Temptation? Ephesians 6:13-18
The Lord's Prayer asks: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Lets get some things straight:-
- God does not tempt you. James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
- He will show you the way out. 1Cor10:13b “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
- God will equip you to combat temptation. Ephesians 6 see below
- Practice makes perfect as you resist temptation.
- There's no need to fall into temptation (He will not let you be tempted above what you can withstand) 1 Corinthians 10:13 “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. “
Fall Into Temptation.
Why do we “Fall” in everyday life? Obviously there are spiritual parallels to be drawn here - I'll let you draw them!
- Not looking where you are going.
- Incorrect footwear.
- Disability - permanent, temporary, self inflicted.
- Distractions -
- Overloading – ambition, pride, stress
- Malign forces – may be sneaky!
Jesus says to the disciples: “stay awake and pray lest you fall into temptation.” Matt 26:31 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Eph 6 tells us about God's provision for combating Temptation.
One thing about armour is that you have wear it all. The “whole armour” of God. Remember Achilles. Remember Smaug!
Another is that you have to remember that you are still vulnerable. Remember the Titanic. Remember Goliath!
And one more – you have to be on active service. Armour is no good for sleeping in. There's not much protection from the back.
Belt – equipped and organized - truth
Breastplate – your heart and lungs in the right place – righteousness.
Shoes – readiness to talk about the good news.
Shield – faith against fire arrows
Helmet – get your head straight – saved!
Sword - the Word of God (remember this is before the NT was written so it about actually paying attention to what God is saying to you now.)
Pray – for all the saints – like military air cover?
We said “Your kingdom come” and we are the invasion force, not the trembling defenders.
We are moving forward.
Lead us not into temptation is not a feeble “Oo don't make it too hard” prayer. It is an acknowledgement that when wee seek the Kingdom of god we will come up against evil. But we will not be “tempted” to fold or turn and run. We will be delivered from it as we overcome.
Cos that is the temptation. Its not about preserving your purity (for most of us that train is long gone!)
Its not about engaging in hand to hand combat with the forces of evil (like some sort of spiritual road rage) but about having the get-up-and-go every morning to get up. And go.