“Oh, that’s tempting.” The concept of temptation, which is the focus of this week’s line, pops up in conversation readily enough, regardless of your religious beliefs or worldview.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
We all know there’s things that we should and shouldn’t do – regardless of what that set of ‘rules’ might be – and that we have the choice to ignore the temptation or give in to it. You could say we submit to the temptation if we follow through on it.
Now if we’re talking about having a second chocolate or staying up a bit later than we should, then these things are relatively harmless for most.
But The Bible’s not talking about such trivialities. Just look at the line of the prayer for proof. When we are led into temptation we are led into the hands of the devil. This is not a joke about eating too many Tim Tams. This is serious.
That’s why we pray for God to deliver us out of danger and into safety.
How are we delivered? He gives us more grace.
He gives us grace when we pray. That grace may come in the form of enabling us to do something that we know we just could not do by ourselves. He gives us grace to say no. He gives us grace to go another way. He gives us grace to say what needs to be said.
On our own strength we are led into temptation, either by our own desires, thoughtlessness, or by others.
On our own strength we are taken into the hands of the devil and held captive to his control.
But, by God’s grace we are rescued. Sometimes our rescue is somewhat passive, like being airlifted by a helicopter out of danger. God gives us others to help us resist the temptation.
On other occasions we are required to respond and take a stand.
It reminds me of Not Today by Hillsong United. If you’re looking for some words to tell the devil to go away, then there’s your script. And it’s not just hopeful thinking. The Bible says ‘resist the devil and he will flee from you‘.
Why not give it a go? Today.
Yours in having the grace to say no,