The Listening Heart ~ Temptation
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
Last week we appealed to Father for forgiveness and extended it to others. As we approach the last part of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13, we are praying to Father, our Guide and Protector. Now in keeping with a repentant heart, we ask Him to keep us from our former life of foolishness and sin. These opportunities to return to our old life come in the way of temptations. We must understand that temptation itself is not sin, it’s what we do with the temptation that can be sin. There are other Scripture references from this verse that can teach us the truth about God and temptation, but we must also recognize there is a tempter (the evil one):
*In John 17:15, Jesus Himself prays to the Father for us to be kept from the evil one, who is the Tempter.
*1 Cor. 10:13 reassures us that the temptations that we face are common to mankind and that God in His faithfulness won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will provide the way of escape so that we will be able to endure the temptation.
*2 Thess. 3:3 plainly states that the Lord is faithful He strengthens us and protects us from the evil one.
*2 Peter 2:9 promises that the Lord knows how to rescue the Godly from temptation.
In James 1:13-15, we have been given a true and clear picture about temptation (the solicitation to sin). We will sum it up this way:
Vs. 13 - God can’t be tempted and He doesn’t tempt anyone.
Vs. 14 - We are tempted (solicited to sin) when we are carried away by our own lusts and desires (wants).
Vs. 15 > When lust has conceived (indulged) with temptation (the solicitation to sin)
> It gives birth to sin
> Sin when accomplished brings death.
It is a progression and pattern that we need to recognize for what it is. Our response is to resist it by praying and standing firm, believing and obeying our Father’s instructions and promises.
This teaching of the Lord’s prayer by Jesus is a prayer of proactive power - not vain repetition void of understanding and impotent. It is packed with the promises in the truth of Father’s word and the faithfulness of HIS character.
The Greek definitions help us understand the importance in this part of Jesus’ prayer:
And where future things are forbidden, absolutely do not bring us into enticement to sin OR lapse from faith and holiness. Rather, rescue us from degeneracy (decline) of original virtue (moral excellence; righteousness).
We finish answering why the Lord’s prayer is so valuable to those who not only pray it, but believe and live it:
Because, Yours God, is the realm and that which belongs to You, and the kingly majesty which is Yours as the Supreme Ruler in perpetuity. You have the government of the world and the protection of the saints. Your power is to maintain and support that Kingdom. Glory to You for all that is done for the saints in answer to their prayer. You are our comfort and holy confidence in prayer. So it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled in Jesus’ name.
Food for thought:
How has the evil one tempted you lately?
How do you plan to overcome that temptation?