Summary: Jesus teaches us to pray that we are not tempted.
A guy had a dream he had went to heaven and saw many clocks. As is customary with these stories St. Peter is attending the gate. When asked what the clocks were for Peter replied that every person on earth has a clock here, and each time one sins, the hand on their clock moves just a bit. The man said, “Where is my clock?” Peter replied, “It is in the office, Moses has been using it for a fan.”
Sin begins with temptation. We are going to look at a portion of the Lord’s prayer this morning as it deals with temptation. Let us begin by reading the entire prayer.
6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in
heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine
is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)
Lead us not into temptation.
I. We are not immune to temptation.
Jesus could see things in this world that were not so obvious to his disciples, and are probably not so obvious to us today. Jesus knew the power of temptation, and his directive to us was to pray that we not be tempted.
There are real forces behind our temptation.
The apostle Paul said, “We war against powers and principalities. These are groups of angels, fallen angels.
The leader of the fallen angels is Satan.
You will recall what Jesus did after he was baptized. He was driven into the wilderness amongst the “beasts” to be tempted of Satan.
I think the word “beasts” speaks of something other than simply animals.
Jesus could see into another dimension on this earth.
The demons he ran into knew exactly who he was.
On one occasion the demons within a person said to Jesus, “What have you to do with us thou Son of the Most High.”
Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.
We see by this that Satan is the tempter, and we do well to know that his demons are also tempters. The name Satan means “accuser”
Thus, this same devil who tempts you to eat the fruit of sin is also the individual who will bring the accusation against you for doing so.
He is not only the person who sells drugs; he is also the district attorney who prosecutes you after you have taken them.
And, his demons are no different.
Remember, Satan offers nothing good. The fruit he offers is poison to the soul.
Jesus said, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
How do we cope with temptation?
Some would say, bring it on, I will not fall to temptation.
And yet, Jesus says for us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”
Friends, we should not have great confidence in ourselves, we should have this confidence in God.
Simon Peter loved to brag. He was a “bring it on” kind of guy. He had great confidence in himself at one point in his ministry as he followed Jesus.
Simon Peter bragged, “All may forsake you, but not I”
Jesus’ response to Peter was immediate. Jesus said, “Satan wishes to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you.”
Before that night was over Peter had not only forsaken Jesus, Peter denied that he even knew Jesus.
This should teach us in a strong way that we are not to speak greatly of our own abilities.
That is just asking for it.
Pride comes before a what?
Pride comes before a fall.
I have known dear people who really blasted and gossiped about someone else who had fallen to sin, and then later they themselves fell to the same sin.
When we get wrapped up in our own confidence, we are getting ready for a fall in a big way.
Thus, the #1 item about facing sin is to realize that we are capable of falling into temptation. Jesus tells us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation”
Jesus goes on to say, “But deliver us from evil.”
What did Joseph do when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him? He ran didn’t he? That is always a good option.
II. We need to know right from wrong.
What is sin? Do we define sin?
It is a second problem we face with the issue of temptation. We can usually justify our sins. This is to say, we can determine that something that God calls sin is really not sin.
This is something that we see from the very beginning. Eve was hanging around the tree long before she ever ate from it, or offered it to her husband.