And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
The Lord’s Prayer is amazingly progressive. One thing leads to another. Jesus didn’t just splatter out a list of helpful hints; He gave a process for us to follow.
In my last post, I dove into forgiveness and repentance. I showed how the act of forgiveness can’t be bypassed by my focusing on repentance. This sounds very obvious, but I showed that at our primal core, we could accept the blame and then repent rather than forgive.
Temptations & My Forgiveness
Today I want to share something amazing. When I forgive and am forgiven, the power of temptations coming my way are lessened. So if I have an onslaught of temptation, I may need to look at the potholes in my forgiveness. Does evil have a door to walk through because I opened it with my unforgiveness?
Jesus knew our hearts because He lived in a human body, tempted by everything that tempts us. He didn’t have a God-badge to flash in Satan’s face nor a backstage pass of escape; He was completely human while being entirely divine. He is our High Priest and acquainted with all our weaknesses; this includes all of our pitfalls.
Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.
Hebrews 2:18 NLT
Forgiveness is Essential
Christ, knowing our frailty, provided a pattern of prayer with us specifically in mind. It wasn’t happenstance; it was a purposed order. And for the purpose of this post, I’ll limit it to what precedes forgiveness—the provision of food. Forgiveness, both received and given, follows daily sustenance. Forgiveness is essential and basic, a core focus of our prayers and life. And THEN comes my deliverance from EVIL, and the help with temptations that plague my soul.
Whatever our propensity or weakness might be, our freedom rides the wave of our forgiveness. I need to be reminded of this whenever I feel put upon by my soul. Dealing with those who offend me by forgiving them leads to my own forgiveness, which then ensures the diminishment of temptation’s power. Temptations will arise, but their power to entice me will be lessened!
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.
Hebrews 4:15 NLT
Temptations and Deliverance
So when my besetting sin mounts up like a wave to drown me…maybe I should inquire of the Spirit to show me who I need to forgive. The words in the Lord’s Prayer aren’t just some hanging chad but a prescription for answered prayer. If I am forgiven as I forgive, temptation and deliverance from evil WILL come.