devices that take some time to come back with a result. This biosensor is a real time technology where you stand a food product. And it tells you instantly. Whether or not whether or not there. Salmonella present. So they tested this technology and they found that its accuracy. Was approaching. Ninety nine percent. So it was so effective that certain large food catering services began to use this technology. Exclusively to screen for salmonella. And then it happened. That there was a salmonella outbreak reported in a certain area and the and they started tracing back. The infections. And they realized that it came all the food products came from one. Food service. Vendor. That was using this sound Monella sensing device. Exclusively to detect salmonella. And so it was a P.R. nightmare. Both for the company. And for the technology. And as I was as I was reading up on this story. You know. I was wondering if I was to C.E.O.'s and ask yourself if you were to C.E.O. of this company. And you knew that you were trying to prevent salmonella outbreaks in your food products. How much of a priority would you make it to make sure that your sensor was. Barely functioning. Where would that end up on your list of things to do. As a C.E.O. for that day. You know. If your sensor that detects salmonella. Was malfunctioning. It wouldn't matter how much your company believed that sound when Ella was a bad thing to having food. Right. It wouldn't matter how many training courses your employees went through to teach them how to effectively handle food prevent salmonella. From spreading. You know. It wouldn't matter how much money you poured into advertising. How much effort your company put into making its food products taste good. India and. If the sensor is not functioning. Then your company has no defense against salmonella. Getting into food isn't that correct. So if you were to C.E.O. of this company. How much money would you spend. To ensure that the sensor. Was correctly functioning. And I think you would agree with me when I say if I was a C.E.O.. I would spend whatever it took. Because if that sensor. Malfunctions. Nothing else I do really matters. Right. And as I was thinking about the story. And I was thinking bad how could they how could they not check this thing. It occurred to me. Do we have such a sensor in our own lives. But instead of detecting salmonella. Is it a sensor that we used to detect sin. Do we have such a sensor that we use to discern between good and evil. Right and wrong. And it dawned on me that the Bible tells us. Yes we do. We do have such a sensor. You know. We assume that the ability to discern between right and wrong good and evil is something that we're all inherently born with. And we appeal to the sense and others when we debate the issues of the day that are affecting our society. Our church. We just assume that people recognize what's right or wrong. But the Bible tells us that this is not the case that or sensor can be faulty and friends. If you're. If you had a faulty sensor. There would be no point in debating the issues of the day with their. You know. It wouldn't make sense to engage in a lot of discussion about who's right and who's wrong. Regarding a certain topic. I'll tell you realize that your sensor was calibrated correctly. Because to do so would be like starting off on a journey with a compass that doesn't point to north. Right. And as I looked around. I felt like far more attention today was spent debating various issues rather than assessing the condition of our own spiritual sensors. And I found this to be true in my own life. And it may be true in yours as well. So let's take some time now to do a Bible study on how this spiritual sensor works and how we can develop the most important ability in the world. And that is the ability to discern between good and evil. So if you have your Bibles. Turn with me now to Hebrews Chapter five. My goal every time I come and talk here is to make art in scramble to find the right setting on the Mike Bell pick up my still small voice. I rehearse when I'm at home to see if I can start any quieter. In art and always comes through. It's good to be back are than Hebrews Chapter five. Versus twelve or fourteen. For though by this time you ought to be teachers. You need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have come to need milk and not solid food for everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the world of righteousness for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age. That is. Those who by reason of use. Have their senses exercised. To discern both good and evil. This is such a packed. Passage. But let's slow be unwrapped in getting milk. What is milk. Verse thirteen says milk is for those who are unskilled in the word of righteousness for he is a babe. So in other words. Milk is for spiritual babies. Right. In order to know what a spiritual baby is. We must first see what they are not. And in this passage that information is found in verse fourteen. In verse fourteen. Those who by contrast. Are a fool age. Have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil so the implication is that spiritual babies don't have this ability right. So therefore spiritual babies are those who need to be told what is right. And what is wrong. They cannot go to the word. And discern it for themselves. So milk then. Must be this pre-digested truth. That spiritual babies rely on. So know that Time has no bearing on this issue. You can be a Christian from birth and still be a spiritual baby. So I think the point is this. If you are depending on others for your knowledge of truth. You are dependent on milk. Listening to sermons. Going to conferences. These are