The source of our temptation is not God, ‘Let no one say when he is tempted I am being tempted by God for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one’ (James 1:13), so God doesn’t do the tempting. He doesn’t put evil or fleshly desires in our hearts, for He can’t have any evil in His heart, but He does bring us into situations of testing. Matthew 4:1 tells us that Jesus was led by the spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days.
It seems to me that there are very few moments in our lives when there isn’t a potential for temptation, or when unbelief and disobedience isn’t a possibility. Jesus is teaching us in this prayer to pray that we won’t be taken in and deceived by temptation, ‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one’. In other words, He teaches us to pray that we won’t be led into temptation, but that we’ll be delivered from the lies and deceptions of the enemy.
There can be a number of steps between temptation and sin. Look at the pathway of temptation to sin - we see, we covet, we take, we hide. Adam and Eve saw the fruit was pleasing to the eye, they wanted to be like God, they took and ate the forbidden fruit and then they hid from God. In the story of Jericho, Achan saw the forbidden treasures, he coveted the ornamented robe and the gold, he took them when no one was looking and hid them in his tent.
We see something that’s wrong for us to have, we covet or badly want it, the enemy sees to it that we have the opportunity to take it, and then we hide our sin. David did exactly that with Bathsheba. He saw her bathing from his palace roof, he coveted another man’s wife, he took her and then tried to hide or cover up his sin.
We had all better watch out. Today we may stand before numerous temptations, choices between belief and unbelief, between obedience and disobedience. As the old hymn says; ‘Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.
Each victory will help us some other to win’.
Prayer: Dear Lord, lead us not into temptation today, hold us back from stepping into those temptations. Help us when we see things which are wrong for us to have. We ask you for the strength to turn away and to walk in victory over sin in our lives today. In Jesus’ strong name, we pray. Amen.
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