Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: The Temptations

Wednesday's Word

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Temptations


Hello All,

Ever listened to the temptations? Not the Motown singing group, I mean those “whispers” that influence us either away from the right we know to do or towards the wrong we know we shouldn’t do. This question only served as rhetorical opener…because the fact of the matter is - we all have.

What comes to mind when we think of the temptations? Going 12mph over the speed limit, a second helping of chocolate cake, saying “aw heck with it! “ and buying the darn shoes anyway? Hey! You only live once right? I would suppose that these few I’ve listed only qualify as the “guilty pleasures” that we entertain but don’t think of as detrimental to our lives in Christ. There are deeper temptations. Some compromise us so severely as to find us doubled-over weeping in repentance, but at the more subtle end, they find us gradually drifting off the path of Righteousness.

On the Sermon of the Mount, Christ tells us to pray that we not be lead into temptation: Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: BUT in James 1:2 says we should count it all joy when we fall into various temptations. Is this a contradiction? Can they both be right?

Well, I’m glad you asked. The Bible is consistent in its presentation of the messages by which we conduct our lives.

We are to pray our desires to God, and we have a desire for increasing righteousness and decreasing sin. This is a request in that direction; “Lord, keep me from sinning and becoming stained that I may worship you with clean hands and a pure heart.” This in no way takes away from the full understanding of the good purposes served by the trials of life. So when Christ, while praying in the garden on the night He was betrayed told the disciples “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” The focus there would be the word “enter”. We don’t pray that testing never come, but that when tested, we prove faithful, and having done all, to stand.

This message is more understood when you see it in Christ’s prayer for Peter.

Here’s The Word;

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Christ knew that Peter’s faith was going to be tested, so He didn’t pray for a way around the temptation but rather strength to respond appropriately. Now some would debate the point “But Peter denied Christ 3 times, isn’t that a failure of faith?” – to which I would answer “No”

Look at it this way; Peter and Judas were told they were going to either deny or betray Christ. Both did exactly what Christ said that they would do. But how did each respond?

Peter’s faith – even though damaged through denial was still strong enough to drive Peter to repentance. Judas faith “or lack of it”(it’s debatable if Judas ever had “saving” faith) on drove him to remorse but not repentance…there’s the difference. We pray for strong faith that will endure being tempted; that we will have deep roots during a time of temptation whereby we stand firm and not end up falling away. Because the fact of the matter is that although the Lord’s prayer says “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” we still ALL come upon trying times and we need to realize that these temptation times serve a purpose of testing our faith (James 1:2).

If you don’t see yourself as in a fight against the temptations, you’d best be careful that they’re not already winning

In Him,
Cros

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