Monday, September 05, 2011


"And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." Matt.6:13

What does it mean to be led into temptation?

To be tempted is to be led into the tragedy of trying to be and to have by doing for ourselves what apparently God has not done.

It means to be led into thinking and behaving as if we can become what we want to become and have what we think we need to have by taking a situation into our own hands.

Adam and Eve were the first humans to be led into temptation. They were led to believe by the evil one that they could become like God because they wanted to be. All they needed to do was simply take the issue of being and having into their own hands and into their own mouths. (See Genesis 3)

Temptation is the opposite of faith. When we live by faith what we are and what we have come to us freely from God. When one is led into temptation one is fooled into thinking being and having depend on human effort instead of Divine grace.

Religion is often the most destructive form of temptation. Religion tells us to be and to have means to produce our own identity and possessions by works that will convince God we are worthy to be what He wants us to be and have what He wants us to have. Religion always tells us what we are not and what we lack. Faith always tells us who we are and what we have in God.

Jesus was also tempted since he was the "last Adam." (See Matt. 4) Unlike the first Adam, Jesus never tried to become something more than He had been made by God or use resources other than those God gave Him. Jesus never stopped being what He received from God and He never started trying to produce on His own what Satan said He needed produce to live.

Satan tried to lead Jesus into temptation and failed because Jesus never forgot who He was in His Father and what He had available to Him in His Father. In every way it is possible for a human to be tempted Jesus was tempted. Even so, He never sinned. He never stopped living who God made Him to be and using what God gave Him to use. His love never stopped for one moment. He was continuously delivered from evil by abiding in His Father's love.

Every day of our lives in this world we will be tempted. We will be led to believe we are not enough and we do not have enough because God did not make us enough or give us enough. We will be repeatedly told that our only hope to be or have is to act on our own. Any day we follow this idea to its conclusion we will be led into temptation. Our love will stop and more suffering is added to us and those we love.

The solution to temptation is to be delivered from evil by God's love in Jesus. How does that work? It works by faith. It works by knowing who we have become in Jesus and what we have in Jesus right now. Deliverance comes by abiding in the Vine. (See John 15)

Whatever the Vine is, I am. Whatever the Vine has, I freely receive. The fruit of being in the true Vine and receiving as ours what the the true Vine gives to us moment by moment delivers us from evil. Being in the true Vine allows us to be continuously delivered from the evil one and it allows us to deliver love continuously for God''s glory.

Christ in us is God's answer to our prayer "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil." What He is, you are. What He has is what you have.

Abide in His love right now in the same way He was abiding in His Father's love when He was tempted.

Bud McCord
Abide International

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