Just Like Us

What we can learn from Jesus about resisting temptation.

Linn Winters
Mar 3, 2019    40m
In this sermon Pastor Linn Winters teaches us what we can learn from Jesus about resisting temptation. Jesus faced several types of temptations from Satan during his forty days of fasting in the forest. What he did to resist, are lessons that we can apply to our own life when facing similar situations. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Linn Winters: 01:06 Hey Cornerstone. How are you guys doing? Okay, week two, series about Jesus. Today we're going to be talking about the temptation of Jesus. How many of you go, oh Linn, that is a really unfortunate topic, because I have no struggle in that area of my life. If we're just being transparent, right? Isn't this the hardest part about being a Christian? You know, there's those moments when you go, hey, I know what I ought to do, I know what God's word says to do, that just doesn't look like a very fun thing to do. Hey, I I know that God would want, but I'm not sure how my needs get met if I do that. And isn't it true that this is the part that either makes or breaks us and following Jesus Christ? And here's what I would suggest to you, it not only makes or breaks us in our discipleship, it makes or breaks the story of our lives.

Linn Winters: 01:56 Think about this, every one of us, every one of us has temptation. And with temptation always, you ready, always comes a decision, and that decision alters the direction of our life. If you thought about it, isn't it true that the biggest regrets, the moment you go, man, if I could just have a do over, if there was such a thing as a Mulligan in life, I would want it. Because there was a moment of temptation, and in that moment I gave in. In that moment I did what seemed right to me, but I knew that it was wrong, and that led to my greatest, oh if only I hadn't. The biggest regrets came on the wrong side of this thing called temptation. But isn't it just as equally true? Think about this, isn't it just as equally true that when you look at your highlight reel, in other words, the things that people are going to say about you at your funeral, and you're going to be proud of. That they are moments when you've faced temptation, when there was an easy path to go, there was a moment of compromise, there was a moment when you could have said, hey, I'll do what's selfish and I'll do what self-fulfilling; and in that moment, instead you said, I'll do the right thing. It may be harder, it may take more sacrifice, but I'm going to do what's right. And isn't it true that your highlight reel are the moments in which you overcame temptation, and did what God had called you to do. So this is a big deal guys, this is a huge conversation today. And it's a topic and an area of our lives that we better figure out how to get right.

Linn Winters: 03:27 It's a little ironic, I think God was just trying to give me a little bit of a hard time, to remind me that this is also true in my life. I'm heading home last night after doing a Saturday night services, I'm hungry, so I decided that I'm going to go to Chick-fil-A. Now, here's the deal, the Chick-fil-A near my house also happens to be right next to an In-N-Out Burger. And whoever designed this parking lot did it in such a way that in order to get in to either of those restaurants, you have to go down the same little narrow, you know, parking strip thing, there's cars parking on either side. And so you have to, everybody going to Chick-fil-A or going to In-N-out has to go down the same one. The problem is, In-N-Out inadvertently always has a massive line. So you've got all these cars that are not only filling up the que lane at the In-N-Out. They now wrap around, and now they start coming back down ten and twelve deep in the driveway part of the line, where everybody's supposed to go, cars parked on either side. Which then leaves you with a dilemma if you're trying to get to Chick-fil-A. Because now you have to decide, do I sit here in my car while twelve cars go through In-N-Out until I can go? Or do I move over and drive in the wrong side of the lane, where everybody's trying to come out from Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out burger, and just in the name of Jesus, push my way through, right? Do I do that? So last night I'm sitting there and I pull up, and we're trying to pull into that long string, and sure enough there was about seven cars all lined out into the wrong driveway waiting for In-N-Out. And I'm behind this guy in a truck, and apparently he was a Christian, because he's letting everybody else go in. He's sitting there and he's going no, you, yeah, go. I'm like, what's wrong with you? Don't you see the cars are piling up. So after he lets everybody get in, now there's seven people, now there's nine, you know, cars in line. And he finally pulls in. I go immediately with him, because I have more waited my turn. The problem is as he pulls into the In-N-Out Burger, he doesn't pull up to the bumper of the car in front of him, he leaves like a car and a half space. I don't know if he's texting, I don't know what the guy's doing, a car and a half. So now as I have followed him, I haven't made it into line, I'm in the street. So now cars are coming, and going what jerker you? You're out in the middle of the street, what's wrong with you? And I'm catty corner, so cars trying to come out, have to stop for me. Finally, this guy pulls forward barely, and I punched it, and I'm like going around. And everything in me wanted to go, Jesus to you, dude, Jesus to you, which is the pastoral way of, something else. And although I did not physically do that, I cannot say so much from my heart. Okay? So I just want you to know, you have a pastor who is a fellow struggler, a fellow traveler down this thing. I get it.

