Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Temptation – A Call To Battle

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

Martin Luther once said,

"God delights in our temptations and yet hates them. He delights in them when they drive us to prayer; he hates them when they drive us to despair".

Being tempted isn’t a sin. A Christian can experience all kinds of temptations and not feel guilty that they have gone against the will and desires of God.

After all, early in his earthly ministry Jesus was seriously tempted.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.‘“ Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”" Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. (Matthew 4:1–11)

Temptation is a personal journey for all of us. We have all a propensity to grasp at forbidden fruit.

Almost hourly we are tempted by things to do, things to buy, things to eat, things to watch on TV and things to read. Things that we know we should reject out of hand.

No wonder Jesus tells us to pray,

‘…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’. (Matthew 6:13)

Martin Luther had it right when he said that if we are driven to prayer for protection against temptation, then God delights, but hates it if we are driven to despair.

Jesus included that sentence in the prayer He taught us to say for good reason since we are all tempted by different things; that is why temptation surrounds us.

Temptation is a very personal thing. My temptation may not be yours, but ultimately it is the work of the Evil One to try and turn us against God’s will for us in our lives.

Again, that temptation is not a sin; rather it is a call to battle.

A call to drive us to our knees in prayer.

A call for us to recognise that we are totally dependent upon God to deliver us from that temptation.

So don’t despair if you are tempted, rather turn to God in prayer for He will delight in delivering us.

To quote Martin Luther again,

"Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair."

Have a good week joining the call to battle,

Pastor Barry

18 October 2009

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