Believing in God Who is With Me in Temptations

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The Vatican may soon approve changes to one of the most popular prayer there ever was—the Lord’s Prayer. Yes, the Vatican. The Vatican who rarely changes to keep up with the time. The Vatican who is hardly culturally relevant.

Before you are filled with despair that even the Vatican is compromising scripture to be appeasing to the Millennials, the Leftists, the women, or whatever meme news you have read, let’s remember that this is the Vatican. And Pope Francis, I believe, has a valid point to make to initiate this change.

It will change how you see how God is for you.

The Italian Episcopal Conference (go Italy!) has reportedly sent changes to the Vatican (which they seem likely to approve) to change the line “lead us not into temptation” in the Lord’s Prayer to read “abandon us not when in temptation.” During a television interview, the pope reportedly disputed the translation of the phrase, lead us not into temptation saying,

“A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”

Wow. That is so correct. That changes our view of God, right?

Temptations are the devil’s department. Nasty, personal, devastating temptations. Even there God has not abandoned us. Or as Psalm 139 tell us just before we find out we are wonderfully created, but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. V. 12.

How often as a child when you sinned, like one of those really bad sins of lying to your parent, did you go to your room and feel like now God did not like you or was disappointed in you?

How often last month when you sinned, like one of those really bad sins you’ve been struggling with since you were 16, have you hidden in your life and believe that God is forever disappointed in you?

How does this little change make you feel knowing that in that temptation–the one you have beaten yourself up over for so long–that God likes you so much that he is with you in that temptation! Not abandoning you! Not condemning you! God who is with you in that lot-of-ugly cannot be disappointed in you because he sees and he knows what all that ugly is. He knows who is the father of that ugly and it isn’t him.

Turns out the Pope (and the Italian Episcopals) aren’t the only ones to struggle with this. The late theologian and 19th-century revivalist Charles Spurgeon preached about this in the 1860s. The New Living Translation has also tweaked the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 to be “And don’t let us yield to temptation.” I’d say that this struggle with this part of the Lord’s Prayer is not a new conversation.

But it may be new to you. I am praying that it is freeing to you. I really do want you to stop giving into that temptation. I want you to find that new street. I am tired of your excuses. You know the ones you repeat often:

“Everything is fine.”
“Everything is going to work out.”
“I’ll get through this.”
“I can handle this.”
It’s all going to be all right.”

(We who love you are soooooo tired of those excuses.)

Maybe this turn of the Lord’s Prayer can be a beginning for you.

The Lord’s Prayer is a very memorized prayer. It is prayed rotely for many. Perhaps you can change that memorization when you are with your people? “Abandon us not when in temptation” is a grammar tongue twister but it also flows. And is freeing.

(Photo credit:  Tobias Adam, Unsplash.com)

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