Deliverance from Turning Tests into Temptations
Sam McVay Jr.
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Sam dives deeper into one of the most challenging parts of the Lord's Prayer: Lead us not into temptation. Satan wants to destroy our faith through deceptive temptations, but the Lords wants to purify and build our faith through providential testing.
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One of the most challenging parts of the Lord’s Prayer is the phrase:
“Lead us not into Temptation”
James 1:13 (ESV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
So why did Jesus ask us to pray this?
I have prayed for years, at this point in the Prayer, for deliverance from Sin and Satan - which is a good way to pray.
But when you get up underneath the words used, there may be a bit more spiritual insight for us to pray.
The word for temptation here is “peirasmos”.
It can be translated as temptation or test.
Darrell Johnson who wrote the book -“57 Words that Changed the World” says:
“A peirasmos is a difficult or challenging situation in life, which can either be a test, proving a person’s character, or a temptation, enticing a person into the way of sin.”
New Testament scholar William Barclay stated, “Peirasmos is regularly used of the divine placing of a man in a situation which is a test, a situation in which he may fall, but in which he is not meant to fall, a situation which may be his ruin, but out of which he is meant to emerge spiritually strengthened and enriched”
Also it is helpful to know that peirasmos is used of the process of refining gold by a goldsmith.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
It is important to notice the “but” in this part of the Lord’s Prayer:
“Lead is not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”.
The “temptation” part is connected to the “evil one” part.
In a nutshell, the Evil One is always trying to turn a God-ordained test into a sin-inviting temptation.
This is the case at the headwaters of human history.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was put at the center of the Garden of Eden as a God-ordained test to build the faith of Adam and Eve.
The serpent entered in to twist their thinking about a test that was to build more faith-filled dependence upon God, into a temptation, that would lead to a Declaration of Independence from God.
Dr. Johnson offers this way of praying the prayer:
“Father, as you lead us into the test, do not let the test become a temptation. But deliver us from the evil one.”
We need protection from Sin and Satan.
But oh how we need protection from the narrative changing lies of the enemy that afflicts our thinking as he attempts to turn tests into temptations that lead to our questioning the goodness of our God as well as fear and despair in His dealings.
This is about the quality of our faith!!
The Lord wants to purify and build our faith through Providential Testings.
Satan wants to destroy our faith through deceptive temptations.
Sam McVay, 2020, November, November 2020, Sermon, Prayer