Monday, January 27, 2014

Men's Fraternity Week 15

Men’s Fraternity
Week #15 Battle Plan

I. Understanding the Strategy of the Enemy

  • Temptations and idols are issues for all of us and this has devastated men throughout history.

James 1:14-15
Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it is conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

desire>enticed>lured>tempted>conceived>sin>continue sin=death

  • When a desire is enticed (from without) and entertained in the mind, it lures (from within) us to the point of temptation, we act upon what has been dwelled upon.
  • It’s not that your desires are too strong and need to be dialed back; they’re actually too weak and need to be redirected.
  • The problem isn’t desire. The problem is misplaced desire. [selfishly desiring things for oneself]

It lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for enjoyment of it is a bad thing. I submit that this notion…is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go making mudpies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
(C S Lewis, The Weight of Glory, p26, 1949)

Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.

II. The more Noble Pathways

  • God’s noble pathways are ultimately more lasting and fulfilling than any alternative.
  • You can’t just remove an idol or behavior from your life. You have to replace it with something else, something more satisfying and fulfilling.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.

  • God is for us, not against us.
  • God has given us noble pathways to meet our God-given goals.

Admit the struggle.
Identify the lie.
Replace with the truth.

1. Admit the Struggle

  • First step is always to own up to the fact that an external issue is causing problems and has become a surface idol in your life.

1 John 1:8
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

  • The hardest step for men to take is to acknowledge where we really are and what we’re really struggling with. [God may have to break us down to get to the core issue.]

James 5:16
Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

  • We need to acknowledge that we are all in a struggle together, each of us is a mess. When we do, we remove the mask and begin moving towards God’s grace.

2. Identify the Lie.

  • What is the lie that is seducing you? [examples: I can’t change. I’ve always been this way. There’s just something wrong with me.]
  • We can’t just deal with the behavior you must attack the root! The sin beneath the sin!

John 8:44
Jesus said…”You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and father of lies.”

  • When we are enticed or lured…speak the words “you are of your father the devil, your will is to do your father’s desire

11 Diagnostic Questions to ask yourself – by David Powlison
1. What do I worry about?
2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?
3. What do I run to in order to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?
4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I need to feel better?
5. What often times preoccupies me? What do I daydream about?
6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I proudest? For what do I want to be known?
7. What do I often lead with in conversations?
8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me.
9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?
10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What do I think would make me happy?
11. Whom or what do I trust in for my life future?

3. Replace with Truth

John 8:31-32
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Discuss Your Action Plan

How do you see the strategy of the enemy in James 1:13-15 at work in your life.?

Take some time to discuss the 11 diagnostic questions. (Ruthlessly honest.)

Practice James 5:16 – “confess sins to one another and pray for one another.”

1 comment:

  1. This is the first thing that came to mind when I saw this this morning.

    “It's not who we are but what we do that defines us.” ~ Rachel Dawes :)

    Sometimes people wear a mask as a form of protection, it hides who they really are. But what you DO when you wear that mask (your actions) will define who you are, with or without the mask.

    Colossians 3:2
    Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.

    If you shed the mask and allow people to see the real you, you are exposing yourself; opening yourself to hurt but as long as you keep your eyes on God, He will define your character and you will become a man (or woman) that everyone WANTS to see.

    Don’t allow negative ‘things’ to define all of the positive you try to accomplish.

    What is the lie that is seducing you?
    I look better in a mask?

    We can’t just deal with the behavior you must attack the root! The sin beneath the sin!
    Take off the mask let everyone see the real you.

    A really interesting study here. I like it!