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Temptation’s One-Two Punch

Temptation and Accusation are some of the strongest and most used tools of the devil(s) in making us feel like we are not worth it, we are weak, we will never heal and so many other lies he whispers to us. Temptation’s One-Two Punch hurts!

In this episode, we’re diving into the whys of temptation and the ways in which this deceiving intruder tries to get at us.

A left jab gets us on our heels, and the right cross comes in fast and knocks us off our feet. This is right where the devil wants us.

The truth is, that God is in the ring with us. He is beside us as we continue to fight and even when we fall against this sneaky enemy we have. When it comes to sexuality and the lies we believe, we must equip ourselves with truth.

Let us equip ourselves and one another as our next step to “Becoming Whole.”

Highlights:

Temptation is a normal human experience for men and women living in a fallen world, including saved men and women, Christian men, and women who have a new identity in Christ.

the real power of the accusation is when we when you bite on it, when you start agreeing with the accuser and saying, you know what, you’re right. You’re right.

Freedom does not necessarily mean that you are free from the feeling of temptation. Freedom means you have the power to say no to that temptation.

Homework:

Questions for Reflection:

  • Where is he attacking you?
  • What are you believing about yourself because of what he whispers?
  • Where do you feel shame? (Identify it and maybe seek Healing or Listening Prayer for it)

You can read even more about this from Josh at Is This One-Two Punch From the Enemy Taking You Out?

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

So when I was a kid growing up, if someone were to talk about Satan or the devil, I typically would think about, maybe the Looney Tunes cartoon and the depiction of the devil there, where it’s like a guy dressed in red tights with horns and a pitchfork laughing maniacally. And then later in my life, I think as I started experiencing growth in my own Christian identity and my Christian spirituality, I would typically think of the devil as, as maybe someone kind of far off not really bothering with me. And that’s just not true. Neither of those are true, I’ve actually come to really understand that the enemy and devils plural, are actually very active in our lives. And we have, we have to learn to deal with them. And especially those who are wrestling with unwanted sexual behaviors, habitual unwanted sexual behaviors, have to reckon with the reality of the way that the enemy works, to keep them in bondage to their sexual sin. And I want to talk about one specific way that I’ve seen him work in people’s lives, my mine included, that once we’re aware of can really help us a lot. So those of you know boxing know what a one two punch is. It’s a combination of two punches, and they come in quick succession. And that’s what makes them so powerful. So the first is, is usually a left jab. So just the left jab to the chin to the face, gets the other person off, they’re off, they’re centered on their heels a little bit, followed quickly by a right cross. So the left jab, and then a right cross. And, and the reason that it works in boxing is because it gets somebody on their heels, and it’s harder to stay stay balanced when when you’re those punches coming in quick succession. Now, I don’t know much about boxing, you probably tell the way that I talked about that. But I think that there’s a corollary when it comes to the way the enemy works in our lives, as we’re trying to find freedom from unwanted sexual behaviors. He has his own one two punch. And if we’re not ready for it, it can knock us off our feet too, and really prohibit us or keep us from making the progress we want to make. So here’s what the one two punch looks like. In this process. It’s temptation. That’s the left jab, followed by accusation. That’s the right hook, the right cross, temptation followed by accusation. So we know the enemy’s attempter scripture is really clear about that Jesus himself was tempted in the wilderness in three significant ways. We know that even even when one of Jesus’s best friends Peter was trying to shield him from from the cross, Satan or mean Jesus responded, like Satan was right there, he said, Satan, get behind me Get behind Me, Satan. It wasn’t just a good friend trying to help Matt, it was like it was spiritual warfare in that moment. And in the arena of those wanting to overcome sexual sin, temptation is often seen as you know, somebody crossed my path today or a pop up. That was really sexual came on on my computer. Sure, those are temptations. But I really want to suggest to you that temptation is much more involved in strikes deeper than usually think in that regard. Rather than simply assuming the enemy’s temptations come in the form of like a, you know, a pop a bat or a specific kind of person walking by that. Those are people, they’re not temptations, that that, that man or woman who crossed your path, he or she is not temptation, but you’re being tempted in that moment, the enemy is coming after you on a deeper level in a more subtle way. So he’s usually making, you know, subtle, but powerful suggestions that that person in front of you or that person on your screen, can send a meet your needs, or can alleviate your pain, or can make you feel better in some way, maybe even feel better about yourself. So that’s not the purpose of this podcast. But I just want to point out real quickly that when I’m talking about temptation, the temptation part of the one two punch, it’s often not just like someone you see, it’s often not a circumstance, it’s usually on a deeper level of what’s going on inside of you. But he certainly is trying to entice you, he’s trying to get you to feel some type of pleasure. He’s trying to get you to kind of bite on the hook of that temptation so that you will pursue the sexual acting out the sexual behavior. That’s the temptation part. But we also know that the accuser the enemy, the enemy is the accuser. The Book of Revelation actually refers to Satan is the accuser, accuser of the brethren, the accuser of the brothers and sisters. And it says that he accuses them day and night before our God, that’s revelation 12. So in fact, if you look closely at Genesis three, you can actually see that there are ways that that Satan the serpent is actually accusing both the huge humans in that story, but also God in that story, we’re gonna come back to a little bit later. So how does this work? In a few ways. So first, first, first way we want to unpack that kind of one two punch is this. If you’ve given in to temptation, if the enemy put something in front of you and you you bid on it, you’re like, Okay, and you start fantasizing sexually or you start looking at pornography or you’ve masturbated. Or whatever the act of sexual acting out was. Immediately after that sexual acting out the enemy is coming after you with accusation. Now why is this important? It’s important because the enemy when he’s tempting us likes to get us to feel like we’re his friend, like, like he’s trying to treat us well. He’s just giving us a little treat. He’s just, he kind of gives a soothing words and, and just kind of sings a song that seems to draw us in. But we need to recognize that that soothing voice that friend, quote, unquote, that’s that’s offering something in front of us that say, hey, it’s not gonna hurt just a little bit, it’s no big deal. You know, just given for a little bit, just just five minutes, just five minutes more. That same voice is also the voice that is accused you after your sin. So now when you hear the that temptation, or that those words, after you said, that says, You are so pathetic, you’re so dirty, what’s wrong with you? How could you have done that, again, God must hate you. You’re not a real Christian, you’re not a real man, you’re not a real woman. That same vitriolic, hateful voice, that’s the same voice that was offering you and pretending to be your friend on the front side. Now, that’s important, because when you’re tempted, and the voice seems to be so soothing, and so good, seeming to be after your best interest, seems to be wanting to help you seems to want to kind of be on the inside and tell you, the guys on the outside, recognize that voice is going to come back at you later. And it’s not going to be so kind anymore. We want to recognize that that’s the same person, that’s the same creature. It’s an it’s, it’s a devil coming after you. And he doesn’t mean you Well, it’s the one two punch that that first is soothing, and, and sounds good and sweet. But the second is going to try to knock you down. But they’re both really aimed at knocking you down. So recognize that, that it’s, it’s the same being coming after you. Second way this works. The whole the one two punch of temptation, that accusation is oftentimes the accusation, just like in the first one is going to come after the temptation, but it may even become it may even come before you’ve you’ve been on the temptation and may even come before you’ve given into temptation. So say you’re resisting. And you’re you’re pulling back and say no, I’m not going to act out on that. But you feel that temptation, you feel maybe a little bit of stirring in your body, maybe you have some images that are crossing your mind, for the accuser is going to attack you right then about those things he’s going to say. But you know, real