Every day we are surrounded by temptation. You might be tempted to shade or stretch the truth, to cut corners at work or school, or to not engage with your family. Temptation is relentless. For example, just walk in to your local Costco. They have huge fans in the bakery to blow the sweet-smelling aroma of cookies, pies, and muffins all throughout the store. Because temptation is all around us, it is important for us to be prepared to fight against it when it occurs.
What was your biggest temptation as a kid?
1. Where are you tempted the most? Is it through TV? Pinterest or other social media? The gym? Something else? Why?
2. Read Numbers 22:15-19. What temptation did Balaam face? How did Balaam put himself in a position to compromise (v. 19)?
Then Balak tried again. This time he sent a larger number of even more distinguished officials than those he had sent the first time. They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him:
“This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!”
But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.”
3. Is there someone or something negatively influencing you right now? Who or what is it?
4. What are some ways that you can fight off temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)?
1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
5. Describe a time in your life when someone, much like Balaam's donkey, spoke godly, yet difficult, truth to you? How did you respond?
6. Read Numbers 22:31-38. How did Balaam make it right with God?
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
“Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”
Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”
But the angel of the Lord told Balaam, “Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.” So Balaam went on with Balak’s officials. When King Balak heard that Balaam was on the way, he went out to meet him at a Moabite town on the Arnon River at the farthest border of his land.
“Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?”
Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”
7. Is there an area in your life where you are getting close to compromising that you need to confess and repent from? What steps will you take to do so?
Talking about our temptation to sin is not easy. Psalm 103 tells us that if we are repentant, God will move our sins "as far from us as the east is from the west." The east and west are as far from each other as anything could possibly be. That is what God does when we repent and turn to Him.
As you end your time meeting together this week, pray for each other as you seek to honor God, forsake sin, and come to Him.
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Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."