At our small group that I referred to in the last post, we watched Rick Warren’s video on the study book, “40 Days of Prayer.’ Rick Warren has the Lord’s Prayer broken down into 10 beautiful, insightful aspects of prayer. Rick has broken down each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer into ten prayers we are expressing each time we quote the Lord’s Prayer. If you wish to learn more about the specifics, I recommend that you get the book and also purchase the video series that goes with the study guide/workbook to learn more. You will find the nuggets that will resonate with your Core being as what you seek to express as you pray.
“Lead Us Not into Temptation”
With that background, I want to share what struck me from one part of the fourth lesson. Rick calls the phrase “lead us not into temptation” the prayer of protection. That is the precursor to the next phrase, “deliver us from evil” which he calls the prayer of deliverance.
Temptation and evil are clearly different. Temptation is a good example of the triggering association that can push our Core identity into the background with a Relation self taking charge. If a Relational self takes over, the likelihood that we act out our old adamic nature increases. If we act upon our temptation, we will sin.
Sin, The Operational Definition
James, the Apostle wrote an operational definition of sin. In James 4:17 we read, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Temptation faces us with an action that if taken goes against the very thing that that we know is right to do. In that action, we sin and need the prayer of deliverance.
But focus with me on the cry to be delivered from temptation, the prayer of protection. I you are a Child of God, your desire in your Core being is to please God through your exercise of faith and to worship God through the life you lead. But there is a trap that can be sprung if we do not seek the Lord’s protection.
Remember that the Relational selves are created for the purpose of socializing us to interact with our material world. The Relational selves often associate to keeping the social rules as we relate to fellow human beings. These have the tendency to follow the old nature in the direction of wrong actions or sin. They are evoked by and associated to how we feel about things going on around us based on past experiences.
If you are not living mindfully from your Core being and listening to the Holy Spirit, your Relational selves are in control and you run the risk of sinning.
Feeling Tempted is Not Sin, But…
I was speaking at a Christian Men’s Conference and introduced the idea that temptation was not sin. It stunned some of the young men there. The feedback I received from a number of them was relief because they believed that they should not even have temptation. Temptation is a reality of the human condition.
Consider Jesus as He walked this Earth, fully God yet fully human. You have read of the temptations Jesus encountered. Scripture says of Him that He knew no sin, He did no sin, and in Him was no sin, but He was made sin for us to become our atonement. Yet He was tempted. In other words, when Christ experienced temptation He only did what He knew was right.
Protected From Temptation
Rick called the Christian to reflect on temptation in a different way that are what we should rationalize as the”little sins” that we need to recognize. In recognizing them, you will find temptations each us and keep us from living as fully as we could from our Core being.
I am giving some of his examples and a few of mine, like…
- wanting to do things perfectly
- ignoring another person’s cry for help
- sleeping in on Sunday mornings
- seeking a comfortable, easy life
- believing we deserve reward for serving Him
- doing the unimportant
But one struck me between the eyes, “the temptation to do the unimportant.”
When I look at the things that keep me from writing a post, the unimportant can consume me. I get caught up watching a series on Netflix that spreads over 10 episodes per season and a total of three or more seasons. The unimportant to which I refer consumes my attention for 30 to 40 hours. My Relational selves say, “I have earned a break.” (Let’s include playing hours of digital games, also.) So spread over days or weeks, my Core desire to express what might help someone grow, goes out the window. That meaningless waste of time was the contributing factor in my feelings of discouragement for not posting more often.
Also, I have a project that is finished in my mind and on paper, but this temptation to which I have allowed myself to succumb has left a fruition with myself. To some one that I might do life coaching for I might say, “It sounds like a worthy project, just do it. Do I listen to my Core desire? No, the Relational selves that developed in childhood come forward and piddle around.
I have allowed the unimportant to distract me. The project that I have which I wish to complete is on 2 Peter 1:3-9. The current working title is “Have You Taken Your Supplements?” The passage is about growing in faith beyond that which is basic and child-like. I believe the Lord has given me some unique insights that are in keeping with what I teach from my Core Integrity Model.
I should not need this to be motivated to complete this project, but another temptation is to wonder if anybody really wants this material which to give into the temptation is to just leave it on the shelf. You might be able to help me with some reasonable encouragement. If Faith Supplements might be something of interest to you, please comment on this post and/or share this with a friend.
Or, even more desired would be for me to receive an email from you to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your thoughts.