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Faithlife

Following Christ in the Midst of Temptation and Despair

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Called to follow but tempted away

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1. We are all Called to Follow Christ

1. We are all Called to Follow Christ

Matthew 4:19 CSB
“Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”
Matthew
Mark 1:17 CSB
“Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”
Luke 9:23 CSB
Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Matthew 4:19
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
John 10:27 CSB
My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:

2. We believe lies when we choose to not follow.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
“Humanity’s greatest problem is not sickness or natural disasters. It’s that we believe the lies of the enemy over the truth of God.”
Matthew 4:19 CSB
“Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fish for people.”

2.

Who are the Liars?
the world—the “world” is the system that supports and distributes the lies of the Devil. It refers to the system and method of operation among sinful men. —Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
The Flesh—The flesh is our fallen and sinful nature. It receives and believes the lies. Something is wrong inside of us because of sin so our hearts crave falsehood over truth. We actually have a craving for it.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
the world
the flesh
the Devil—The Devil is our enemy and enemy of God. calls him the prince of the power of the air and calls him the father of lies so we know that he wants to tempt us to turn from what God is calling us too.
The result of this trifecta is that we align ourselves with false ideas about how we should live. We are constantly being fed lies to try to get us to find our satisfaction in something other than Jesus and it causes us to walk away from following Him.

3. To follow Christ we must overcome temptation and engage in Spiritual warfare.

How can we overcome temptation and how do we engage in Spiritual warfare? The answer is the same. We must keep our eyes on Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1–2 CSB
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What does temptation look like and what does spiritual warfare look like? Its often the same thing. When we are being tempted it is usually by things that our flesh finds pleasing which causes an internal spiritual battle.
James 1:13–15 CSB
No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.
James 1:13–16 CSB
No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
Sometimes the Spiritual warfare looks like we are under attack just like described in . We know the Devil is after us but the goal is still the same to get us to turn our eyes off of Christ. Watch this clip as an example of what it might look like.
James 1:13–17 CSB
No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
We must choose to keep our eyes on Jesus as the satisfier of our souls.

4. In order to keep our eyes on Jesus we must trust Him.

Isaiah 26:3–4 CSB
You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you. Trust in the Lord forever, because in the Lord, the Lord himself, is an everlasting rock!
Isaiah
So we keep our eyes on Jesus and we are able to see past all of the temptations and distractions and able to look at Him even when the dragon is coming from behind to destroy us. Because Jesus provides the victory.
What is it you are looking to today that is keeping you from following Christ? What is it that keeps you from trusting Him? He has the victory in hand and is good. This morning as the band comes back up the question is what are you looking to find your satisfaction. John Piper says that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Give God glory this morning by finding your satisfaction in Him.
James 1:13-17
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