Linn Winters: 06:45 And here's what you also need to know, scripture wants you to know that Jesus gets it too. Matter of fact, Hebrews chapter four says this, "You and I do not have a high priest (speaking of Jesus) who is unable to empathize, to feel what we feel. But instead we have one who has been tempted in every single way, like you and me" And guys, you just need to know. You know, last week when we talked about the baptism of Jesus, we all walked away from that went, oh, no, no, I get it, I get that Jesus is God. I mean you've got Jesus standing in the water, You've got God the father up in heaven going, this was my son in whom I'm well pleased., you've got the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove. We all walked out of here going, okay, I get the Jesus is God, come to Earth. The part that was still left a little bit hanging is, how much human is he? How much like me is he? And today as we unwrap the temptations, you're going to go, oomph, he gets it. He feels what I feel, he struggles with the same struggles that I feel. The cool part about this answer is, that when he faced temptation, he passed the exam, he got it right 100% of the time. And you and are going to get a chance to peek in and go, wow, if we could do that, our life's highlight reel, really becomes highlights.

Linn Winters: 08:06 So here we go, grab your bibles, go with me to Matthew chapter four. If you're not familiar, if you go to the back of your Bible, you start working left, you're going to find this book of Matthew. Matthew chapter four starting in verse one, here's what it says, "Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, if you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Jesus answered, it is written. (He quotes scripture.) It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city, and had him stand at the highest point on the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, it is also written, Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Again the devil took him to a very high mountain, and he showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. All of this I will give you, he said, if you will bow down and worship me. Jesus said to him, away from me Satan! For it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended to him." Now I don't know about you, but on first reading in this passage, I go, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, you said that Jesus was tempted in every way like I am. And when I read these temptations of Jesus, I don't see me anywhere in there. I'm just telling you, I have never been inclined to crawl up to the highest point in the temple, and jump off. Never been a temptation for me. And so you and I are left to go, how does this help me understand that Jesus understands what's going on with me? Because it doesn't look anything like me. And here's the interesting thing, it's exactly like us. That if you go back and unpack the conversations that he's having with Satan, it is exactly like you, and it is exactly like me. And he is struggling, he is fighting through identical moments, the identical moments that you and I struggle and fight through in our own faith.

Linn Winters: 10:45 So here we go, let's go back. You remember the first temptation, Satan comes to Jesus and he says, hey, here's what you need to do, take these rocks, turn them into bread. Now remember the context, remember what's happening. Jesus has been in the wilderness for 40 days, he's been fasting. Satan comes in that moment and says, hey dude, you've got to be hungry. Now you can tell by looking at me that I am not very familiar with fasting, but I've been told, okay, when you first begin to fast, you are ravenous. I mean you are just hungry out of your mind, I mean, all you can think about for those first three or four days is food. But there comes a moment when something kicks in, and suddenly your body goes, oh okay. And now you still have some hunger, but it's very moderate. It's just not that bad at all, and you can navigate that. But there comes like a switch, there comes a moment that all of a sudden your body says, I want food now. I mean your body is basically saying, hey, I'm starting to shut down, I need food, and you get that's the moment that Jesus is in. That Satan is coming to him in a moment of weakness, in a moment in which every bit of him says, I need some sort of nourishment. And he says to him, hey, look, look, look, look, it doesn't matter that you made a commitment to God, you can break your fast. You can not fulfill your promise, you can, God will understand you have legitimate needs. So take your legitimate needs, and fulfill them illegitimately. In other words, don't do what you said, don't do what God asked, you take care of yourself.

