Daily D – Luke 11:4b
Luke 11:4b “And don’t let us yield to temptation. ”(NLT)
Learning requires testing to prove its effect. It is one thing to say, “I know,” and another to demonstrate knowledge by providing the right answer or proper behavior. Testing consolidates. Testing provides a place to stand before taking our best next steps.
Dreaded indeed are those courses where there is only one exam called The Final. Angst is the unwelcome companion in Pass/Fail situations.
From Genesis to Revelation, we see men and women, individuals, groups, and nations experience times of testing. Some pass the test like Abraham, who was asked to sacrifice his son. (Do remember God stepped in with a substitute sacrifice then, foreshadowing what he would do in that same place later with his one and only Son.)
Some fail the test like Adam and Eve in the garden. Some pass test after test with flying colors like the Shepherd King David. However, he also failed later in life as spectacularly as he had earlier succeeded.
You will be tested today. How genuine is your faith? How deep is your discipleship? How well do you measure up in pressure-filled moments? How quickly do you abandon the straight and narrow for an easier way out?
This part of Jesus’ model prayer teaches us to turn to God in times of testing. Ask him for strength to stand, to keep moving in the right direction at the right speed toward the right goal. Ask him for courage and confidence. Acknowledge that you are not alone; you are never alone.
Jesus teaches us how to pass our tests in Luke 4. In Luke 3:22, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus and the Father declared, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” (Christian Standard Bible).
Luke 4:1, 2 says, “Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil.”
The best way to deal with temptation is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus provided fitting responses to the temptations of appetite (verses 3 and 4), ambition (verses 5-7), and approval (verses 9-12). Jesus passed the same tests Adam and Eve failed in the garden. In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus faced these same tests again. He passed them again. Because he endured the cross and overcame all temptation, he provides us with the salvation of our souls and the strength to withstand and overcome any test.
There is no such thing as too great a temptation for those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. There is victory in temptation and testing when we know and remember that God will provide wherever he guides (appetite), that he has a unique calling and destiny for each of us more glorious than anything we could conjure on our own (ambition), and that he loves us with an everlasting love (approval).
Do not yield to temptation today. Withstand the testing of your faith by God’s presence, power, and provision.
I will prepare for the exams of this day by asking for the filling, leadership, and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Our Father, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Lead me in all things at all times today. Empower me to flee from every temptation and to pass every test. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”