I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Alynda Long to bring you this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday Post on temptation as part of our continuing series on The Lord’s Prayer.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
The Online Etymology Dictionary (1) has this to say about the word ‘temptation’:
c. 1200, “act of enticing someone to sin,” also “an experience or state of being tempted,” from Old French temptacion (12c., Modern French tentation), from Latin temptationem (nominative temptatio), noun of action from past participle stem of temptare “to feel, try out” (see tempt). Meaning “that which tempts a person (to sin)” is from c. 1500.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word used here is “peirasmos” (pi-ras-mos) and means putting to proof by experiment, experience, discipline, or provocation. It can also mean facing adversity or temptation, as we see it here in The Lord’s Prayer.
Temptation Enters the World
Satan introduced temptation to God’s perfect world when he lured Eve into taking a bite out of the fruit. It seems like I can’t take a step in any direction without some form of temptation bombarding my life.
*Sugary treats when I’m on a diet? Check
*Inappropriate images on the computer, billboards, and television? Check
*A little cash not accounted for in the register? Check
*A juicy piece of gossip just begging to be shared? Check
Temptations are everywhere and they feel overwhelming at times. Yet, the Lord never tempts us. Not only does He never tempt us, He leads us OUT of temptations. Indeed He delivers us from evil. How cool is that?
Jesus Endured Temptation
I am most likely to give in to the temptation to sin when I am hungry, tired, stressed, afraid, alone, doubting, or discontent. Satan preys on these conditions like a vulture. But we are not alone in our struggle. Jesus endured temptation at Satan’s hand, too. After Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, Satan, referred to in Matthew 4:3 as the tempter, makes his move, twisting God’s Word just as he did with Eve. He plays on Jesus’ hunger and tempts Him to turn stones to bread. He plays on Jesus’ humanity and tempts Him to throw Himself down and see if God’s angels will save Him. He plays on Jesus’ sovereignty and tempts Him to reject the Father in return for ruling a large territory.
In every instance, Jesus correctly quotes Scripture to rebuke Satan’s temptations.I am most likely to give in to the temptation to sin when I am hungry, tired, stressed, afraid, alone, doubting, or discontent. Satan preys on these conditions like a vulture. #temptation #wordnerdwednesday #thelordsprayer @alyndalong Click To Tweet
God’s Word Helps Us Fight Satan’s Every Temptation
His Word is a veritable treasure trove of armor against the enemy’s fiery arrows of temptation. In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul even tells us no temptation is uncommon to man. Any struggle we may have has already been battled–and is probably currently being battled–by another believer. The enemy likes to isolate us and tell us we are the only ones with particular struggles or temptations, but that is a lie.
Arming ourselves with God’s Word will help us guard against temptations. In addition to The Lord’s Prayer, I’ve found three verses that help when the enemy’s temptations persist.
1 John 1:9 tells us,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There is great power in confession to God and other believers. Removing the secrecy and bringing our temptations into the light removes the enemy’s stronghold over us in this area.
James 4:7 says,
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Giving control of our lives over to God gives us the power to resist the enemy’s temptations and allows us to live in freedom. Psalm 119:11 reminds us that hiding God’s Word in our hearts gives us His power to fight the temptations of the enemy.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Throughout His Word, God gives us armor and ammunition to fight against Satan’s many temptations. Yet when we fall short of the mark (and we all fall short), He is there to offer grace for our confessed sins.
So when we pray, lead us not into temptation, we ask the Lord to lead, guide, and direct us by His Word and His Spirit to fight against temptation and endure the enemy’s attacks.”
Alynda Long is a writer, blogger, editor, and redeemed survivor of sexual abuse. A lay leader in a recovery ministry, she loves helping other women walk through their own journey of recovery through Christ. She writes at her website, alyndalong.com. She’s the founder and editor of Faith Beyond Fear, a site dedicated to sharing believers’ experiences of reaching beyond fear into their faith in Christ. She also contributes to A Wife Like Me, a website dedicated to helping women love their spouses as Christ loves the church. Her testimony will be published in Stories of Roaring Faith: Volume 3 in October 2018. She thrives on Jesus, coffee, books, chocolate, and friendships! You may reach out to her via her social media and email accounts below: