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Heart Check for the Lord’s Table: Temptation

I will post some random thoughts this week to guide your thoughts and prayers as you prepare your heart for Holy Week and to come to the Lord’s Table. These thoughts are based loosely on the Model Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil….

Looking inward to our heart and motivation to prepare for communion requires us to ask a difficult question. Is the besetting sin in my life, whatever it is, something that really has control over me or do I have control over it? After all, the apostle, Paul, reminded us in I Corinthians 10:13 that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.” Jesus himself told us here in the model prayer that every prayer should tune our heart away from temptation and toward obedience.

We know God would never lead us into temptation. In fact, James 1:13 says just the opposite.“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;”.

So why should we pray this? Because we know our own hearts, don’t we? The heart of man is deceitfully wicked above all and no one can know his own heart. We do know that the flesh is weak and easily led astray, especially if we have a history of certain kinds of sins. Jesus knew that about us as well.

That is why he reminded us that every prayer should include a verbal commitment to directing our lives away from the things that tempt us to forsake and disobey God. You can’t always help it when temptation presents itself and for times like that, there is the second part of that prayer. “Deliver us from evil.” 29

So, as we prepare for the Lord’s Table, we should answer the following questions:

  1. Am I planning my life so that my pet sin is easily available or am I asking God daily to lead me away from that direction?
  2. When faced with temptation, do I let the Holy Spirit deliver me or do I continue to shrug and assume I cannot win the battle?
  3. Is my prayer today, “Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one, because I know all the power in the universe belongs to YOU.”?

As you prepare to come to the Lord’s table, cleanse your heart and examine your motives when it comes to the things that tempt you. Ask forgiveness, for sure, but more than that, ask for strength and for God to give you supernatural leadership to avoid the things and places that tempt you.

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