Temptation is a bit like a kid’s slide.
We stand at the top thinking I don’t need to go down – but the look of it, the thrill of it can be attractive – then when we do give in it can be a little painful.
In many ways we think it’s like this – when in fact it’s like this or even this.
(see the slides)
Let’s look at the slide of temptation:
Dealing with it
Examples of temptations we might not know we have fallen in.
The source of temptation
Lead us not into temptation – is the phrase from the disciple’s prayer. Is it then the Lord then that leads us into temptation?
This verse almost seesm to imply that.
However, the key to understanding the scriptures is to let the scriptures interpret themselves. Let’s look at the book of James:
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;
James 1:14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
So, temptation, in part, comes from our own desires. It is from our hearts, our won desires.
There is however, another source:
Matt. 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Matt. 4:3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
The devil is a source of temptation. We are in a battle – we have an enemy.
The good news is that he has already been defeated!
The verses we are looking at tonight are a couplet:
Lead us not into temptation BUT deliver us from evil.
The devil is the tempter. We need to be aware of his wiles.
But we should remember that the devil is not the opposite of God – the devil is a creature but God is the uncreated, self-existent and eternal creator. God has no opposite. God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent; the devil isn’t omni anything!
He is the one who comes and tempts us and then when we fall into the temptation he says – see look how bad a Christian you are, look what you have done. He is the tempter and the accuser.
So, how can we deal with temptation? I'll deal with this in a subsequent post/