We all have conflicting desires about our struggles with temptation. The enemy of our souls wants us to lose the battle against the flesh, giving in to our passions. Pastor Lutzer lays the first brick in a wall against temptation, guiding us to God’s provision for our character development. What is it that we must believe to experience transformation?
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thanks so much for joining us again and I’m going to be doing a six-part series, entitled, “How to Break a Stubborn Habit.” I’m doing that because I’ve written a book about that topic and we’ve discovered that it has been helpful to so many people. I hope that you take time to subscribe, to like, and to follow. Let your friends know that this series is beginning because what I want to do is to probe those issues that are most important for us to see transformation in character.
Now one of the questions that we often ask is why is the Christian life so difficult? Or for that matter life itself is difficult even for those who aren’t Christians. I’ve often thought to myself you know if God were to confine Satan to a far planet and not allow him on earth, think of how much easier life would be for us. And then God could have dampened our passions. I think it was Mark Twain who made the statement—well he actually railed against God for giving us such strong sexual passions and then limiting how those should be used. And those restrictions bothered him. And he’s not the only person who has been bothered by the restrictions that are laid for us in scripture.
Why all of this struggle? Well I think that God wants to test our loyalties. Do you remember the case of Abraham? Of course you do. Abraham and Isaac. God said to Abraham, “Abraham! Take your son and offer him for an offering on Mount Moriah.” Why such a difficult command? He wanted to test Abraham’s character. Would Abraham value God more than he would even value the son, the special son whom he loved? And during this series I think that a question that is going to be asked, even if it is not always asked explicitly, is always going to be this: How much do we value God? And what God wants to do is to take our struggles and all of us have those struggles and he wants to use those struggles in such a way that we eventually develop character and we prove above all things that he is more special to us. He is more precious to us than anything else.
So as you think about your stubborn habit, as you think about the sins that you may habitually commit, let us ask ourselves this question: What is it that we must believe in order to achieve transformation? In this first segment, I want to emphasize that we must believe that victory is possible.
You know, I’m told that out in the wild when two bull moose fight and they often do (as you well know) that once one wins the other walks away a loser never to challenge the winner again. And I think that’s the way Satan is. Satan wants us to lose these battles so often that we say to ourselves, “There’s no way that I can win this. There’s nothing that I can possibly do. All that I can do is to submit. All that I can do is go with the flow. Because after all I’ve tried to change and it hasn’t worked.” So in this segment what I want you to do is to determine right now that God has made provision whereby our activity and our very character can be changed. Do you believe that? That’s actually the first brick that we are laying down as we begin to build a wall against temptation.
As you know, cities if they do not have walls, the enemy comes over in the same place over and over again. So I want you to identify where the enemy is coming into your life and then determine—”God has not left me without resources. I believe that victory is possible.” That’s the first segment of truth I want to leave with you.
Be sure to join us next time as we continue this and each time we’re going to be putting down a brick, so to speak. We’re going to be laying a brick so that we have a wall against temptation. Thanks again as I mentioned for joining us. Be sure to subscribe, like, and follow but as for today, well, you already know what I’m going to say. You just go with God.