Study # 9
Thesis: Temptation can only be effectively resisted by knowledge that is keyed to the love/faith complex.
October 22, 1997
Let endurance work is an exhortation to refuse to take an out that is sub-biblical, and to accept the present with thankfulness and grace.
- I. What is the Objective of Temptation/Trial?
- A. With temptation, the objective is to sidetrack a walk by the Spirit where love, joy, peace, etc. are being manifested.
- B. With trial, the objective is to reinforce the process of the walk by the Spirit to enhance the consistency of the walk.
- II. How Do We Know When We Are Being Tempted or Tried?
- A. When a noticeable level of dissatisfaction arises in our life for any cause.
- 1. This will show up immediately at the emotional level because the soul is where dissatisfaction registers and emotion is how it registers.
- 2. The assumption here is that we have not already allowed the lack of peace and gratitude to be the norm.
- B. When we are in a 'problem-solving' mode, or in a 'critical-vent' mode.
- 1. If we are in a problem-solving mode, we are already acknowledging a lack of satisfaction AND our belief that we have the answer. This can be the "mountains of arrogance" mode.
- 2. If we are in a critical-vent mode, we are already into a lack of satisfaction AND a recognition that we can do nothing about it. This can be the "valleys of despair" mode.
- III. What is Automatic to the Reality of Temptation/Trial?
- A. We begin to cast about for relief from the dissatisfaction.
- B. We begin to evaluate possible solutions for their workability from our perspective [this is the test of our faith].
- IV. What are We Supposed to Do?
- A. First, we are to insist on the biblical validity of any choice of action so that we can face Jesus at the Judgment Seat without embarrassment.
- B. Second, we are to count on the inevitable benefit of being subjected to the process.
- 1. Our knowing is supposed to be deeper than simply having heard that something is true.
- a. Sometimes our knowing means we have heard the claim and we dislike it and its implications.
- b. Sometimes our knowing means we have heard the claim, have no real problems with it, but wouldn't stake much on it.
- c. The knowing to which James referred is a knowledge in which we have workable confidence.
- 2. Our knowing is supposed to include an understanding of the process called the 'testing of our faith'.
- a. The testing of our faith includes...
- 1) Having articles of faith subjected to the tension of the absence of fulfillment.
- a) Articles of faith are supposed to be grounded in our understanding of words from God.
- b) Articles of faith are supposed to be maintained in the face of the tension of unfulfillment unless...
- i) A better understanding is put forth that harmonizes with what is understood as God's words.
- ii) The time expires without the fulfillment.
- 2) Having alternative, sub-biblical, options presented for our consideration.
- 3) Having to choose to remain committed to the articles of faith.
- b. The testing of our faith also includes...
- 1) Being validated as correct by God's in-time action of fulfillment.
- 2) Being reinforced in our confidence so that next time we have less difficulty with the process.