Prayer series #11 Lead Us Not Into Temptation
As we’ve proceeded through our study of the Lord’s Prayer we’ve considered the first three requests that concern God’s glory. This should be our chief concern as we approach God in prayer. These first three requests include our desire that God’s name be hallowed, that His Kingdom be established first in our lives and then ultimately in the world and that His will be done first in our lives and ultimately in the world.
Then we turn our attention to our daily needs. Our most obvious need is for daily bread, which includes all our daily physical needs. A second daily need we all have is for God’s forgiveness for our sins. There is seldom a day that we do not need to confess sin to God. I wonder how many Christians do this? Linked to that request is a third request, the need for us to forgive those who offend and hurt us. In this request we are asking God to forgive us our sins in the same way that we forgive others who offend us. A fourth request is that we not be led into temptation. Let’s consider this matter of temptation.
Who is tempted?
James 1:14-15 teaches us that everyone is tempted. When Adam and Eve listened to Satan in the Garden of Eden; they fell into sin and rebellion to God. They passed on to the entire human race a sinful, rebellious nature. Romans 5:12 With sin came death.
This lost, sinful human race is in bondage to Satan and Hebrews 2:14-15 reveals that we spend our lifetime in bondage trying to find freedom and the meaning to life. Romans 6:16-18 teaches that the lost are servants of Satan. Everything a sinner does is sin for he is in rebellion to God. Proverbs 21:4 teaches that even when he is plowing his field he is sinning.
Because Satan has sinners in his dominion, he gives no attention to them. His only concern for them is to keep them from the sound of the Gospel and from being saved. The whole world lies under his power and dominion. I John 5:19 tells us.
Satan does not spend any time tempting sinners. He already has them. They are already bound for hell. Satan ONLY tempts Christians. The Lord’s Prayer is only for Christians. Only Christians need ask God for deliverance from temptation. Sinners can only ask God for His mercy and salvation. That’s the only prayer God hears from a sinner.
What is temptation?
The word means to entice or draw into evil and rebellion against God. Satan is the only ultimate source of temptation. God cannot and will not tempts anyone to sin James 1:13 clearly affirms.
What is the purpose of temptation?
There are two purposes for temptation: Satan’s purpose and God’s purpose.
Satan’s purpose is to weaken us by enticing us to defy God.
God’s purpose in allowing Satan access to Christians is to strengthen us by allowing us to go through Satan’s temptations to teach us our weakness and show us our need of trusting God. James 1:2-4, 12.
For example, Satan’s purpose in mercilessly attacking Job was to bring him to despair so he would curse and dishonor God. God’s purpose in allowing Satan’s attack on Job was to bring Job to the end of himself and cast himself fully on God and in so doing, bring honor and glory to God. The last chapter of Job shows that God won the contest with Satan over Job. God was glorified and Job was blessed beyond anything he had ever experienced before.
I Peter 1:3-8 and II Corinthians 12:7-10 teach that God allows diverse trials and temptations, including difficulties, disappointments and seeming reversals in our lives in order to strengthen us spiritually and bring greater glory to God.
John 4 tells of how God allowed Satan to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and Hebrews 4:14-16 explains the reason for those temptations; that we would have a Saviour who fully understands our humanity and our temptations so that we could find our strength in Him in our times of temptation.
In Luke 22:31-34 we have the explanation of why Jesus allowed Satan to tempt Peter. Jesus allowed Satan to sift Peter so that he would be fully aware of his own weakness and come to the end of his own pride and self confidence. Only then was God able to use Peter to be a fire brand for Him as the early church was established in the Book of Acts.
Christ encouraged the church in Smyrna in Revelation 2:10 and the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3:10 by promising deliverance in the times of trial.
Don’t ever forget I Corinthians 10:13 which shows us that God is always in control of the thermostat when it comes to how much of Satan’s temptations come upon Christians. Satan is limited in his strength and knowledge. God is omnipotent and omniscient. That is, God is all powerful and all knowing.
II Corinthians 4:4 states that Satan is the god of this present fallen world system
Why? Because sinful man who has rebelled against God finds himself enslaved and under the dominion of Satan. There are no other masters. We are either slaves of Satan or bond servants of Jesus Christ. No man is master of his own destiny, even though he thinks he is. The rebel to God is at the mercy of Satan and Satan has no mercy. When Satan is through with a sinner, he chews him up and spits him out. Satan has no love for a sinner.
Romans 8:22 teaches us that the whole world of nature, including animals, groans under the curse of sin put upon sinful man. Because of the curse of sin, this world reels under the fury of storms and other natural disasters; but here is a wonderful truth we need to understand. Psalm 76:10 teaches us that God only allows what brings praise to Him. Everything else God restrains. God has His hand on the thermostat of Satanic evil.
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