Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

Temptation and Deliverance

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We continue to explore Jesus prayer he taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one).”  (Matthew 6:13)  A prayer for deliverance from temptation and evil.  How are we to understand temptation?  Is it a prayer about a direct temptation to do evil?  Is it about some kind of trial, ordeal, or testing?  Or is it a prayer of deliverance from ‘the evil one’?

This prayer petition brings up other interesting questions: Does God actually lead someone into temptation?  If God were actually leading us into temptation wouldn’t he want us to be led there, why would we pray not to be led there?

All kinds of things to sort through this Sunday.  One thing is certain, Jesus teaches us to pray for help with these kind of things.  Again, its a prayer posture of humility, surrender and trust.  Notice, this prayer is a communal one, “Lead us… and deliver us…”  Resisting temptation is not a ‘go it alone’ walk through life.

And when it comes to temptation and deliverance the Bible identifies three enemies to watch out for: the devil, the world (spirit of this age), and our own sinful flesh.

Jesus teaches us how to pray in the call to humility, trust, and faith.  And he calls us to resist temptation within community and accountability relationships.  And finally, he calls us to live a proactive, disciplined, and free life in the power of his Spirit.

  

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