great things. But we can't depend on others to do our thinking for us. See when a controversial issue comes up in the church. Far too often I see people. Whether consciously or unconsciously. Ask themselves what the so and so believe about this topic. And based on that answer. They decided their stance on the issue. Based on what their role models for leave. And the danger is that if these leaders. At some point in the future wander from the truth. They're going to take all these people with them because they're incapable of discerning the truth for themselves. And that's what it. That's what Paul is getting at infusions chapter four when he says and verses fourteen and fifteen. That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. By the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. But speaking the truth in love we need grow up in all things into him. Who is to head. Christ to see it is the him again. That the children the spiritual babies he's talking about are tossed back and forth by every wind of doctrine. But he's whining us to become spiritually mature. To grow up in all things into Christ. So I'm not saying that we shouldn't listen to others. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be taught by others. But rather that we should be like the Bereans that when we receive this information. We should seek for ourselves a see whether or not it is true. Rather than passively accepting it. Just because it's coming from a source that we've grown to trust. Right. But here's the problem. Spiritual. Babies don't have this ability to discern whether or not what they're receiving is right or wrong. That's why they need the milk. There are sensors in other words their spiritual sensors are malfunctioning. So going back to hear a chapter five. What then is solid food. In contrast. Milk. So milk represents to truth you receive second hand. Then solid food. Must represent the truth that you discern for yourself through God's power and verse fourteen bears that out. So then what are the characteristics of the people who can tolerate. Solid food. Well. In verse fourteen. It says that they are of full age. And some other translations me translated differently but the Greek word here is to lay OS it in a means of maturity. Perfection. Completeness. Being a full age being mature. So what does it mean to be spiritually mature. Well the next part of Verse fourteen tells us her people are those who by reason of use. Have their senses. Exercised. To discern. Both good and evil. This definition of spiritual maturity is crucial to our lives and. It is the most important point of my talk today is to foundation of everything we're going to talk about. So unlike spiritual babies. Spiritually mature people are those who are able to properly discern between good and evil. They have the capability of correctly determining for themselves. The difference between truth and error. In other words friends. Spiritually mature people have properly functioning sensors. They can accurately detect. What is right. And what is wrong. Now the question is how do these people develop this ability. And it says right there. It is exercised by reason of use. When you exercise a muscle. You use it over and over again. And the more you use it the stronger becomes our spiritual senses are exactly the same way. We must exercise it over and over again. In order to develop it so we can function properly. Unlike what a lot of people subconsciously think this is not an ability that we are just born with. And that we have with us. So then the pivotal question is how do we exercise our spiritual senses. Do we just sit there and look at a lot of different situations and cast judgment and say this is right. That is wrong. I'm exercising my spiritual senses. Is that how you do it. What I think to answer this question we have to examine the life of Christ. So Huber's five. Turn to verse eight. Look at Hebrew Spy versus eight. It says. Though he was a son. Yet he learned obedience. By the things which he suffered. Came first in what way did Jesus suffer. What kind of suffering. Is this talking about turn to Hebrews chapter to leave a finger in Hebrew spied. And. I'm really getting into the details here. And I apologize if this is going a little bit fast but I really beg for you to focus and concentrate right now. And look at the Scriptures. As we as we go through this. Because if the chains don't link up. The final conclusion won't make any sense. So in what way did Jesus suffer. Hebrews Chapter two Look at verse seventeen and eighteen. Therefore in all things. He had to be made. Like his brother in the he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God to make propitiation for the sins of his people. For in that he himself has suffered how. Being tempted. He is able to aid those who are tempted. The word tempted here. Means tested. Tried. So it encompasses the idea of being enticed to do evil. And the broader concept of being put to the test. All right. That's what's mean. Meant by this term. Temptation. So it's not something physical that Jesus suffered although he did suffer physically. The suffering that Paul's talking about Hebrews presumably Paul. Is this that he was tempted. Now. Jesus exposed himself to the greatest temptations that a human being is capable of experiencing. First John two sixteen. You don't have to turn their prefers John to sixteen describes all that the world has to offer in terms of temptation he says for all that is in the world. The lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes. And the pride of life is not of the Father. But is of the world. And if you look at Jesus's temptations in the wilderness. You know. You can see that the devil's