"Lead Us Not Into Temptation" (Part 3 of 4)
From the final lecture in the audio seminar Praying Biblically
What does this evil nature incline us to do? How does it tempt us? 1 Jn. 2:15 –- the world here is not nature, the creation; it is the world system, the world’s values. These are the temptations of this evil inclination: the lust of the flesh (cravings of the sinful man – NIV), the inclination that is in your old nature to do evil; the lust of your eyes and the boasting of what he has and does, (pride of life – KJ) you have and do. These are three categories of how our evil inclination tempts us. Each of these 3 temptations characterizes the temptations of Satan to Jesus.
In Luke 4 Satan, the Evil One, is tempting Jesus. Vs. 3 – Jesus, in combating the Evil One did not bring raving accusations, did not huff and puff and preach him down. He stood on the Word, that is, the sword. What is the sword in our armament to fight the enemy? Paul says it is the Word of God. There are two words in Greek for a sword, and Paul uses the word for the short sword here, one that is used in close combat, not the big hacking sword. Jesus quotes the Bible, using the short sword. All these three texts that Jesus quotes comes from Deuteronomy.
What has the devil done to Jesus? He tempted him with his flesh – he says, ‘turn these stones into bread, you are hungry you have been fasting in the desert – let me tempt your flesh Jesus.’ Jesus says, ‘no, hear the Word of the Lord.’ Then he says, ‘look Jesus look with your eyes, the lust of your eyes – all the kingdoms of this world, I will give them to you.’ Jesus says, ‘no – hear the Word of the Lord.’ Then Satan appeals to Jesus’ pride, ‘O Jesus you are the Son of God, if you jump off this peak of the temple, the angels will come and save you.’ Jesus says, ‘no.’ I am suggesting to you that in the temptation of Jesus, he confronted not only the evil outside of himself, Satan; he also confronted the evil inclination within himself—because the two are inseparable. Can Jesus have this inclination to evil? Absolutely. Scripture says he was tempted at all points just like you and me, he was fully man. In this battle with the adversary Jesus conquered not only the evil outside of him, he confronted and conquered the evil in him – the inclination to want to satisfy the flesh, to satiate the lust of the eyes and to assume power and pride. And so must you and I.
So when Jesus teaches us to pray, he is teaching us to confront these issues. How do we confront them? In the same way Jesus did. Jm. 4:7, 10 – you confront this by submitting yourselves to God, be fully under God’s authority; then you can resist the devil and he will flee from you. The adversary says, ‘let me lift you up.’ But if he does, the Lord will put you down. But if you submit to the Lord and humble yourself (put yourselves down before him), he will lift you up. So James says to us, ‘the way to do deal with evil – both the evil one and the evil within us – is first of all to submit to God.’
It is not a coincidence that this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer comes at the end of the prayer. Yet too often preaching against Satan comes first on the agenda of many in the church. Actually the prayer of Jesus ends with this phrase. The phrase - ‘thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory’ was added later, taken from David’s prayer in 1 Chron. 29. The early manuscripts don’t have this phrase, that is why we know Jesus’ prayer ended with the phrase under discussion. The last thing Jesus said was, ‘deliver us from the evil one.’ Because on God’s agenda – if you seek him first as your Father, if you practice his presence, focus your mind, your time being preoccupied with his Word and his identity and his love, if your pray earnestly that you will sanctify his name by all you do, if your deepest desire is for his kingship to be established and his will to be done in your life — then he is going to give you your sufficiency for each day, what is needed. He is going to forgive you as you forgive others, and he is going to protect you from your inclination to fall victim to temptation, to pursue the lust of the flesh, of the eyes, of the pride of life. And he will deliver you from the Evil One.
* This is an audio transcript, listen to the original message here.