Linn Winters: 12:30 And guys, stop and think about it in a minute, you and I have had this struggle a hundred times. Moments in which in our lives we go, you know, wait a minute I've got a need, God doesn't seem to be fulfilling it, maybe I just need to take care of me. See, here's what Satan is whispering in Jesus's ear in this moment. If God really loves you, why would he let your needs go unmet? Why would he leave you here hungry? And you and I have heard him whisper that same thing in our ear a thousand times, right? Hey, if God really loves you, why would he leave you, and your legitimate needs unmet? And in that moment, you ready? In that moment, every one of us is tempted to reach for stones, and try to turn them into bread. To try to take legitimate needs, and fulfill them illegitimately. You're ready? It's that single gal who sits there and says, I cannot describe the depth of my loneliness, God is not bringing me anybody at the date. And so she decides in that moment to reach for a stone and fulfill her own need, and she says, I'll just date Mr. Right Now, and I'll worry about Mr. Right later on. This is that person whose life is just crushing down on them, see, they're in the midst of just despair. And they've prayed, guys, they've prayed. They've said, God, look, look, look, even if you're not going to remove the problem, would you just give me a little bit of peace? Would you give me just a little bit of calmness right now, because if you really loved me, you'd meet my need. And as God is silent in that moment, they go okay, then I'll just self-medicate. I'll do whatever I have to do to numb the pain, even if that numbing only lasts for a short period of time, I'll reach for a stone and call it bread. This is the guy who, within his marriage, intimacy has been lost. And he would say, God look, there's nothing wrong with my need, I mean you created me this way. You created me to want to be physical, you created all that, and my wife isn't being part of that right now. So I'll just reach for a rock. I'll reach for porn, to fulfill a legitimate need in my life in an illegitimate way.

Linn Winters: 15:04 And guys, here's what you need to hear me say. Rocks that we turn into bread, have a tendency to turn back into rocks. When you and I say, hey, I'm going to fulfill a legitimate need in my life in an illegitimate way, it always leads to an illegitimate outcome. Just ask the little Gal who decided to date Mr. Right now. And there's a tendency that, you ready for this? You tend to marry the people you date. And ask her now if she would go back to that moment, and choose instead to be lonely for a season, until God brought Mr. Right, and she would choose it every time. Go to the person who's been self-medicating, and now they're living on the wrong side of addiction. And guys, guys, guys, every one of us when we started that said, I won't, it'll never happen to me. But ask the person on the wrong side of addiction now, and ask them this, in all of your self-medicating, tell me how many of your problems were better? Because, because, because rocks that we tried to turn into bread, tend to turn back into stones again. Ask the guy who's been indulging in porn, and he would say, look, look, I was just trying to meet a legitimate need in my life in an illegitimate way. Ask him how intimacy is in his marriage, and you and I already know the answer, it has vanished. And guys, all of a sudden you and I go, oomph, see, I've heard Satan whispered that exact same thing, I mean Jesus, I get Jesus gets it. Because a hundred times Satan has come to me and has said, hey, if God really loves you, why is he leaving a legitimate need in your life unmet? I'll tell you what you need to do, reach for a stone, call it bread.