temptations. Were comprehensive in scope. He said turning his bread into stones. Because you're hungry. Right. Lust of the flesh. Then he shows them. He shows us all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory and says it is amazing. If you just bow down and worship me. I will give all this to you. So less of the eyes. And then he takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and says. If you're just Son of God. Door yourself off. You want to convince these people that you're a messiah. What better way to do it than to cast yourself off from this temple. And let them see the angels that will assist you down. They will balance your feet and your mission will be over. Right there. The pride of life. Right. Seeing him in every direction possible. But in all these temptations. How did Jesus overcome. Did he do it by the sheer force of his willpower and determination. Because he was Christ. He answered. The devil by saying it is written. Right. And he quoted from the Scriptures. So there's a hint. Psalms one thousand nine hundred eleven says. Your word that I have hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you will talk more about this later. But look. In addition to these temptations. Can you imagine how great was the temptation for Jesus. Of not being separated with his heavenly father. Right. Of not having to go through the cross and to endure that separation. So that was in my opinion. Probably the greatest temptation that he endured. So because he overcame the some patients. He can be a merciful and faithful High Priest to us right. Who battled temptation every single day. Now going back to Hebrews five. Verse eight. What was the end result of Jesus suffering from and overcoming these temptations. What did he learn. Says he learned. Obedience. Did you know that it was possible for Jesus to learn something. You know friends. Let's not be mistaken Jesus was perfect. At every stage of his development. But there was a developmental process. In his life on earth was or not and that he had to learn obedience and. Look at he rose fibers nine. It says and having been perfected. He became the author of eternal salvation. To all who obey him. The word perfected here is to lay all. Which is the same word that we saw in Hebrews five fourteen. It was translated fool age. In other words maturity. Completeness. This is the same concept. So when we asked. You know in Hebrew spy fourteen we ask how do we exercise our spiritual senses. So that we can become spiritually mature Christians were here in the life of Christ. Were given our answer. The end result of Jesus. Overcoming temptations and learning obedience. Was that it perfected. Were mature in he became a spiritually mature person. As a result of overcoming his temptations. So God allowed Jesus to be tempted this way. So that he could exercise his will to choose God's way. You see exercising our spiritual senses doesn't just involve identifying what is right. And what is wrong. It's identifying what is right and wrong. And then choosing the right. Over the wrong. That's when the exercise happens every time we do this. Our spiritual sense has become sharpened. And we are better able to discern between truth and error. So if you think about it in this way our temptations are our greatest opportunities to grow spiritually. They could. Our temptations comprise or spiritual Jenn. If you will where we exercise our ability to discern. Right from wrong. Now. If Jesus needed to undergo this maturation process to become a mature. Spiritually mature person. By overcoming temptations. If you had to learn obedience. How much more do we need this experience in our own lives. If Jesus needed that in his. And he was sinless. So here's a key point that I want to leave with you from all that your ability to discern between truth and error is not determined by how educated you are or how intelligent you are. But rather by how often you follow the Holy Spirit's prompting in your heart. This is not an inherent ability that everyone is born with and we can just trust that it's there and correctly functioning. So now we can get to debating the topics of the day. No it's not determined by whether or not you went to seminary and spent years and years studying scripture. It's not determined by how much intellect the Lord gave you at birth and how keenly you can discern the issues of the day. This ability is only given to those who follow the Holy Spirit's prompting in your heart. That is such a key concept that you have to keep in mind. So in other words you increase your ability to discern between good and evil. Every time you don't give in to the desire to be entertained by media that you know police your mind. This censor of yours. Strengthens. Every time you resist that urge to download that app that you know you should never be downloading. This sensor strengthens. Every time you avoid eating certain foods. Because you know it doesn't glorify God. This sensor strengthens. Every single time you refrain from saying something or posting something that you know doesn't reflect the character of God. This censor strengthens. Every time you decide not to indulge in impure thoughts. As you go through your day to day. Ordinary Lives. Every time you decide to choose right over to wrong in this sense or strengthens in the list can go on and on and on. So just do a quick mental check in your own life. How many opportunities. Have you faced in the last week to either strengthen or weaken the sensor of yours. And I have to admit that when I did when I was putting to talk together and I was examining my life. I'm ashamed to say that there were so many times when I miss opportunities to strengthen my spiritual sensors. You