Temptation. Even the sound of the word is alluring. Enticing. Hard to resist. Yet temptation is the hardest part of living a holy, Spirit-filled life. Our walk is full of daily fiery darts ― from deliciously hot donuts dripping with icing, to bikini-clad bodies on the beach, to damaging visuals on television, the push to compromise our values in the workplace, and worse. We are tempted yet convicted. But sometimes, when we’ve beaten the sin which has so easily lured us, another one stares us in the face and we fall again.
Perhaps it is because we are reactive instead of proactive when temptation comes our way.
When I’ve been tempted, there’s often a sense of denial, as if somehow I could get through the trial in my own strength. In the moment, operating in the flesh seems perfectly possible. However, it never seems to work, and in fact, the pride that accompanies that self-sufficiency fails me every time.
Thankfully, Jesus is no stranger to temptation. When He taught His model prayer to His disciples and to us, He said, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). Notice He included a prompt that included a plea to the Father to not allow us to walk into that path of sin. He was teaching us to be proactive instead of waiting for the fallout after succumbing to temptation. It is a reminder that we all need to pray and ask for the Lord's help before our choices lead us toward temptation ― not just after.
Lord God, thank you that as a man, you were tempted and yet you resisted evil. Thank you that we have a direct line to you where we can pray and ask you for protection and to make a way for us when we are tempted. Thank you for mercifully protecting us. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Go Deeper — Be proactive instead of reactive in your prayers against evil. Ask God about areas of temptation in your life which you desire Him to remove. Ask Him to give you the full armor each day as you set out against the powers and darkness in this world.
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Photo Credit: Kate Remmer