Linn Winters: 16:52 Second temptation. Second temptation, Satan takes Jesus, up to the top of the temple. Now, here's what you need to know, that location is not accidental, location, location, location. He takes Jesus to the top of the temple and he says to him, hey, here's what you do, leap off, scripture says, that God will not allow you to be harmed. God will send angels to rescue you. Think about this, everybody there, the temple is filled with thousands of people. And more importantly, you ready for this? More importantly, the priests are at the temple, the guys who are supposed to validate that you're the Messiah will be at the temple. They will see God sending his angels to rescue you, and they will immediately declare you to be God's chosen one. Do that. You get with this temptation is right? This temptation, is a temptation of timing. See, the first temptation was the temptation of desire. Hey, I've got needs, my needs aren't being met, it's probably the type of temptation that you and I are most familiar with. But I actually believe the temptations of doubt are the most devastating. And what Satan is saying to Jesus in this moment, hey, look, why do you have to go through three years of ministry? You realize that even after you do all that teaching, all those miracles, all those things, because you did them all spread out in all different places, there's going to be tons of people, they still won't even recognize you as the Messiah. You just go to the temple, jump off right now. Boom, instantly you get from point A to point B right now. And how many times have you and I struggled in our life to say, hey God, don't you understand? I mean this is simple, if you would just answer that prayer, if you would just do that, I mean we could go from here to there right now. Why are you waiting? And isn't it true that in the moments when God doesn't do what we just know that he ought to do, that those are the moments we are most tempted to doubt. Because if God is really for me, how come he's not helping me, how come he's not answering me?

Linn Winters: 19:07 See this is the couple who've been wanting to have children, and it's not happening. And in that moment, if they're really honest, they'd been looking at other couples. And they say to themselves, we would be so much better parents than them, and they've got seven kids. Why would God ask us to wait? This is the guy at work, who's been passed over for a promotion three times. He goes, I get great reviews, why would you leave me in this department? Why would you leave me doing work that I don't necessarily find fulfilling or even...? Why aren't we moving forward with the plan, because I'm just telling you, I've got it figured out. I'm supposed to get two promotions before I get done. I get a corner office, I qualify for the better retirement, and then I'm out. Tell me how this waiting makes sense. I've got a friend, and she's had a debilitating sickness for nearly twenty years. And I have watched her, she has prayed and prayed and prayed over again. And as she said, Hey God, if I just didn't have to be in this walker, if I didn't have constant pain, if you would simply heal me. I mean you could, right? Point A, point B, if you would just simply do that. And isn't it true that some of the greatest temptation we have, is about God's timing? That in that moment we go, God, if you're for me and I'm beginning to doubt, I'm beginning to doubt that you really care. I'm beginning to doubt that you're even aware of what's going on in my life, I think maybe I better just come up with my own plan.

Linn Winters: 21:20 I had just graduated Bible College, Lisa and I were fairly recently married, we moved back to Arizona. The plan, you ready? The plan was, hey, next step, youth pastor. That's what you do, right? I got married, I went to Bible College, I graduated, youth pastor. I get back to Arizona, I start applying for youth positions, nobody's calling me back. Finally, there's this one small church in Tempe, they call me up, they say, Hey, we want you to come in for an interview. I kill the interview, the interview is amazing. I get done with it, they say, hey, we'll let you know. It's between me and one other guy, they called me back two weeks later, we chose the other guy. Can I just say to you out loud, I don't like waiting, I'm sitting there in that moment. I'm just telling you, God you don't understand, got married, went to school, graduated school, youth pastor. So now, I decided to take a job. I decided to do something that I can do so that the instant they give me a call so I can be a youth pastor, I can quit immediately and go be a youth pastor. So I decided to start mowing lawns, year and a half, year and a half mowing lawns in Arizona. And guys, do know how much time you have to yourself when you're pushing a lawnmower? And believe me, God and I had a lot of conversations about waiting. It's interesting because a year and a half later, a small church up in Scottsdale, that I had done an internship at before called me up, and said, hey, the guy who was in this position is gone, would you consider being our youth pastor? To which I said yes, yes. I'm not even sure if I mowed anymore lawns, I think I just went, hey, outta here, woo.

