Summary: The problem of Temptation and how to deal with it.
SERIES: The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed #8
TITLE: Lead Us Not into Temptation
TEXT: Matthew 6:9-13a
INTRO: We live and walk in Satan's territory, every day. We are beset by temptations on every side and are under constant assault by the Evil One, so we must be always on guard. (1 Peter 5:8 HCSB) Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
When we pray:
-“Forgive us our debts;” We are looking back to the Past.
-“Give us this day our daily bread;”.... looking to the Present.
-“Lead us not into temptation,” We are looking to the Future.
Our Praying Saint Continues:
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
"Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted."
"What do you mean by that?"
Don't turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend having coffee with your friends ... if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn't be your standard for "keeping up with." And please don't use me for an escape hatch."
"I don't understand the last part."
"Sure you do. You've done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me. "Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I'll never do it again." You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?"
"Yes and I'm ashamed, Lord. I really am."
"Which bargain are you remembering?"
"Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, 'Oh God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again."
"I protected you, but you didn't keep your promise, did you?"
"I'm sorry, Lord. I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did."
"Go ahead and finish your prayer."
I. THE PROBLEM OF TEMPTATION
A. Does God Ever Tempt Anyone?
1. No, God does not tempt anyone
(James 1:13 HCSB) No one undergoing a trial should say, "I am being tempted by God." For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn't tempt anyone.
2. But He does allow us to be tested.
B. Where Does Temptation Come From?
1. Most temptations begin on the inside.
(James 1:14-15 HCSB) But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.
# Two monks...walking along a path, when...came to a crossing. There, attempting to cross the same river...young woman. She was afraid to cross. One of the monks picked her up, carried her across the stream and sat her down on the other side, and they continued on their journey. After awhile, the other monk turned to the first and said, “My brother, I am troubled by something. As you know, our order prohibits us from even looking upon a woman, much less touching one. Yet, you picked that woman up and carried her across that stream and you do not seem to be bothered by your transgression.” The second monk merely smiled and said, “My brother, I put that woman down back by the river’s bank, but you still carry her in your heart.”
2. The heart of the problem is a problem in the heart
In (Mar.7:21-23 HCSB ) Jesus said: "...For from within, out of people's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person."
II. THE POWER OF TEMPTATION
A. Temptation is Powerful
1. Its like the undertow in the ocean, hen you yield to its power,
it takes you where it wanted you to go, and the going is easy.
2. But, when you try to go against its pull, then you feel the real
power of the ocean as it tries to force you to go its way.
B. We Need to Pray for the Lord's Protection
-Because we are so prone to failure.
C. Temptation Has No More Power Than We Allow it to Have
(1 Corinthians 10:13 HCSB) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.