see the problem is a spiritual babies are not aware of their condition. They think that they're capable of discerning between good and evil when they're not there people walking around with a malfunctioning spiritual sensor. So here's a wake up call. If we are living a life where we are not where we are giving in to our temptations and more often than we are overcoming than you can be sure you're a spiritual being and that's a hard pill to swallow. If you look at the temptations that assail you in your day to day life. And you mentally know that the number of times you given out numbers of times that you resist. You know that your sensors malfunctioning. Even if you have no outward evidence of that your sensor is not trustworthy. Just as to sense can be exercised to become more discerning by resisting temptation. It can become dulled by giving in to temptation. Great controversy page for seventy four. Paragraph one says. Every sinful gratification. Tends to be numbed the faculties and dead in the mental and spiritual perceptions. And the word order Spirit of God can make but a feeble impression upon the heart desired ages page three twenty two paragraph two says it is not God that blinds the eyes of men or hardens their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors and to lead them in safe paths. It is by the rejection of this light that the eyes are blinded and the heart. Hardened. Often the process is gradual and almost imperceptible light comes true. To the sold through God's Word. Through his servants or by the direct agency of his spirit. Now listen. But when one ray of light is disregarded. There is a partial be numbing. Of the spiritual perceptions. And the second revealing of light is less clearly discerned. So that darkness increases. Until it is night and the soul. This. Sensor is very vulnerable. If you are not strengthening it on a day to day basis. You are weakening it. You can be guaranteed of that. Failing to properly discern between good and evil. Means that you frequently. Nixa to up where something is evil. And you call it good and something is good and you call it evil. And that's why I see a five twenty says whoa to those who call evil good. And good evil. Who put darkness for light and light for darkness. Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Here's another fact. When our spiritual sense has become dull bison. All of a sudden the wisdom of the world seems superior to us than the wisdom of God. Have you ever experienced that in your own life. We start to resent God's law. And we start to view it as being old fashioned. And outdated. We feel that we're becoming In Lightened. When we choose to liberate ourselves from such on reasonable requirements to prophets and kings page one seventy eight paragraph one says. The prevailing spirit of our time is one of infidelity and apostasy in a spirit of avowed illumination. Because of a knowledge of truth. But in reality of the blindest presumption. Human theories are exulted and placed where God and His live should be Satan temps men and women to disobey with the promise that. In disobedience they will find liberty and freedom that will make them as gods. There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God. Of idolatrous exultation of human wisdom. Above divine revelation. Now listen. Men have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity to worldly customs and influences that they seem to have lost all power to discriminate between light and darkness. Truth and error. So far have they departed from the right way that they hold the opinions of a few philosophers. So called to be more trustworthy than the truth of the Bible. Then treaties and promises of God's word its threatenings against disobedience and idolatry. These seem powerless to melt their hearts of faith. Such as actuated by a fate such as actuated Paul Peter and John. They regard as old fashioned mystical and unworthy of the intelligence of modern thinkers. Do you secretly struggle. Because you find the wisdom of the world more compelling than the precepts outlined in the Bible. Do you feel like Christianity is not relevant for the world today. Do you find it embarrassing to uphold and public. Do you find yourself looking down on people of faith. Because you feel like they're an educated or unsophisticated or deluded. If you struggle because you develop these feelings. My friends. Chances are your issue is not an intellectual one. But rather your issue is that you have been giving in to certain temptations. And as a result your spiritual senses have become dulled. And that's why I believe in academic settings. Even this one. I'm convinced that the primary objection that most people have to Christianity. And its beliefs. Is not a moral objection is not an intellectual objection but a moral one seat living a life of sin. Will make you. Intellectualize your aversion to God's law. So when you start feeling this way. When you start feeling that Christianity is not sophisticated enough. It doesn't measure up to the wisdom of the world. When you start feeling that way be where. Look at your personal life. Have you been spurning. The Holy Spirit's prompting in your heart in certain areas. Because friends that plans to seed to keep you this of version. To spiritual things. It is a very crucial. Symptom to diagnose early on patriarchs and profits. Page for fifty two paragraph two says it is a perilous thing to allow an unchristian trait to live in the heart. One cherished sin. Will little by little debase the character. Bringing all its nobler powers into subjects into the evil desire. The removal of one safeguard from the conscience. The indulgence of one evil habit. One to collect of the high