Linn Winters: 23:11 Some of you who have heard my story, know this, it's at that second church that I meet George [inaudible]. George [inaudible] ends up being my father in the faith, he's the guy who mentored me. I'm telling you, he poured so much spiritual life into me, he taught me so many leadership lessons. And you've heard me say over and over again, I would not be the pastor of Cornerstone, if it hadn't been for what George [inaudible] invested in me. Hey guys, you ready for this? George was at the second church. The kindest thing that God ever did in my life was say, wait, because I have this great place with a great man, and it's not ready for you yet. And guys, look, look, look, here's the answer. I can't explain God's timing. I don't know why there's those moments in which God says, no, no, no. I know here, there, wait. I don't know God's timing, but I've come to trust it, but I'm still tempted sometimes to doubt.

Linn Winters: 24:22 Third temptation. Satan takes Jesus, and now he takes him up onto a mountain and he says to Jesus, look all the kingdoms of the earth. I'll tell you what Jesus, if you'll simply bow down to me, I'll give you all the kingdoms. They'll be yours, every man, every woman, every child, yours. Now, here's what you need to know, not an idle offer. When Adam was here on Earth, God gave Adam authority over the earth. When Adam sinned, he abrogated, he gave away the authority of the Earth to Satan. It's why scripture says he is the prince of the power of the air, he's the one in charge. If you doubt it, go home and turn on your TV, you'll know who's in charge. And so Satan says to Jesus, hey, you've come, and here's God's plan. Think about this, here's God's plan, you're going to do ministry for three years, and then you get to go to a cross. I'm telling you, I've got a better way. All you have to do, you don't have to suffer the pain, you don't have to suffer the humiliation, you don't have to suffer any of that. All you've got to do is suffer a few seconds of humiliation, I'll hand you all the kingdoms, you'll have all mankind. My plan is much better than God's plan. We've had that moment, haven't we? We've had that moment when we looked at what God was saying. Hey, here's what I want you to do, here's what it means to be faithful, here's the sacrifice it takes. And you and I have looked at it and said, I'm not sure that's a great plan. That plan looks like it has a lot of pain, that that plan looks like it involves a lot of sacrifice on my part, and how often have you and I been tempted to come up with plan B. To come up with my plan? Isn't that exactly what Satan is offering Jesus in this moment? I've got a way that's much easier, has much less pain, get you there quicker.

Linn Winters: 26:29 This is that moment when your marriage is on the rocks, you've worked, and you've worked, and you've worked, and it's not getting any better. And you begin to think to yourself, you know, the best thing we could do from here is just call it done. Call it what it is, we both go find people were more compatible with. And then you open up scripture, and scripture says, stay. And isn't it true in that moment you go look, look, look, see, I'm just thinking, God, when you wrote that you didn't understand my circumstances. And I'm just telling you, that plan, that stay plan. I'm not even, why would I even think that that's going to turn out okay? Because I'm telling you, based on the past, based on where I am right now, I have no confidence in your plan. And I'm pretty sure I have a simpler, easier, plan. See, this is that moment when we get fired at work, and we go, okay, wait, wait, wait, God. I've been obedient, I followed you, I've done everything you asked. Tell me how getting fired is a good plan, tell me any way in which this makes my life better. This is the moment you were at a funeral, and you're searching for answers, and you're saying, look God, you're going to have to explain to me how kids growing up without their dad is a good plan. You've got to explain to me why a mother crying over the casket of her twelve year old daughter, tell me how that's a good plan. Because I'm just telling you right now, God, your plan doesn't look like so much of a great plan, and if that's the way we're going to play, I think maybe I'm going to work on my plan. And isn't it tempting then, in those moments that are so confusing and the thing that God is asking, or the place that it looks like God is taking us, just looks like pain and it looks like sacrifice, and you and I in that moment are tempted to doubt the plan and come up with our own.

