Moment of Transformation:
PROGRESSIVE CONQUEST OF EVIL
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 NKJV
It is not the order and will of God to shield His people from temptation…. When truth takes possession of the heart, the Christian will be brought into conflict…. There are opposing elements in his own household, even in his own heart, and nothing but the free Spirit of God can ensure for him the victory.
The beginning of yielding to temptation is in the sin of permitting the mind to waver, to be inconsistent in your trust in God. The wicked one is ever watching for a chance to misrepresent God, and to attract the mind to that which is forbidden. If he can, he will fasten the mind upon the things of the world. He will endeavour to excite the emotions, to arouse the passions, to fasten the affections on that which is not for your good; but it is for you to hold every emotion and passion under control, in calm subjection to reason and conscience. Then Satan loses his power to control the mind. The work to which Christ calls us is to the work of progressive conquest over spiritual evil in our characters. Natural tendencies are to be overcome…. Appetite and passion must be conquered, and the will must be placed wholly on the side of Christ.
We pray to our heavenly Father, “Lead us not into temptation,” and then, too often, we fail to guard our feet against leading us into temptation. We are to keep away from the temptations by which we are easily overcome. Our success is wrought out by ourselves through the grace of Christ. We are to roll out of the way the stone of stumbling that has caused us and others so much sadness.
Temptation and trial will come to us all, but we need never be worsted by the enemy. Our Saviour has conquered in our behalf. Satan is not invincible…. Christ was tempted that He might know how to help every soul that should afterward be tempted. Temptation is not sin; the sin lies in yielding. To the soul who trusts in Jesus, temptation means victory and greater strength.
Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 87 – March 23
Quote of the Day “It is easier to stay out than get out.” Mark Twain
Did You Know?
“…And Lead Us Not Into Temptation…” But does God actually lead us to do wrong? No. In our idiom, this would sound more like, “And keep us out of trouble.”
The petition should perhaps be understood as a request, “Do not permit us to enter into temptation” (see 1 Cor. 10:13; see on Ps. 141:4). This part of the Lord’s Prayer is sometimes understood as a plea to God to remove all temptation from us. But God’s promise is not that we shall be protected from temptation, but that we shall be protected from falling (John 17:15). Too often we willfully place ourselves in the way of temptation (see Prov. 7:9). Truly to pray “lead us not into temptation” is to renounce the ways of our own choosing and to submit to the ways of God’s choosing.
Francis D. Nichol, ed., The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 347.
What do you need to present to God in prayer in order to “to guard our [your] feet against leading us [you] into temptation”?
This Week’s Homework