Before we begin I just want to apologize again for not having this post up yesterday as I had planned and as you most likely expected. I have several different reasons for the delay, but long story short, other aspects of life got in the way and demanded priority. That said, I am so glad you are back to continue with this prayer challenge. Thank you for your patience and understanding. ~Kelli
Open in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you study His word.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13 NKJV)
What exactly is temptation? What do you think of when you hear or use that word?
If you look up the word in Strong’s Concordance you’ll find the original Greek word peirasmos. There are a couple of really long definitions but the gist of it is this. Temptation is the proving, or testing, of one’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, and constancy. Temptation can also be defined as an enticement to sin, whether that enticement is coming from an inward desire or from an outward source. Let me point out that temptation itself is not sin.
Temptation is a guaranteed fact of life. We are all tempted, tested, and put through trails to prove our faith, reveal our character, and make us more holy — more like Christ. Abraham was tested when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac and I’m sure he was tempted to disobey (Genesis 22). God tested the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 15:2, 16:4). Even Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). And if the devil has the guts to tempt the Son of God, you better believe he’ll tempt you too. So… What temptations, tests or trails are you going through right now?
At this point you may be wondering If temptation is guaranteed why did Jesus teach us to pray “Do not lead us into temptation”?
Read the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-15. Focus on verse six and verse thirteen. Those that withered away and fell into temptation, what were they lacking?
Read Luke 22:39-46. What did Jesus instruct His disciples to do? Why?
Like the seed that lacked moisture and root, we too can wither away if we do not take in spiritual nourishment and grow. We can have nourishment and begin to grow as Christians when we talk with our Lord and Savior. Let’s be honest, prayer — the talking with God — isn’t always easy. Like talking with a stranger or an acquaintance, if we don’t know who we are talking to the conversation can be awkward.
How do we know God more? By being in His word daily. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.” God doesn’t always stop temptation from happening to us, but He will lead us away from it. When we study His word He reveals to us the path that He wants us to take. That path is an answer to the prayer “do not lead us into temptation.”
Before I end this post today, I want to share one final thought. Temptation and trails may be uncomfortable, even painful, but when we choose to stay under the pressure and rely on the Lord to withstand them, He will refine us and make us into something better than we already are.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4 NKJV)
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12 NKJV)
Lord, may we understand the importance of temptation, tests, and trails. Please use them to prove and refine our faith. When we are at the crossroad and are tempted to disobey, show us the path that leads to You. Thank You for always providing an escape route and delivering us from temptation. Thank You that we already have a road map in the Bible and that it leads us away from the evil one and toward our Savior. May we always use Your word to light our way. In Your name I pray, amen.
I hope my thoughts have helped you go deeper in prayer with God. But like I’ve claimed before, I’m not an authority on the Bible, so study the word for yourself and seek the Lord’s guidance and wisdom. Did the Lord speak something to your heart today? Would you like to share? Please feel free to in the comments.
Only by grace,
Did you miss a day or two in this prayer challenge? Find all the posts in this series here.