Yesterday we continued our study of the Lord’s Prayer at church, with a focus on “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13. Mac did a great job of teaching us why Jesus intentionally used the word “us” in this prayer. The “us” is to show that we need each other to be guarded against temptation. He also used it to show that we are never alone in our struggles with temptation and it is when we think we are that gets us in big trouble.
We need community and accountability to help us turn away from temptation along with strength from God. We CANNOT do it alone. If you think you can, you are wrong. It requires faith, prayer, community, and accountability every single day. We are all faced with temptations and choices on a daily basis. When no one is around it’s the relationships we have and that community and accountability that keep us from making bad decisions.
It comforts me to read this verse: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13. God does not tempt us, only the devil tempts us. God does allow us to be tempted from time to time to test our faith in Him, but he will always provide a way out and we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. In other words you must trust that God provides all that you need to resist temptation, but it’s up to you to access all of it.
Mac used an analogy that stuck with me. He said it’s like a fisherman who lures a fish, catches him and then puts him on his wall. The devil does the same with us, he tempts us with the very things he knows we are weak in and then once he gets us, we go up on his wall as “another one” he caught. Do not let him catch you. Stand guard to temptation and rely on community, relationships with God and those you love, and being accountable to others. These things will help you stay off the devil’s trophy wall!