Essential Key to Overcoming Temptation

Posted on January 17, 2011

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Temptation. It is hard to talk about temptation because none of us can really claim victory over temptation in all its forms. How could anyone be qualified to speak on such a subject except the Lord Jesus?

So while you read this, I hope you would realize that I am not living a victorious life. Not even close. I am struggling the same as you are, and what I offer is from one fellow struggler to another. I present a small bit of revelation to you in a spirit of humility with the hope and prayer that it may encourage you toward the goal, Christ Himself.

We are all familiar with the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13: “Our Father who is in the heavens…” In this prayer, Jesus gives us a wonderful pattern for praying prayers of the kingdom. I would love to write paragraphs about this prayer, but considering our subject of temptation, let’s jump to verse 13. The first half says, “And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This is a prayer to the Father.

At the end of this prayer, the Lord asks the Father “do not bring us into temptation.” Does the Father tempt us to sin? No, He does not. It is the evil one in the second half of the verse that tempts us to sin. But does the Father bring us into temptation? From the Word, it appears so. The Father brings us into temptation.

Why would He do that? How is bringing us into temptation possibly an act of a loving Father? An answer might be that He wants us to be strong to overcome temptation. He leads us into temptation so we know how to deal with it. Naturally, that seems to be the most probable answer. However, this would not make sense in the context. Why? Because the Lord asks us to pray that we would not be led into temptation.

No, the Father leads us into temptation not to make us strong, but because we do not realize that we are weak. We are weak and we easily fall to temptation. He, more than anyone, knows that. The problem is that we are oblivious to our weakness. We think we are strong and “have no need of a physician.” Somehow, the loving Father must remind us of what we are.

Eventually, we will fail so much, so consistently, and so easily that we will realize how weak and powerless against temptation we are. At that point we will be humbled. We will lose confidence in our ability and strength. Out of desperation, we will cry out to the Father, “I’m so weak! I’m powerless against the evil one, Lord. Please, do not lead me into temptation because I will fail. I’ve failed before, and I will fail again. Lord, deliver me from the evil one.” A strong, confident, “victorious” Christian would not pray like that. Only a weak Christian could pray like that.

This kind of a prayer every morning has helped me very much. I am reduced from depending on me and Christ to depending on Christ alone. But, inevitably, I begin to have confidence in myself again, and I forget to pray like this. And inevitably, the loving Father must once again bring me into temptation and remind me that I am weak. So from one weak Christian to another, please don’t be discouraged about your weakness. Be humbled, and pray that the Father would not lead you into temptation.

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