Christians don’t have thoughts like that pop into their mind. Real Christians don’t have dreams like that. If you’re a real man, you wouldn’t be drawn to other men like that. If you’re a real woman, you wouldn’t even be drawn to that. If you were really saved, these things wouldn’t be happening to you. Whatever it is. Notice, notice that even when you’re tempted, oftentimes the accuser is going to accuse you about the fact that you feel temptation. Now, why is this important? Because Because temptation is a normal human experience for men and women living in a fallen world, including save men and women, Christian men and women who have a new identity in Christ. All of us experienced temptation, on some level, even Jesus has experienced temptation. So just the fact that you are tempted, just the fact that you notice that other person, just in fact that you feel any kind of bodily response, does not have to, does not have to be grounds for the enemy to accuse you. So don’t let him accuse you don’t bite on his accusation. Because the real power of the accusation is when we when you bite on it, when you start agreeing with the accuser and saying, you know what, you’re right. You’re right. That’s, that’s I must not be a real Christian, I must not be a real man, I must not be a real woman, I must not really love the Lord, I must not really be changed. Notice that the accuser is acting against you and don’t agree with him. Now, the third way this works out is one two punch is that sometimes the enemy is going to accuse you as a way to tempt you, sometimes gonna accuse you as a way to tempt you. Here’s what I mean by that. If you’ve had a significant breakthrough, maybe you’ve had a time healing prayer or a real significant moment with Jesus, maybe you’ve been abstaining from your sexual sin for a long time, the enemy is going to try to tempt you to dabble with that old sin by making the accusation that you haven’t really changed at all. So even when you’re not feeling temptation, even when temptations on your on your radar, the enemy’s gonna come after you sometimes and say, Have you really changed? Have you really changed? Are you really that different? You don’t seem that different. Maybe you’ve just been going through a dry spell. Maybe there’s another reason to explain why you haven’t given it into your, into your temptation. So here, it’s not these are subtle accusations. But he’s making subtle accusations so that you will begin to say, well, maybe I have it. Maybe I should just take a peek. You know, maybe I should start fantasizing just a little bit and see if it still has the same kind of power over me. Or maybe I should look online and just see if the pornography has that same pool that it used to. Maybe I should call up an old person and see if there’s still that That immense magnetic draw. That is the enemy. Now this time he’s trying to accuse you first, so that you will move towards temptation. Don’t buy it, don’t buy it. Anytime you’re asking the question, you know, what would happen? Yeah, am I really free? Like that’s the enemy. Freedom does not necessarily mean that you are free from feeling of temptation. freedom means you have the power to say no to that temptation. So don’t believe that enemies accusation, and go towards temptation to as a test to see if you’re really changed. That’s bait from the enemy. Now, there’s one more way one final way that the enemy comes after you with this one two punch. And I got to back up a little bit here, because I’ve been talking this whole time about the way that the enemy accuses you and says, No, that’s untrue about you, to get you to be tempted, or to get you to kind of bite and fall more deeply into mentation. But the accuser doesn’t just accuse you. The accuser also accuses God to you to make sense. He says things about God to you, trying to get you to believe something untrue about God. You can see this right in Genesis three he does this with with Eve when he’s talking to the woman. He says, Did God really say that you’re not allowed to eat off is one tree and she explains the situation to him ending with? If we eat off that one tree, we’re going to die? And what does the serpent say to her? The serpent says, No, no, no, no, you’re not going to die feed off that tree. God knows if you’d have that tree, you’re going to be like him knowing the good bit, the difference between good and evil. So unpack that a little bit. You see the enemy’s accusing God to Eve, he saying God has been lying to you. God is holding out on you. God doesn’t want something for you, that is actually good for you. And he does the same thing to us. Now I said at the very beginning the temptations, not just him putting something in front of you to tempt you, but hitting you on a deeper level. He’s trying to get you to believe on a deeper level, that there’s something that you need. And here he’s accusing God to say God’s not gonna give you what you really need. He’s accusing God so that you will begin to move towards the thing that will tempt you to see if that can meet your need. That is a scheme of the enemy as well. Now what’s what’s the accusation? It might be for you that Did God really say that lust is so bad. You know? I mean, it can’t really be that bad. Does God really want you to be lonely right now for the rest of your life? Look at the gantos Bible verses Did God really say that sex outside of marriage is so wrong? Did God really say that sex between two men or two women is wrong? Did God really say that that you’re not allowed to have any sexual activity? Even if it’s not intercourse? Can you really find that the God really say to God really say, and then also, he’ll come in, I’ll say, surely you won’t die, God’s holding out on you, you can’t trust him. Now, again, these might be subtle accusations against him, but they’re very real. And when they come, the point of this is when they come, temptation is going to is going to be right there with you. He’s accusing God, so that you will be tempted to say, I’m not going to listen to God, I’m going to instead listen to my temptation. Now, that’s important too, because we got to know that the enemy does not really mean as well. He wants to paint God as one holding out on us. And him the enemy as the one who means us means to make us happy, it means that for our good, and it’s just not true. Alright, so a lot of time. But I want to wrap this up by saying this. The accuser of the brethren who comes after you day and night knows that if he can get you to believe something false about yourself, then you are more likely to act in a false way. If you can get you to believe that God is holding out on you, he can more likely get you to turn on God. Do not believe his temptations, do not believe his accusations. Brothers and sisters, you are new creatures in Christ. The old is gone to hold the newest calm you’ve been you’ve been made a part of the royal priesthood. You’re a beloved of the Father, your brother to Christ, you are made new, and he has good in store for you. So I hope these words encourage you today. And will let me bloom pray for you. And then we’ll see you next week. Jesus, we have been duped so many times by the enemy’s temptation followed by accusation. And I pray, Lord, that You would make us wise to his schemes. Lord, when we are accused, would you alert us to the fact that it’s not you accusing us and it’s not truth attacking us, Lord, that is the enemy who wants to get us to believe something false about ourselves and false about you that we would act in a way that is false about who we really are, and would get us to move away from you and move towards sin. Lord, lead us away from temptation, deliver us from evil and the evil one. We pray this now in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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