Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 10, 2003
Praying against temptation
(Luke 22: 39-46)
Praying against temptation. Today, I am going to teach you a new prayer, a "preventative prayer." During our life we pray for many things. We pray for our needs, the needs of others, but how often do we pray a "preventative prayer?" We have learned that one way to stay healthy is to get regular check-ups, eat the right foods, exercise. Often, these preventative measures can help us avoid being sick. Well, it is the same way in our spiritual life. That is why it is important to pray every day, read the Word, be in a good church, fellowship with other believers, and witness. These are all things that keep us spiritually healthy.
In the Garden just hours before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples specifically what to pray for. He told them to "pray that you will not fall into temptation." You see, Jesus knew what was ahead of them, the temptations they would be facing that very night. However, instead of praying as Jesus asked, they chose to sleep instead. In the following hours, Peter denied knowing Christ 3 times, and the Bible tells us that ALL the disciples ran away, none of them stood by our Lord. Why? Because they chose to sleep instead of pray as Christ instructed them to.
Let me ask you a question today, are you sleeping when you should be praying? Instead of building yourself up, making yourself strong through prayer, are you sleeping instead? Are you fighting life's problems without the supernatural power of God because you won't take the time to pray?
You see my friend, we have a very real enemy that is out to kill, steal, and destroy! That means YOU! Satan knows where you are weak. Now he is not omniscient, but he is a master at trial and error. He will tempt you with sex. If that is not your weak point, he will tempt you with money. If that is not your weak point, he will tempt you with alcohol. Satan will keep trying until he finds that weakness in your life, and when he does, he will come after you in that area.
Of course, God also knows we are weak. That is why He has commanded us to resist the devil. Proverbs 1:10 says "my son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." Paul told the church at Ephesus to "put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground." We have great examples in the Word like Joseph literally running from Potiphar's wife, Job praising God instead of cursing Him, and Daniel refusing the king's food and wine. James says to "resist the devil and he will flee."
Satan is a defeated foe, do not give him any victories he does not deserve. Stand up to him! Tell him he is a liar! Tell him that "greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." YOU ARE COVERED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB!
I love you and care about you so much. Actually we should be encouraged when we are tempted. The Bible says we are to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kind. Why? Because the testing of our faith develops perseverance. If you want a good test of spiritual growth here it is. How do you handle temptation in your life? Do you give in to it, or do you resist it? I tell you this today, you can't resist temptation without the strength of God, and to have the strength of God, you have to be close to God. Each time you stand up to temptation and resist it, you get stronger in your faith.
Here is your new prayer to start praying today, "Father, I pray this day that I will not fall into temptation." I want you to start praying that prayer every day so that when you are faced with temptation, you will be able to stand up to it and resist the devil. Your homework assignment is to read 1 Corinthians 10:13, it is YOUR PROMISE today.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that because Jesus suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help you when you are tempted. Jesus understands, and just like He was able to stand up to temptation, He will give you the strength to stand up to temptation as well Start praying today that you will not fall into temptation!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller