Lent Midweek 1. “Christ’s Walk: Temptation” James 1:13-18

Merry Lent! In the Name of Jesus. Amen. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God would “lead us not into temptation.” We know that He does not tempt us. We know that God “cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13). We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God would guard and keep us safe – that he would guard us from the devil, that he would guard us from temptations in the world to go against God, that he would guard us from ourselves and all the ways we are led to evil and despair by our own sinful selves.
We pray because we are tempted. We pray because we are tempted wherever we go. We pray because we are tempted first thing when we wake up. We are tempted when we go off to our work. We encounter temptations we never realized even existed as we go throughout our day. We encounter the same old ones we succumb to over and over again and the new ones with their new fanciful allure. Temptation is everywhere. Every step we take leads us closer to the next temptation. Every step we take is filled with its own temptations.
It is easy for you to do something you know God does not approve of. It is easy for you to say over and over again that what you are doing is the best option – even though you know God says it wrong. It is easy for you to walk away from what God calls good. It is easy for our feet to wander. It is easy for us to disconnect from the source of all that our hearts truly desire. It is easy for us to disconnect from the God of all life and everything good.
We pray to God because Jesus knows this. Jesus knows the walk we must take everyday with temptation all around us. Jesus walked this road our own wandering feet must go. Jesus faced the power of temptation. Jesus faced the full power of Satan. He knows.
Jesus knows and yet he overcame. Jesus knows the power of the temptation we face. He overcame every temptation in order to go the cross – for us. He fought the power of Satan and won. Jesus has taken all of us with Him in His victory over temptation. We are victorious over temptation because of what He has done for us.
We definitely still are tempted – constantly. It is through the power of His victory which we claim victory over our temptation. It is through Christ’s Words of Love and Forgiveness to us that we say to Satan “I am a child of God!” “I am baptized into Christ!” It is through Jesus’ power over temptation that we pray to Him knowing that, in our temptation, He has provided a way of escape that we may endure (1 Cor. 10:13).
As you face temptation, stop thinking it is all about you and your temptation. If you are left alone with our ancient foe to be tempted, you will lose. It is not about you. Instead, it is about Jesus. It is about Jesus who faced temptation and won. It is about Jesus who suffered the cross for you. It is about Jesus who has victory over the ancient foe and brings you with Him into paradise. That is what makes this Lent, and every Lent, a merry Lent. Merry Lent! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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