Learning about Temptation – Matthew 6:13
We can learn so much about God’s divine principles by watching closely a child’s development. I have been co-nurturing my great grand-daughter since she was 5 weeks old. She is now a healthy, energetic, curious explorer of nine months. I’ve learned so much by watching her continued development. God has much to say as we tune into Him and ask for His guidance in caring for our young. He is ready to gently lead us in the best way (Isaiah 40:11), after all, He created us and knows all about us before and after birth.
(Psalm 39, Philippians 1:6)
Evelyn is crawling, touching, tasting and exploring her environment “big” time. Even though I’ve provided a large area with toys, she always goes to the corner of the room to inspect the forbidden fruit- TV, and tables and all the remotes that fascinate her curiosity. I’ve made her environment safe, and all her toys accessible. When she dove into the basket which contained magazines and books, I placed on top her books, and she was happy to discover them again. (photo)
I do not want to get into a constant tug of war during this innocent exploratory stage, so I’ve moved the forbidden objects somewhere else. It wasn’t a hard thing to do. I do not believe it teaches a baby to trust their natural curiosity to allow many things which are tempting within their reach and sight and then be constantly telling them “no”. They naturally are driven to explore and satisfy their curiosity learning with all their senses from birth. And until they can distinguish safe from dangerous and with comprehension, the many “no’s” go right in one ear and out the other. But there will come a day even without the ability to comprehend “why” they will heed the warning because they have learned to trust their parent(s) who love them. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they had permission and access to all God provided. There was only “one” tree they were told was dangerous and would result in their death. But because the tree was attractive, Eve’s curiosity got the best of her and she finally got close enough to hear a different voice from God’s. She ignored God’s warning and let her own desire lead her astray, and her doubt of God’s Goodness resulted in rebellion, which resulted in choosing the path of death.
(Proverbs 14:12, Deuteronomy 30:19, Genesis 3).
Only God can overcome the temptations in this world which result in death. God came in the flesh through His Son, Jesus Christ, and overcame all the temptations of the devil. (John 1, John 4: 1-11). Now, whenever we become tempted we can go to Him because He has given us victory through His death. Jesus Christ, without sin, became sin and received our punishment by death on the cross. It is His atoning sacrifice through His blood that cleanses us from all present, past and future sins. We only need to confess it, believe it and receive it to have eternal life.
(2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 10:8-10, 1 John 1:9)
Jesus understood we live in a world of sin and temptations. While He was paying the penalty for our sins He took into account our ignorance, and prayed, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34, Isaiah 53). He forgave the world and the very ones who were nailing Him to the cross – making it necessary for His atoning sacrifice.
(John 3:16, Romans 3:23, 1 John 2:2)
So how shall we now live in a world that beckons us at every corner to rebel against God’s law? We can receive His grace and overcome temptations by receiving His free gift of salvation. We cannot do enough good to overcome our sins. One sin separates us from a Holy God.
(Ephesians 2: 8-9, Matthew 7:22-23, Isaiah 53:6).
Jesus has reconciled the whole world to a Holy God by taking on the judgment and penalty for all sin. Everyone has the opportunity to have a personal relationship with God. It is through faith in Him and repenting from sin and unbelief which transfers us into His everlasting Kingdom.
(John 3:16,Romans 10:8-13)
Before Jesus ascended into heaven following His resurrection, He promised to send His Holy Spirit to dwell in all who believe in Him. Therefore, all who accept His great salvation are never alone and no longer desire to sin because the Holy Spirit dwells in them, and if they sin they have God’s forgiveness as they come to confess it.
( 1 John 5:18, 1 John 1:9)
What parent would tell a child to leave their presence when the child confesses a wrong? Though there may be those parents who would do such a thing, God promises to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) There is no sin which He cannot forgive and would keep us away from His presence, except “unbelief”. How could it be otherwise? For if after giving us salvation through Jesus Christ, we refuse to believe and receive, there is no sacrifice for our sins, and the penalty of death remains on us. Unbelief is rebellion and the refusal to Trust God’s Word and great salvation.
Just as we watch over an innocent child and remove those things that can harm her, so does our heavenly Father, remove the obstacles that get in the way of our relationship with Him. All we need to do is to ask, and we receive every good thing from Him.
(Matthew 18:9-9, Matthew 6:13, Matthew 7:11, Romans 8:32)
One day, Jesus Christ will return to set up His Kingdom. There will be none there who continue to rebel against God, and all temptation is out of the way, for those who dwell with Him will abide in His love forever.
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 11:6
The Complete Book on Christian Parenting and Childcare
William Sears M.D.
Martha Sears R.N.