Mathew 6:13 is the last of the Lord’s prayer and Jesus instructs us to pray that God will not lead us into temptation. Notice that he did not instruct us to pray that we would not sin but that we not be lead into temptation. There does seem to be some problem as to how are we tempted. Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted Mathew 4. Yet James 1: 13 tells us that God can not be tempted nor does he tempt anyone. How do we bring those two scriptures together? We look at when Jesus was tempted. Jesus was led into the wilderness and spent forty days in prayer. At the end of those days he was hungry, thirsty and at his weakest point. It was at his weakest point that Satan came and tempted him. Jesus overcame the temptation by the use of scripture. In the wilderness he was tempted in all points just as we are and yet he did not sin. If you look at the rest of his life you can see where he was continually tempted, even on the cross.
There are temptation all around us today. Susanna Wesley said that what ever weakens our sense of God or increases the authority of the body over the mind, that is sin no matter how innocent it might be. It can be those temptation to commit the sins listed in scripture, but it can be little things as well. Why do we work? The temptation is to work to avoid worshiping God. Our family time is very important. The best place to spend family time is when we worship God together. Our position in the church. Do we attend church because it is expected of us or have a ministry because we want it rather than a calling from God? Scripture tells us that what we do we are to do it for the Lord not any one else, not even ourselves. How do we avoid temptation?
The last phrase tells us how to avoid temptation. Deliver us from the evil one. Lets look at Jesus in the wilderness again. Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness, he was doing the will of the father. From the time Jesus rose in the morning to the time he went to seep at night he was doing the will of the father. In the wilderness he spent much time preparing for what God had called him to do. Much of his preparation had already been done. He knew the scriptures, he had been trained as a priest (by God) and he knew God. This was a time that he prayed, we do not know what he prayed about but we do know it was a conversation with the father. After the forty days he put his training to use by using scripture to defeat the evil one.
Can we imitate Christ when it comes to temptations? God has called each one of us to our own ministry. He trains most of use through our schooling , on the job training and our life experiences. God calls us to follow him, sometimes he will give us that direction early in life and sometimes later in life. The most important part in avoiding temptations is the time that we spend in prayer and his word. We need to be able to pray until we get an answer from God or here what he has to say to use. Many Christians do not spend enough time in prayer. One scripture said that we are to pray without ceasing. In other words our lives should be so close to God that we can hear his voice at any time. Jesus told the disciples not to worry what they were to say but the Holy Spirit would give them the words to say when they needed it. On occasions God would give me words to say when they needed to be said. Finally we are to put to use what God has taught us. With every temptation God has made a way to reject it. We are always going to have temptations with us, but are we going to follow Christ’s example to reject them and not sin?
We have come to the end of the Lord’s prayer. I would like to look at the fruit of the spirit or love as it relates to imitating Christ, Please let me know which you would like to look at.
God bless you as you imitate Christ.