L et me make a couple observations about the ways God provides for us in times of temptation. First, God provides a way out for us by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. When we pray for deliverance from temptation, we pray to the Savior who has gone before us! We pray to a Savior who knows the struggle of temptation and is also victorious over temptation and sin. He has overcome temptation and withstood its effects.
God knows our ever-constant battle with temptation. God knows what difficulties we face and what we struggle with. And God knows what traps we always seem to fall into. On the cross, Jesus saved us from all of that. Jesus Christ took our penalty through the cross. He interceded for our sin and took our penalty. God provides a way out for us by Jesus’s sheer gift of being our substitute on the cross.
Second, God also provides for us in times of temptation through his Word. By looking at Christ, we see an example of how he faced temptation. Remember that as soon as Jesus Christ was baptized, the skies opened up and a voice from heaven spoke these words, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). What happened next? Satan tempted Jesus for 40 days and nights. With each temptation, whether it was for Jesus to eat or to give into comfort or to bow down to Satan, Jesus recited Scripture. He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 saying, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He quoted the Psalms, saying, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” And again, he quoted Deuteronomy, saying, “For it is written, worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”
And we can do the same. In order to fight temptation, we need to know the Word of God. We need to place special verses in our hearts—like 1 Corinthians 10:13: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” And also 1 John 5:21: “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.” Let us, therefore, love one another.
Lastly, God also provides a way for us to endure temptation through prayer. This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” He was not telling us to pray that we never encounter temptation. Rather, he wanted us to pray that we not give in to temptation when faced with it. Remember, Christ has gone before us. He is victorious over temptation and sin.
Prayer: Father God, fill our hearts with mutual love, compassion, and understanding. Help us to be forgiving of each other’s mistakes and failures, so that our family may reflect God’s presence in our lives and church. Grant us family harmony, unity, and peace. In Jesus’s name, amen.
June Denny is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, located in Mescalero, New Mexico. She retired from the federal government after 36 years of service. June has been an active member and elder of the Mescalero Reformed Church for many years and has been instrumental in its success. She has served in many different roles as a lay leader and treasurer, and she has helped shape the church’s growth through her role as an ordained elder. She was instrumental in reintroducing the singing of Apache hymns and saying the prayer in her language during regular Sunday services. (These aspects were missing from services for a brief time.) Among the many ways she has served at the denominational level, Elder Denny had the honor of serving on the RCA’s Commission on Nominations and the Commission on Race and Ethnicity.