Around Every Corner…

There is an opportunity to fall into temptation. You don’t have to go far to find it. In fact, you may be sitting at your temptation right now. While, I don’t want to get into a comparison game with what things were like then as compared to now, I could imagine there is more temptation around now. Don’t know for sure, but just guessing. So, if they called on God that they might not fall into temptation, how much more should we?

They called on God that they might not fall into temptation.

Lead us not into temptation (Matthew 6:13).

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

However, my biggest concern isn’t the “big” sin that we probably won’t commit. I am concerned about that, especially if you are already there. However, what I’m concerned about are all the little things that lead us to the “big” sin.

We need to remember that all sin is sin. There is no sin that is acceptable to God. And for those who have been called out (which is what the biblical word for church means – ekklesia: “Called Out Ones”), we have been called out of a life of sin and into a life of holiness. This is a life that we don’t live by our own strength, but by the power of the Spirit at work in us. But, resting on the spirit does mean we don’t make an effort. Rather, it means we make every effort.

One of the problems I see in the world is that the called out ones haven’t actually left what they were called out of. Sure, we may have left the big thing. But, what about all the small things that led to that big thing in the first place? Why wouldn’t we leave them behind too, knowing that they will eventually lead us back into the temptation we were just called out of?

I guess there are a couple of reasons. First, we don’t actually believe that a life with God ruling our hearts could actually be more fulfilling and rewarding and fun than the life we used to live. “Jesus doesn’t have fun,” we think to ourselves, “He’s serious all the time. I don’t want to live like that.” First, I would say that we couldn’t be more wrong for thinking that, and we should ask for forgiveness. When God starts doing amazing things in your life, you will be having more fun than you ever had before.

Second, I don’t think we actually trust God. We don’t fully trust Him to be able to keep us from temptation. We don’t trust Him to fill the void in our soul that we were trying to fill with other things. So we never let Him. And since we never let Him, we keep our souls full of what was and never experience what could be. If only we could Trust His word.

His promises are true. His word is sure. The doubts you may feel are a product of the fallen life you once lived. The emptiness you feel is the result of keeping places in your life for what you want and never letting God in all the way. Before we ask God to keep us from temptation, maybe we need to ask Him to help us out of the temptation we’re already living in and allowing to rule our hearts.

“Watch and pray that you may not enter temptation; the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The Three for Morning, Afternoon and Evening.

“Now for Next” Prayer

What do we need to do now as a church to be ready for what God has for us next.

“What’s My Role” Prayer

Pray for God to show us the role we will play individually in accomplishing that mission.

The Conclusion

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.