claims of duty. Breaks down the defenses of the soul and opens the way for Satan to come in and lead us astray. This is why. One church shin. Sin is so there's asters in our lives. Because it doesn't matter. There's no such thing as a small sin. If you aren't. If you are. Norrington promptings of the Holy Spirit. In your heart. You are dolling your spiritual censor and you are making yourself less capable of discerning between right and wrong. And you will get to the point where not you think Right is Wrong and wrong is right. And when you're in that situation. What hope do you have a properly discerning. The signs of our times. Because we know that is time is coming soon. When it will be critical for our sensors to be functioning properly. Matthew twenty four twenty four says for false Christ and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive the possible. Even the elect. These are strong deceptions. This is not going to be something that you can see coming i'm hundred miles down the road. Right. It's going to be so subtle. It's going to be such an overpowering deception that. Unless your sensor is fully calibrated correctly. You will be deceived relishing thirteen three and I saw one of his heads as if it had Morley wounded and his deadly wound was healed and. How much of the world marveled and followed the beast all the world. Marvel and followed after the beast. Can you swim against that current. How can you. Unless you have a functioning spiritual sense or. How can you possibly hope to stand out in that way and say I'm going to go this way. When everyone else is going that way. If you're not calibrated differently than everyone else around you. If we're living with a faulty spiritual sensor we are incapable of discerning between right and wrong. Because of the choices that we're making their personal lives. And if this is true. There's. What hope do we have of not being to see that the end of time. So every time you disregard the Holy Spirit's prompting on your heart. You don't let spiritual censor and you put yourself at risk of being along those who will ultimately be deceived. So that's why I want to press home. The gravity of the situation. I think we inherently know a lot of this information. But what we don't understand. Is this concept that we need to strengthen and exercise is censor and protected and cherish and even to the point where Christ who never sinned. Had to spend his life. Learning obedience and developing his spiritual sense or to be in tune with God. How much more important is that for us. So when we think you know what. There is no way when these end time events come. That there's no way I'm going to be deceived. You know. I know what to expect. The Bible tells me so. I've been through the studies. You know. I've attended to seminars I know what's going to come down the line. When I see it. I'll make note of in focus not that simple. When you start placing light for darkness and darkness for light. Everything becomes confusing. And suddenly the tenets of Christianity look very very narrow. And you start thinking what closed minded beliefs. And the world is so open minded. And it is so sophisticated in its thinking and it's philosophies are just so tantalizing. And so compelling. And you start thinking wow. I've really grown past that have an eye. I've grown out of my small little shell. I was so in their old minded. And now I see the light. It's bigger than what's found in this. Outdated book. That's full of good concept. But let's be real we've moved past that that is what a faulty spiritual sensor will make you do and think. And then it's darkness in it's night in the soul. So now that I've laid on you. The gravity of the situation the enormity of the problem. How do we find victory. How do we overcome these temptations because if I left this talk. Right here in end it and said Let us pray. Amen. I would have done the worst disservice to you possible. Because you know what we understand the problem. We know what we struggle with on a day to day basis. We know what we fail to overcome. We know what things overcome. Us and we know the victory that we crave for in our lives. And we know that we don't have it in a lot of ways. How do we address this problem between what we know we should do and what we do. How can we overcome temptations. So that our spiritual sensors. Will be properly functioning at the end of time. Friends in the short time I have remaining. There's no way I can tackle this whole topic. This would require an entire series of sermons. To properly cover from end to end. But if you will please bear with me. I want to touch just what I believe to be the highlights. The most important. Portions. And by no means let your study and there. I want to share with you. What has made a difference in my life. And hopefully it'll make a difference in yours. You see the first thing we have to understand it. And this is something we all say. But we really have to understand that we are powerless to overcome temptations. On our own strength. It is key because we give mouth service to this idea. A lot. But do we truly believe it in our own lives. Too often. Our battle against him. We subconsciously whether consciously or subconsciously. We believe that if we just tried hard enough next time we won't fall. To that temptation. After we fall. We say you know what I really messed up. But I know what I did. I know what my problem is next time if I just muster up enough will power. That's not going to happen again. We tell ourselves some burden of the story. And guess what this might be true. Maybe the next time you're faced with a temptation. You will muster up the will power. And you will by the strength of your will not