Linn Winters: 28:50 I had just finished youth pastoring, I youth pastored for seventeen years, I came up with a plan. Here was the plan, the plan was I needed to probably be a lead pastor at a church somewhere, so I needed to go get my master's degree. So, I kept doing full time work at the church, doing all that. And then I took every spare moment I had, drove down to Talbot University, got my master's degree in ministry so that I could apply to be a lead pastor somewhere. Spent two and a half years, not necessarily being a great husband or a great father, because that wasn't the plan. The plan was get your degree, now you can be a lead pastor. I get to the end, I get my diploma, I put my resume out for trying to get hired, nobody would hire me. Now you can say that was wisdom, but nobody would hire me. I had some friends who came to me and said, hey, Linn, maybe you should plant a church. To which I abruptly answered, no, that's not the plan. And here's what you need to know, this is back before church planting got sexy. The only people who planted churches were losers, and I was like, no, no, I'm not going to do it. Besides, look, look, look, if you can go to an established church, you get a building, you get a salary, you get a congregation. If you church plant, you don't have a building, you don't have a salary and guess what your attendance is? Zero. And I just went, no, no, no, no, that's a stinky plan. You want to hear the worst part about it? God began to speak to my heart and say, that's my plan. Ever had a moment in your life were you just go, man, I hate your plan, God. I doubt that that's a good plan. Can I just tell you on the other side of that, I am so thankful I opted for his plan. Because look, look, look, this church maybe would still be here, even if I had never come. God had all the ability to call another pastor, and do everything that he's done here. But here's what I do know, my life would be different if I hadn't. I wonder how many times in temptation because we looked at God's plan and said, man, that looks hard and tough, that we missed God's very, very best.

Linn Winters: 31:18 So we've talked about, hey, this is what temptation is, this is where it shows up in my life, but how do you navigate it? So we can recognize it now, we see the lies that are coming our way. But what do you do, how do you respond in those moments of temptation? And let me just give you a couple of nuggets that I think will help you and me, simple, simple way of addressing it. When the temptation is internal, in other words, when the temptation comes from my desires, okay? In other words, this is my favorite sin, I liked to gossip because I like to make other people get low, so that I can feel better about myself. I'm just consumed with greed, you know, and so I just want to acquire. I know where this temptation is coming from, it's me, this is me that's driving this. I struggle with lust, so this is me. When the temptation is internal, right, it's a desire driven temptation. Scripture says, flee. First Corinthians says, "Flee youthful lust." When you start feeling you get attracted to something that you shouldn't be attracted, just run. It says, create distance.

Linn Winters: 32:25 But here's the interesting thing, when the temptation is external, when it's something that is happening to you based on circumstances. God, I don't know why you're taking so long. God, I look at your plan, and I'm not sure I can trust your plan. I'm telling you, it doesn't look like it's turning...When that, when it becomes something that's associated with doubting God. Scripture says in a moment of doubt, you stand. Ephesians chapter six says this, "Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may quench the fiery darts of the devil. And having done all to stand, stand."

Linn Winters: 33:04 Let me see if this helps. There's a story of a guy named Joseph in the old testament, who faces both types of temptation, and uses both tactics in his life. So, here's the story of Joseph. He's a young man, he's about seventeen years old. God says to him, hey, someday you're going to be in a position of incredible authority. The moment God pronounces that in his life, the very next thing that happens, his brothers become jealous and they sell him into slavery. If you're Joseph, and God just told you, you're going to get to go to a place of high authority, you're going to be the promoted all over the place. And the next place you go is slavery, don't you get the impression that God is saying, wait, isn't that interesting? And in that moment as Joseph is sold into slavery, he decides because, ready? It's a moment of doubt, it's something that's happening to him, he decides to stand. And he decides, I'm just going to be the best slave ever, I'm going to represent God as a slave, he stands. As he's serving in his master's house, the master's wife decides that he's a good looking young man. So one day when the master is gone, she sits down with him and says, hey, the bedroom is right down the hallway, my husband's not going to be back for a couple of days. And all the sudden he's going, hmm, I got needs, right? This is coming from within, this is unmet desires in his life, right? And he has every right to say, hey, you know, God's put me in this position, and this is a legitimate desire in my life. I could grab a stone, and call it bread, right? And instead scripture says, in that moment he flees, he runs out of the room. And you know why it was a good idea to run out of the room? Because he was being tempted out of his mind. Don't you know, in that moment, Satan had looked in his life and said, where is Joseph's weak point? What's the sin that Joseph is most susceptible to? Oh, it's lust, it's women. You know how I know that's true, here's why, if she had been as homely as a mud fence, if she had had breath like a cockroach, Joseph would have just said, hey, not on your best day. But instead, that dude doesn't say two words, he's out. Wow, because if I stay here a moment longer, I'm in trouble, right? So this was something that came out of his own desire, his own unmet needs, and he flees. He then ends up falsely accused, the master's wife says, Hey, he tried to rape me. It was completely untrue, he gets thrown in jail, thrown in jail. And I don't know about you, but if I'm Joseph at this moment, I'm saying, hey God, I don't think I like the plan. This looks like a lot of sacrifice, it looks like everything's heading in the wrong way. Now it's a moment for doubt, things are happening to him again, and what does he do? He stands once again, he decides, I'm going to be the best prisoner. Put that on your resume someday, I was the best person in jail. And you want to hear the wonder of the story? And then God, and then God Causes Pharaoh to have a dream, Pharaoh was told that Joseph knows how to interpret dreams. He interprets Pharaoh's dreams for him. And when the day is done, he's promoted to being the number two highest official, in the greatest country in the world at the time. Because he withstood temptation, Joseph created a highlight reel. And guys, I'm just telling you, ready for this? How great would it be for you and me, to do the same?

