Luke 11 v 4 “And lead us not into temptation.”
If only the destruction of temptation lay in whether or not you had a chocolate too many.
The cream cakes are ‘naughty but nice’ so we have been told for many years.
There is a fragrance called ‘temptation’ which I guess if you wear the idea is to attract.
Adverts after adverts carry so many slogans, ‘Go on you deserve it,’ ‘One won’t matter,’ ‘Pay for it later,’ ‘live now.’
These are examples perhaps at the small end of the scale of a path that knows no end and which has ruined and continues to ruin countless lives, families, churches, communities and yes even nations.
No one really knows what it is that causes a person to be tempted to such destructive means, No one really understands the mind of the one being tempted at the time.
What was Samson thinking when he kept going back to Delilah, even when he knew she was trying to kill him through a sexual trap?
Why did Judas betray his friend even when there must have been doubts in his mind over what he was doing?
Why did Ananias and Sapphira pretend they were giving everything when they weren’t, they must have wondered if anyone would find out?
Temptation is irrational.
We will not know the answers to these questions, they are held within the mystery of fatal attraction.
James 1: 13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
At the end of this prayer Jesus is teaching his disciples, he tells them to pray about the spiritual battle. It is a path that we will all face to go down which in hindsight we would not want to go down.
The temptation to say NO to the cross, NO to surrender, NO to the leading of God’s Spirit in your life.
There are times the Holy Spirit will lead us into a desert experience where for a period of time we are tempted by our own desires in that place. If we give in to those desires we sin. If we surrender to God we mature in the power of the Spirit, just as Jesus did.
This final sentence is asking for the ability to control our desires and not be controlled by them.
1 Corinthians 10: 12-13 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
The dangers of temptation are obvious but it will:
- Pull you from your focus.
Floyd McClung: “An unfocused vision results in taking the side-roads of life and then calling them the main road.”
- Pull you from faithfulness.
Paul described the shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, personal attacks and physical hardships as like being ‘under a sentence of death.’ But he believed God was using these attacks to strengthen his faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 1:9 “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”
- Pull you from the fellowship of God.
Adam had it, Moses asked for it, Israel lost it, but Jesus gave it! God’s awesome, amazing, dazzling, beautiful presence, His glory.
As we resist temptation we will remain focused, faithful and in fellowship with God.