Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered." Luke 4:1-2

Wow! Is this confusing!

It was the Holy Spirit that lead Jesus into temptation? I thought Jesus taught us in the Lord's Prayer to pray, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil."

So, how is it that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted?

This apparent inconsistency provides a good opportunity to clarify what Jesus meant when He gave us this pattern for prayer. Notice that the end of the verse says, "but deliver us from evil."

When you understand what Jesus was REALLY praying here you will get a greater appreciation for it. He is teaching us to daily implore the Father to never lead us into temptation unless He delivers us from doing evil. In fact, when you have prayed that prayer and God does lead you into a time of testing you can be assured that He plans to deliver you!

What Jesus knew when He went to the wilderness, led by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted by the Evil One that God would deliver Him from evil. God did not lead Him out there to fail.

This is akin to what Paul writes in I Corinthians 10:13 regrading temptation and trials, "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 that you can stand up under it."

The alternative to having God lead you into temptation would be to go in alone. You don't want to do that! There is only one reason to go into temptation - TO COME OUT STRONGER! Only God can do that!

Jesus discovered first hand that God only leads us into temptation in order to deliver us from evil.