“The Lord’s Prayer and Temptations”
In some circles in the Christian faith, admitting that we are being tempted is considered as sinful as the sinful act, itself. Satan has prepared a nice trap for all of us where the word of the day is: “Don’t tell anyone!” We keep stuff secret in an attempt to avoid shame and judgment. We fail to recognize that the Devil is able to see in the dark; when we keep issues of temptation a secret we are turning the lights off in an unknown room full of dangerous and hurtful things to run into. We will, without a doubt, get hurt!
The Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines “temptation” as “An enticement or invitation to sin, with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.” This is a very powerful and meaningful definition as temptation doesn’t come at you by saying: “Hello, I am temptation and I am coming to invite you to be destroyed.” Temptation extends the invitation; temptation uses enticement to lure you in, making it sound like the way of disobedient is better than the way of righteousness. Temptation always gives us an underline message that tells us that we are missing something; therefore it is okay to give into temptation.
A good friend of mine, Mr. Reggie Bridge, and I were both confronting one of our students at the mission who stated something that I will never forget. The student was looking for a way out of having to admit the obvious truth. He started talking about others doing the same thing. Mr. Bridges then responded by saying: “I always see the same answer from people that are caught in sin; they use the same lines: ‘I did not know, nobody told me and everybody else is doing it.’”These three powerful excuses are corrupting our moral system like never before in the history of humanity. Giving into temptation as if we can’t help it is the acceptable doctrine of the hour. After all, the popular prayer known as, “The Lord’s Prayer,” promotes this kind of mentality. How? Matthew 6:13 tells us:
“…And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Do we care to review this translation? I must admit that I did not pay any attention to this translation until one day I was flipping channels and I ran into a Catholic Priest who pointed-out the error of this popular and acceptable translation. He actually used the correct translation using the Spanish language for it. The “Nueva Versión Internacional,” (New International Version) in Spanish reads:
“Y no nos dejes caer en *tentación,
sino líbranos del maligno.”
This Spanish version is literally translated as: “And, do not allow us to fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This makes a whole lot more sense than “…lead us not into temptation.” How can we ask God not to lead us into temptation? We are actually asking God not to guide us or show us the way of temptation. Remember our definition for “temptation?”
Why is this so significance? Because, if we don’t understand the nature of temptations, we will end-up like many; blaming God for our sins. Many then will have the position of “If God doesn’t want me to fall into temptation; then He needs to stop me from being tempted because as long as I am tempted, I will fall.” There is no wonder we have so many people that are just sitting back, doing their thing and with very little conviction… Why? Because it’s all God’s fault! James 1:13-15 tells us:
“13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We established that we are all tempted at one point or the other. These verses started by saying: “When tempted.” The Bible also tells us in First Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man…” Temptations are normal! However, these temptations are a direct product of our own evil desires. Those evil desires drag us away and entice us as that desire gives birth to sin. The idea of connecting God to our temptations is absurd. In Matthew 4:3 the Bible refers to Satan as the Tempter. It is Satan and his demonic army’s job to tempt us. However, we can’t blame it all on the devil; as we saw in James, the devil knows exactly how to tempt us based on the evil desires that are already in us. In Genesis 3:6 we read:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Notice the pattern; the serpent already knew that Eve liked that tree; and if she was not paying attention to the tree, she was now. The enemy knew it was the perfect way to come after our souls. How could she resist Good food and something pleasing to the eyes? It was just too much for the flesh to resist. But, like many of us, we always need a justification or an excuse to sin. For some it’s, the “everybody else is doing it” excuse; for others, it’s the “they did it to me so, now it is pay back” excuse. For others, it’s the “well, if God wants me to stop, He can take the desire away” excuse. So what was it for Eve? She saw that the tree was “desirable for gaining wisdom.” What can possibly be wrong with gaining a little wisdom; right? As a side note we most also add that sin loves company as we see that Eve “…gave some to her husband…”
TO BE CONTINUED…