fall. That time. But if you experience has shown anything to you. It's that over time. You may win some battles. But you will lose the war. You may win some victories here and there. But it's not something that's sustainable. It's not a life of victory. It's just you're crawling away from sin. And it's just overcoming you here and they're right. And you may crawl away. A little bit more but then it catches up to you and you look back at the train wreck. Behind you and you're thinking. Where's the victory. You know. Where is to victory. That's promised. And desire of ages. Page one thirty. Paragraph or says. We cannot save ourselves from the tempers power. He has conquered humanity. And when we try to stand in our own strength. We shall become prey to his devices. But the name of the Lord is a strong power. A strong tower. The righteous run it into it and a safe sane trembles and flees before the weak a soul who finds refuge in up my name. So how do we do this. Well let's look at the example of Christ. Based on price example. We know we mention this before we know that we must overcome temptation. With the Word of God. Desire Of Ages page one twenty three Paragraph four by what means did he overcome. In the conflict with Satan. By the word of God. Only by the word could he resist temptation. It is written he said and unto us are given exceeding great and precious promises that by these. You might be partakers of the divine nature. Having escaped the corruption. That is in the world through lust. Every promise in God's word is ours. By every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Are we to live when assailed by temptation. Look not to circumstance. Nor to the weakness of self. But to the power of the word. All its strength is yours by word says to solve most have I hate in my heart that I might not sin against the. By the word of the lips I have kept mean. I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. However in order to use scripture. To overcome temptation. You must first know it. Great controversy. Page five ninety nine paragraph three says. Temptations often appear irresistible. Because through Nicoleta prayer in the study of the Bible. The tempted one cannot readily remember God's promises and meet sane with the Scripture weapons. But angels around about those who are willing to be taught in divine things. And ended. They will bring to their remembrance a very truths which are needed. But here's a point. God cannot bring to our remembrance. But we never learned. Right. So don't worry if you can remember it. God will bring into remembrance at the right time. But you must first put it in there. Jesus also taught us that we overcome temptation. Through prayer. Mark fourteen thirteen. Jesus told His disciples He says Watch and pray. Lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing. But the flesh is weak. Steps to Christ page ninety four paragraph to the darkness of the Evil One in close upon encloses those in the collective pray. The whisper temptations of the enemy entice them to sin. And it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them. In the divine appointment a prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray. When Prayer is the key and the hand of fate. To unlocks Heaven's storehouse where our treasure to boundless resources of of the potential without unceasing prayer and diligent watching. We are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. The adversary sees continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat. That we may not by earnest supplication in faith. Obtain grace and power to resist temptation. So Jesus says. Overcome temptation through prayer. Now friends. If you're anything like mean these past few minutes. When I was repeated when I was reciting disperses in the. Passages. You may have felt a bit frustrated. And that's because in my life. I cannot recall the number of times that I prayed and quoted scripture. And still fallen to temptation. Have you had that experience in your life. I'm sure for many of you in this room. This is not new news. You're not learning for a first time. Oh my goodness. I need to use scripture. To overcome temptation. Wow. I do pray. I've completely forgotten to pray. I'm sure Benny of us pray over and over again. And you know what maybe like me you've been in situations where even in the heat of temptation you are praying earnestly. And then you fall. And then when you. When you do an autopsy. Of your failure in your sand you're wondering if that didn't help. What will. Where is the victory. We talk about it. We preach about it. We all claim to love it and believe in it. But we don't experience it. That is a sure fire formula for disillusionment. And that's why people leave the church. And then suddenly the wisdom of the world. Seems so attractive. When they tell you it's unreasonable what you're believing in come to light. Be enlightened and liberalize your thinking. How can that not help but to entice your heart when you don't experience this victory in your life. And it's just a theory. You know. Many of these times I cried out to God saying Lord. Where is that way of escape that you promised in First Corinthians ten thirteen. You sit for every temptation. You provide the way of escape right. The way out. And I see where is it because you hide it so well. And no matter how much I apply these principles. In the end. It just seemed to boil down to me to matter of the will again. You know. Yeah. I tried that I tried that but you know what next time. I know what I have to do. I just really have to gird up my loins so to speak right. Grit my teeth and say I'm not going to give in to that temptation. That's what I have to do. But remember we talked about this. If you rely on your willpower alone in this battle against him. You may win a few battles but you are not going to win the war. And that will further. Dissolution you. And discourage you. And you'll be back to where you started in a worse condition than you first began. Because now you're thinking. What point is there to try. I have loss. So many battles. Who cares about the few I've won. What point is there to try. And it's getting spiritually exhausting. If you can relate with that. I really want you to pay attention to what I'm going to say next. How do we incorporate these tools that the Bible gives us because they are definitely tools that the Bible gives us to use to fight temptation. Jesus's example was there for a reason. He doesn't set an unattainable example. Because how cruel would that be for Jesus to come to earth. As our example to follow and set an example that we cannot follow because it's too perfect. Because out of our reach and we close. We grasp or day after day. But we fail to measure up. And we say you know what. I'm never going to get there. That's just that's just a fable. Wouldn't that be cruel. Of God If you've been wondering that yourself. Please pay attention to what I'm going to see next. When I got married to my wife Alyssa and. I think she had to take her baby out of room. And some had the rest of you can focus. When I first got married to listen. I wanted to make her. The happiest woman in the world. And I still do today. I shouldn't say that the past tense. I still do. This day. But how do you think I went about doing this. Do you think I went into my room the day after we got married and started making a list of everything I know she likes and put check boxes next to them and said OK To day I'm going to tell you I love you at least three times. I'm going to take out the trash when you don't ask me to. I'm going to give you a back massage spontaneously. I'm going to open the car door for you going to bring your breakfast in bed. Do you think this is what I did. And went down this. Onerous checkbox list and said you know what honey. All the boxes have been checked. I officially love you here. If we left because it sounds ridiculous. But this is exactly what we do in a relationship with God. And when we say. Why can't we check off the boxes. I know that I'm not supposed to watch that pollutes which pollutes my mind. I know I'm not supposed to indulge these kinds of thoughts. I know I'm not supposed to eat. These kinds of foods. I know I'm supposed to spend more time in my devotional life. I know I'm supposed to take care of my physical health. I don't suppose do this and this and this. And there's check boxes next to each one of them. And you say. Just got to check them off. You know. And by the force of my will. There are some days when Yeah I got off. But the next day you're like oh my goodness. This is not sustainable. And inevitably the boxes that become unchecked outnumber the ones that do become checked. And you're like This is not working. This is not working. Friends. This is why. This approach doesn't work. When I wanted to please my wife and maker the happiest woman in the world. Why did I not do the check box method. Because. My love for her. Drove me to do these things. Naturally. So I didn't have to make it a chore to check them off. I didn't have to fink twice about this because of my love for her. If I didn't love her. It would have been the greatest drudgery in the world. And it would have been impossible for me to sustain. Because I don't love her and. It takes a lot of effort to deny myself and do these things and check the boxes. But because I love her. This is second nature. And it's important to know with I'm doing these things but guess what you missed the boat entirely when you focus on the list. And not the love you see the only way to effectively resist temptation is to make the love that you have for God. The motivating factor behind. Why you resist temptation to begin with Christ object lessons page forty nine paragraph one says Love must be the principle of action. Love is the underlying principle of God's government in heaven and earth. And it must be the foundation of the Christians character. This alone. Can make and keep him steadfast and listen. This alone. Can enable him to withstand trial and temptation. Love must be the principle of action. If love is not your principle of action. Your prayers. In your scripture memorization. You'll be treating them like Lucky Charms that you rub. Whenever you fall into temptation. And you see all temptations coming. And you break out my lucky charms. Let me throw some scripture verses at Ben and you see my prayer. You know you might as well be doing a rosary. Right. You're using them as a lucky charm. That's not what God intended for them to be in without this personal relationship with God. These net is becoming meaningless and have no power. And I've realized that this is why I've often failed because I thought there was something magical about reciting a Bible verse. In order to save myself from temptation. I thought there was something magical about saying Oh Lord. Deliver me from this temptation and. I'm not I'm not diminishing the power of prayer. But folks. When you pray to God you don't have a relationship with how powerful is your pride. And if you wait until your head goes under the water to ask the Lord to save you from drowning. Isn't it a little bit too late. So you will never overcome temptation. Unless your love for God is greater than your love for sin. And in order to utilize prayer in scripture like Christ DID YOU MUST HAVE TO relationship that he did with his father. Only then can we properly wheel these little