August 16, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

Principle 1

 

“Lead Me Not Into Temptation”

Wendy Pope, Development Coordinator, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Matthew 6:13, "And don't let us yield to temptation." (NLT)

 

Devotion:

Webster defines the word tempt as: to persuade.  Each day the enemy has a plan for you.  The plan is to tempt you or persuade you to do or say something you know is not the result of a life yielded to the Holy Spirit.  He looks at your weakness and preys on your past mistakes.  Paul warns us against the schemes of the enemy in Ephesians chapter 6. 

 

What tempts you?  Is it food?  Could it be the 30% off coupons for your favorite store that come via email?  Maybe it is the handsome new co-worker in your office?  I love the New Living Translation of today's key verse.  This is Matthew's account of the Lord's Prayer.  Each day we are to ask God to enable us not to yield to the temptation of the enemy.  Many times we ask the Lord to lead us not to temptation but forget to trust His Spirit to say "no" to the temptation.

 

God clearly defined what He meant "by not yielding to temptation" through my son.  Our family was away for the weekend for a little rest and relaxation.  Part of the rest and relaxation was riding a two-seater John Deere Mule through the bumpy mountainous terrain of the 200 plus acre farm where we were staying.  After spending most of the day driving around with his father, my 6-year old son (who claims to know everything) was determined to drive the Mule himself.  He came up with great reasons why he could drive the ATV.  He even demonstrated his ability to start the engine, but no amount of reasoning was going to convince his father to let him drive.

 

My husband was ready for a little "real rest", and parked the Mule in front of the cabin.  My son would not let his father rest.  He insisted he would only drive around in the circle of the driveway and assured his father once again of his skills as a driver.  Once again he was told no.  With a pout and some mutters under his breath he slammed the door.  In a few moments he returned with the key to the Mule.   As he handed it to his father he said, "Here dad.  This is so I won't drive."

 

“Wow,” I thought.  How profound!  At the age of 6, my son recognized his temptation and had the spirit to remove it by taking the key to his father.  Isn't that exactly what we are supposed to do with our temptations?  In the moment we are tempted, take the temptation to our Heavenly Father.  We have the power to overcome the temptation because of the Holy Spirit.  He has given us the power of self-discipline.  The next time the enemy brings you face to face with your weakness, just take the "key" and place it in the hands of God Almighty.  Experience victory!

 

My Prayer for Today:

Father, I acknowledge that I am weak but you are strong.  Help me to recognize temptation and to overcome it.  Thank you for giving me all I need to seize the power of the enemy.  I look forward to celebrating each and every victory with you.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Identify what tempts you. Look up scripture that deals with this type of temptation.  (You can go to www.biblegateway.com and perform key word searches). Write these verses in a temptation journal.  Keep the journal with you and record each temptation with the date, and your encounter. Pray the verse that addresses the temptation.

 

Reflection Points:   

How do I handle temptation?

 

Are my temptations directly related to places I should not go, or to people that I should not be associated with?

 

What temptations do I need to take to the Father?

 

When faced with temptation, do I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to aid me in overcoming the temptation?

 

Power Verses: 

Matthew 26:41, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians 10:13, "No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it." (The Message)

 

1 Timothy 6:9, "But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction." (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

Dollars and Sense by Cynthia Summer

 

Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson

 

The P31 Woman Magazine