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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

If you are at all familiar with the traditional 'Lord's Prayer', you should recognize this phrase as one of the final phrases in this prayer, and the final request. No doubt this prayer, as taught by our Lord Jesus to His disciples had more of an immediate significance to them, eschatologically speaking, but I believe that we might as easily 'voice' this prayer today.

As we struggle with temptations ( of all kinds ) daily, even though we are the New Temple of God, and bask in His Presence every day; we ought to realize that, though our conscience has been cleansed, we still deal with those who may yet live under the shackles of Law ( or so they may believe ), not to mention the fact that though we are a ( made ) new creation, the Body of Christ, and The Temple of the Holy Spirit, we are still human beings, with natural inclinations ( desires ), not altogether a bad thing!

Our prayer might better be directed toward our mothers, brothers and sisters today, for we are the Body of Christ! Physically speaking ( please don't get me wrong; I am not discounting the Spiritual ), it is to each other that we should direct our prayer, for although, as James said, it is from within that these ( evil ) desires come, if there is no object for that desire, there can be no ( evil ) desire. This is not to say that all desire is wrong ( evil ), but more often than not, desire is based on feelings ( still not altogether a bad thing ), and when those feelings change, which they most often do, at some point, and to whatever extent, the desire changes! As our desires change, our relationships often suffer, because they are ultimately based on feelings!

Feelings are not altogether a bad thing either; God gave them to us! They are one of the five physical senses that He built into us, as well as being a sort of sixth sense, spiritually speaking, which enables us, in our spirit, to know certain things which may not be ascertainable to the physical senses! If we are led by the Holy Spirit of God that is within us, our feelings should relate to us the sense that certain natural tendencies are wrong, while certain others are right and good.

Too often, and sometimes without realizing it, we tend to lead our brother, sister, father or mother into temptation, either by our words, actions or both. If we dress a certain way or act in a certain manner toward others, the other person may perceive the wrong message and act, or react rather, in a way that is not pleasing in God's sight, or in the sight of His People! Even in these situations, it is not so much the actions of the first person that are wrong, but in the reaction of the second. Even so, we should heed this injunction to the Body of Christ, and do our best not to lead our brother, sister, father or mother into temptation!

Being the Body of Christ, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit that we are, we still have those human tendencies, which can lead us either way! This is where necessary Communion with the Body of Christ comes in; when we stay in Fellowship with the Light, it becomes easier to overcome those ( wrong ) tendencies. Not all physical tendencies are wrong ( in fact, many are good and right altogether ), and as we are strengthened by that necessary Communion, our tendencies will lead us more into the realm of Right, rather than Wrong, God, as opposed to Evil!

This is not, as I must declare always, to discount the infinitely powerful work of the Holy Spirit, but more often than not I believe, God works through His People to accomplish His Will! In all things, and in all ways, His Will, His Purpose is accomplished, and so I agree with the musical artist, Jewel; 'We are Gad's Hands'!

Charles Haddon Shank



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