I absolutely enjoy bible study! Each of us have our own methods of bible study but one of the things I enjoy doing is dissecting the section I am reading. I have been studying in length the Lord’s Prayer and a specific line in that prayer created a desire within me to write a blog post on it.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’” Matthew 6:13
Does God actually lead us into temptation?
Two things jumped out at me here:
1. God has given us the freedom to make our own choices… We have free will.
2. How is temptation defined? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines temptation as
: the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil : enticement – something tempting : a cause or occasion of enticement
Ok…. But what does the bible say about this? “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.” James 1:13-14
So who tempts us then? The tempter is clearly defined in Matthew 4:1-11 as Satan (also known as the Devil, Evil one, Father of lies, Accuser, Slanderer):
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”” Matthew 4:1-3
Now you may be asking… Well why does God allow Satan to tempt us? His word tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
We are reminded that God also won’t allow us to be tempted beyond our Spirit given ability to resist… “if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.” 2 Peter 2:9
Don’t be discouraged. God tells us that “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.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Our Lord understands! “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18 When you may feel and think that it is only you that is being tempted with a particular sin, know that you are not alone! Satan is a liar and is deceiving many.
So when tempted consider yourself blessed: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Thoughts: The only way to resist temptation is to be spiritually awake at all times and consistent in prayer.
Prayer: Abba Father may we rejoice! Rejoice in your name always. Lord strengthen us to resist the Devil at his onset and guard our minds as stated in Philippians 4:8 to “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” In Jesus name. Amen