May 12 I Wednesday
2 Kings 15-16
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” —Matthew 6:13
There is one thing that every one of us has in common: we have all been subject to temptation. Many of us have learned to put on an exterior that looks as though we are trouble free, and we do not have any difficulties with temptation. But the reality is, day after day, week after week, we internally struggle with temptations that we wish never even entered our mind but they do, and situations we wish we could quickly run away from but we do not.
When I was a young Christian, I used to assume that many of my temptations were unique. I thought that I was battling things that nobody else seemed to be battling with. I had the idea that as I grew older, it would get easier and easier, where I would grow out of some of these temptations. Yet, I was wrong.
The truth is: every temptation that we have faced, other people face too. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.” In fact, even Jesus Himself faced temptation; we have a recording of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness for forty days.
As much as we want to deny it, the devil is a real being and he is out to get us. What is he out to do in these temptations? Scripture reveals three areas of temptations that make us vulnerable. John explains, “For everything in the world––the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life––comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16). Firstly, the lust of the flesh is the natural appetites that are exploited. Secondly, the lust of the eyes is greed, looking and coveting. Thirdly, the pride of life is what boosts ourselves and places us above everybody else.
Even though temptation is common to us, we can find encouragement from the words in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to feel sympathy for our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are––yet He did not sin.” We may have the impression that Jesus condemns our weakness, but what the author of Hebrews states is that Jesus actually sympathizes with our weakness; as a man, He knew what it was to face and to battle with temptation. Additionally, Hebrews 2:18 tells us, “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” We need not give in when we are tempted, for our Lord Jesus is our help.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for being a high priest who is able to sympathize with my weakness and temptation. I ask for Your help that I may not stumble when I am tempted, but deliver me from the evil one.