I’m convinced that prayerlessness is a major factor when I give into temptation. If I’m tempted and I run to the Lord in prayer immediately my will is altered and I’m fortified to do what I know I ought to do. When I neglect seeking His help every fiendish aspect of rationalization works to my detriment. But even in praying for God’s help to resist evil there is a responsibility on my part to be committed to God’s truth and will. Jerry Bridges notes in The Discipline of Grace, “There’s no point in praying for God’s help in the face of temptation if we haven’t made a commitment to obedience without exception.”
Temptation is not seasonal or limited by age. Jan David Hettinga confessed, “I’m fifty-one years old. I have discovered, to my dismay, that the temptations of late middle age are worse than the temptations of youth!” F.B. Meyers warns me in Meet For the Master’s Use, “You will be tempted to the end of your life, and the nearer you live to Christ the more you will be tempted.” Isn’t that sobering!
Matthew 6:13—And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Jesus ties temptation directly to Satan. Beginning with Adam and Eve and extending to every human being, Satan is dead set on causing mankind to fail. Each human failure is an insult and offence against God and Satan revels in thumbing his rebellious nose to his Creator. For this reason alone, we ought to be earnest in praying for God’s help. We are not facing a normal enemy but rather a fallen creature enormously powerful and gifted. Does this mean the devil is behind every temptation? Perhaps not. The desire to eat more than we should (to the detriment of our health) or, to be lazy and sleep-in, may be the fruit of our own lack of discipline. However, whenever we are drawn to disobey God’s expressed commands or the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can be sure that a crafty manipulator is at work either directly or indirectly.
Jesus taught us to pray because He knew His Father would help us. To scorn or neglect help is foolish and the mark of pride. To seek God’s assistance sets us up for victory, increased confidence and in encouraging others who are struggling.
When it comes to deliverance from sin, it is not a question of going to God to ask Him to deliver us from sin, it is a question of accepting His deliverance.—Oswald Chambers in If You Will Ask
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Jan David Hettinga in Follow Me, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1996)