Linn Winters: 36:53 Let me give you one last little nugget. As Jesus was getting tempted, what did he do every single time? Did you catch it? Every single time Satan tempted him, how did Jesus respond? He quoted scripture, isn't that interesting? And here's what I'm just thinking, okay, if the son of God facing temptation resorted to quoting scripture, that's probably a pretty good tactic. Does that make sense? But here's my concern, I don't know that you and I know enough scripture that we could quote, that we'd be able to stand in a moment like that. If I'm honest, and I'm just going to be transparent, I don't think I memorized a single verse last year. And I bet if I asked you to raise hands, how many of you did not memorize a single verse last year? I bet you almost all of us would raise our hand, and we'd go no. Doesn't that leave us vulnerable? Doesn't that put us on the wrong side of this conversation? So what if, what if, what if, what if, what if you and I simply said, look, this is too big a deal, this is too important, I want to be prepared the next time temptation comes my way. I want to be able to do what Jesus did, I want to be able to grab ahold of scripture. And so what if we made this covenant together? What if we just simply said in the next year, you and I are going to learn six verses, six verses. It'd be six more than we learned last year, we'd be six verses more prepared. So here's what we did, so on your way out right now, I created this like a little fob that you can put it on your key ring, and it's got our first verse to memorize together on it. And when you're standing in line at Starbucks, you can just kind of pull it out, and you know work on it, and memorize it. When you're in line at In-N- Out Burger, you can pull it out, and you can work on it. And look, I gave us a really easy one to start out, here it is, ready? I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Isn't that a perfect first verse, for us as we get ready to hide scripture in our heart? So let's just do that together, okay? How cool would it be, how great would it be in those moments when our own desires come up in our lives, and we're tempted to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways? How powerful would it be, the next time doubt creeps into our life and we go, God, wait, wait, wait, why can't we just do that now? God, I've been looking at your plans, and I'm just telling you, I'm not sure I approve. That in those moments of temptation, that you and I would come out on the other side having stood when we needed to stand, having fled when we needed to flee, and we would be creating a highlight reel for our lives. It's all about what you and I decide, when were tempted.

Linn Winters: 39:51 Let's pray. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you, thank you that you get it. Thank you that you wrestled with the very same temptation to take care of your own needs in an inappropriate way. That you had moments when Satan just stuck in front of you, moments to doubt and said, hey, does God really care, if God's going to make you wait that long, if God's going to ask you to walk that hard of a road, why don't we come up with a new plan? Thank you that you get it. Thank you that you wrestled it, and in the process you showed us how to defeat the enemy. God, help us to write a highlight reel of overcoming temptation in our lives. This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
Read More
Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286