cool tools to overcome temptation. Focus on that relationship first. So here's the key point. If you are struggling with temptation and find yourself falling. Again and again. The issue is not that you're not praying enough. The issue is not that you're not reciting enough scripture. The issue is that your personal relationship with God is not where it needs to be in. The issue is that you're focused on technique. When should be focused on the relationship that you need to overcome temptation. So how do you increase your love for God. How do you develop this relationship. You know first John four thousand nine hundred six we love him. Why because He first loved us. The first step to increase our love for God is to realize just how much he loves us. But this necessitates that we get to know him. We have to get to know him. And in order to get to know him we have to spend time with them and surprise. Like any other relationship in the world. In order to develop one with God. We have to spend time with them. If you are succumbing to temptations. Over and over again. I guarantee you that your devotional life has been under attack. And that it's not where needs to be. This has been true so many times in my own life. When I do an autopsy of my failures. I realize it began there. I was too busy doing the lord's work. To spend time with them in the morning. I was too busy hurrying off to see my patients and share Christ with then that I didn't have time to spend at a speed that morning. And the failure started right there in the relationship weekend. And when that weekend. Everything else we can't. You know education. Page to sixty says. Many even in their seasons of devotion. Fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they pressed to circle of Christ loving presence. Pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts. But not waiting for counsel. They had no time to remain with the Divine Teacher. With their burdens. They returned to their work. These workers can never attain the high success. Until they learned a secret of strength. They must give themselves time to think to pray to wait upon God for renewal of physical mental and spiritual power. They need the uplifting. Influence of his spirit. Receiving this. They will be quickened by fresh life. The weary frame and the tired brain will be refreshed. The burden her. It will be light and not a pause for a moment in his presence. But personal contact with Christ. To sit down and companionship with him. This is our need friends. If you are not having this experience in your devotional life. I pray that you will make it a priority. Ask God to teach you how to effectively spend time with hand. So that you can fall in love with him. Focus on that. Don't focus on the techniques that you've been using to fight your temptations. All right. And I'm not the mission to the point so that you have to learn techniques. You have to learn strategy you have to be wise. But make the main thing that maintain. If you want to utilize Bible tools like Christ did develop first a relationship that he had with the father. And no matter how busy you are make your devotional life. The top priority in your life. Not to check off a box. But to spend time with the God of the universe. Who gave His Son for you that you may be saved. You know. As I bring this message to a close. I would like to. I would like to ask you all to please. By your heads and close your eyes. Right now. As about your head and you close your eyes. I want to ask you very honestly. Have you felt the Holy Spirit moving on your heart. As you listen to his message. Have you been struggling with certain sins in your own life. And despite everything you tried. You haven't experienced victory. Where have you been resisting the Holy Spirit. Urging to give up your sins and you know that you've been resisting the Holy Spirit. Do you feel like your spiritual censor has been dulled. Because of the decisions you've made. Do you have a hard time feeling love for God. Because your relationship. Perhaps with him has suffered. Friends if any of these things apply to you and you want God to change your heart. I ask you to please quietly. Raise your hand. Now all eyes are closed and heads are bowed. No one can see you but God alone or only raise your hand if this has been a true struggle for you and you want to live or ins. Only raise your hand. If you know that your relationship with God is not where it needs to be. And you are asking him now. To intervene. Thank you may raise. You may lower your hands. Let's pray. Heavenly Father. You saw the hands that were raised here today. You know the struggles that are represented in this room. We see from our study here. That the only way we can overcome temptation in our lives. Used to fall in love with you but for many of us that love does not seem to be there. We desperately need your help. Heavenly Father Lord in the parable of the prodigal son. You portrayed herself as a loving father who seeing his erring son walking slowly towards him ran to meet him while he was still a long ways off. I pray that you will do the same for us today and meet us where we are in the midst of our frailties and inadequacies. Please forgive us of our sins and give us the assurance that you do indeed forgive and board lead us into a relationship with you where the greatest of scenes temptations will have no power over us. Because of the love that we have we know that you can make this a reality for us and we clean all the media was brought to you by audio. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free. Sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know about the visit.

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