The Lord’s Prayer, part five. It’s the last day, and this one might be a difficult one as well. Let’s get started then.
“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13
Temptation, the human’s vice, and his greatest downfall. Everyone is tempted, even Jesus. But somehow, Jesus never sinned. How was that, and how can we do the same? I’ll start off by saying a powerful statement I heard from Mike Donehey:” You’re free to fail, because when you fall you fall into grace.” I want to reassure you that as Romans said, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s inevitable. That doesn’t mean that we should continue on sinning but, as we discussed in the last part of this series, we will be forgiven if we only ask and repent.
Next, I want to tell you that you don’t have to sin. There is no temptation so powerful that we simply cannot refuse to indulge. We were created for God as His holy people, and we are able to choose to follow Him. Not that it’s easy, but our chains that held us down have been broken when we accepted Christ, and we can fight back against sin. We don’t have sin anymore.
The best way to combat sin is to realize how much worse it is than the alternative. I think C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly with this quote:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
Why do we settle for so little when there is something so much better waiting there for us? If we could just catch a glimpse of heaven, just a glimpse of what is in store for us, I think it would be so much easier to resist temptation. We search after fame, wealth, and especially comfort. We spend our entire lives striving in vain after promises of these things, when there is something infinitely greater in store for us. We just have to wait a little while longer. But even that is no excuse. At best, most of us may live up to a hundred years. Heaven never ends. We have eternity to spend with the all powerful, good, and beautiful creator of our universe, and we settle for this. Why do we strive for the newest car, or a more comfortable home, or a better job, when our focus should be on God, and the eternity we will spend with Him.
So, when we are tempted, we don’t need to dig in our heels and resist, we just need to think to ourselves,” Why would I give Heaven up for this?”, because that little pleasure isn’t worth Heaven.