Tempted for the Kingdom
January 28, 2022, 10:44 AM

“And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew‬ ‭6:13‬ 

Everybody encounters temptation. Yes, everyone. No one is immune, including Jesus. If He was tested, then so are we. At the core of every trial we face resides a question that exposes our heart: Can God be trusted? Our ability to withstand and walk in faith hinges on our confidence in God. Unfortunately, amid the trial, we fix our eyes on ourselves, and as a result, our wants trump everything else. 

Every temptation forces us to question our identity and God's goodness by putting us in the center. It works to disintegrate the wholeness we desperately want to experience. When we give in to temptation, we stop believing God cares and is sovereign. So, we resort to taking matters into our own hands, which always leads to trouble. Sin breaks trust. We get swept up in the moment and foolishly believe that our needs, wants, and desires are what matters.

However, with every temptation, there is always more at stake than we think. We know numerous individuals who destroyed their reputation, legacy, integrity, and witness by giving in to temptation. It's easy for us to see someone else's future at stake when they're making poor choices, yet, when we're in the thick of it, we can't see beyond "the now."

Some of us have been scared, hurt, or influenced by another individual's inability to deal with temptation. Maybe it was a parent, family member, friend, co-worker, or spouse. Their choices had ramifications on us, which means our decisions do as well. They create a ripple effect and touch others, especially those in our sphere of influence. Most importantly, our faith hangs in the balance during those moments of temptation. Even though we can't lose our salvation, every time we sin, we weaken our relationship with God, we damage our accountability with God, and we hurt our intimacy with God. 

What was at stake when Jesus faced temptation? WE WERE. Our hope, freedom, and life hung in the balance. If He gave into the immediate, our eternity would forever be changed. Everybody faces temptation. On some level, everybody has fallen to it—everybody except Jesus. When Jesus died for our sins, He did so not just to pay for them; He came to free us from their power over us. 

Temptations won't go away, but when we understand what is lying below the surface in these testings, we will find the strength to pause and stand firm in Him. The wilderness feels God-forsaken, but the wilderness is God-ordained. It's in these moments where we face resistance and resistance builds strength. Where do you feel like wandering? How did you arrive in this place of wilderness? What is the thing you want or need the most?

PRAYER: Father God, may I not take the power of temptation lightly. Instead, allow me to examine and notice the things that pull at my heart and entice me. When I meet resistance, help me stand firm, fully confident that You are the source of my every need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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