Friday, March 4

Jesus' Prayer - Spiritual Warfare I

According to the 1992 World Almanac, tourists were being encouraged to visit Chernobyl just 6 years after the nuclear accident that released deadly radiation throughout the area. In 1986, the Russian tourist bureau invited travelers to tour the city of Chernobyl, the radioactive waste dump at Kopachi and the concrete vault that is built around the reactor. All visitors would be given a free radiation test at the beginning and end of the tour. If medical treatment was needed, it would be provided “at no extra charge.”

Sounds like a trip to start planning for! Let’s review our vacation packages for this summer: Turks and Caicos, Cancun, Alaska, Chernobyl. Hard choice. All look appealing, right?

Most of us would think twice before taking advantage of this last vacation package … even if it was with free medical benefits, free accommodations and free food. We value our lives too much to go to a place that would expose us to nuclear danger. And yet, how often do we allow ourselves to go to places that could do us great spiritual harm? It doesn't make any sense.

Read: Matthew 6:9-13
9Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. 13Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’
When was that last time you asked God the Father to help you handle temptation? Is your view of God actively involved with you in your temptation? In other words, where do you picture God when you are being tempted? Is he there with you cheering you on? Is he looking down expecting you to fail? Is he busy somewhere and trusting you to take care of business alone? What is your view of God in your temptation?

James makes it very clear that God does not tempt us to sin but that he allows trials in our lives which will have choices of will attached to them. In fact, the word for temptation and the word for trial are the same exact word. Only the context can tell you which is meant. And so, as is often the case, our trials can become temptations.

A temptation is a test of will for us. How we handle the trial/temptation tells a lot about our spiritual condition.

In this part of the prayer Jesus is encouraging us to talk to God about our temptations and trials. To ask Him for help. To give us discernment and wisdom. If we are not wise we might stroll right into Chernobyl without knowing it.

Stop and ask God for wisdom in trials. Ask him for mercy to not give you more than you can handle. Ask him for the strength equal to the task vs. an easy road.

Do you have any Chernobyl’s in your life? Are you slowly poisoning yourself? The above picture is of a boy and his mom that were part of the Chernobyl fallout. Look at it again! It is a sad picture. Very sobering. I picked it hoping for a reaction. Does your soul look like that boy from the fallout of temptation and sin? Do you need some "no extra charge" medical treatment? Take it to God in prayer. Surrender these to God.

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