Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Do Not Let Us Fall . . .


1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Let's not fool ourselves.  Temptations are rampant in this world, ringing our doorbells, our cell phones and our social media for recognition and submission to their alluring whims.  It is, as the Scripture above states, common to mankind.

But it's not part of God's plan for us to fall into the traps others might lay along our path.  Recently, I have to intercede, rather forcefully, but I pray, lovingly, to make my point with a person very dear to me.  It's not where I want to be.  After all, who wants to nail another on a major shortcoming when I know I have my own to bear?  My own plank in the eye when I'm trying to remove the mote from another's?

Yet, the disastrous potential for this loved one begs intervention, encouragement, and assurance of support.  He is currently blinded by the promises of the world, false at best, evil at worst.  His choices made in the recent past have been neither wise nor life-giving.

I can't stand idly by without attempting, at least, to be his voice of reason.  A convincing, convicting voice of reason.  And that wisdom comes only from God, by humbling myself in prayer and supplication before Him

Ironically, Pope Francis' recent proclamation to change The Lord's Prayer hits the nail on the head for me.  What follows is an excerpt from an article published on Fox News:

The Catholic leader changed the phrase "lead us not into temptation" to "do not let us fall into temptation," as mentioned in the gospel of Matthew 6:13, because the original translation implies that God induces temptation.  The change, officials said, is closer to the original intent of the prayer.  "I am the one who falls; it's not Him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen," Francis explained to Italian broadcasters about the phrase change.  "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."

I like this change, because in my heart, I know it's true.  God never tempts us, only Satan does.  It is our faith in God's saving grace that allows us to resist the temptations that bombard us daily, and threaten to separate us from Him.

So, my constant and consistent prayer for this loved one in need of the Father's guiding hand, is that he would come to know that God stands at the ready to help him resist the temptations that would destroy the life the Lord has planned for him.  God always provides the way out when we trust in Him.

Let us pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Do not let us fall into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.

Amen!

26 comments:

  1. A great post with many points of great value.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 is a dear quotation for me, as I often find the need for His guidance and help. Let's face it, God is not in the business of losing His followers. No business would go out of its way to get rid of its customers. It will not remain long in business. God would leave 99 people and go search for one that is lost. It is called love.

    I know exactly what you mean by a loved one of yours going astray. I have personal experience of this. It is very difficult to know where the line is between helping them, advising them, and interfering. A priest told me once that because the individual was over 16 he is responsible for his own life. "You cannot live your life through other peoples' " he said. It hurt. But I knew, eventually, that apart from advice, I should also show love, and be there for them when they need it. But most of all, the greatest gift I could give them was prayer. Really trusting in God that He has the situation under control. If we don't trust God, then what is the point of going on?

    I am not so sure about the Pope's change to the Lord's Prayer. I understand what he means, and somehow I agree with him on this. My concern is that he has been a very controversial Pope, not universally liked within the Catholic Church, so this change in something so fundamental as the Lord's Prayer will be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Perhaps, had the change been made by another Pope at another time, say John Paul II, it would have been more easily accepted.

    Sorry to write for so long, Martha. It's because yours today has been such a brilliant post.

    God bless.

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    1. Victor, I so appreciate the time you took to write such a lengthy and thoughtful comment, and your input has really struck home for me. And yes, I'm quite aware that the current Pope is controversial, even among Catholics, and there is much that I can disagree with, but this simply made sense to me, especially when I heard a priest explain it on a news show.
      And I'm so humbled by your kind and complimentary words, my friend. Thank you!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I do agree with Victor in his last line Martha. i would also add that Tough Love is never easy to administer. That is what you are doing. I pray that whatever it is you will find the daily strength from God to "keep on."

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    1. It is certainly tough love, Bill, and I need God at every turn. So does this person, though he doesn't quite see it that way yet. Praying, praying, praying! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I'm not a pope (!), but years ago, I made a similar change to this prayer. "Leave us not in temptation."

    I also changed "Give us this day our daily bread," to "Thank you this day for our daily bread." I don't think we have to ask but to be grateful for what is provided.

    Those changes might be presumptuous, but I know that the language of this prayer has been translated many times, and although I'm no scholar of these ancient languages, I hoped that my changes were aligned with the original spirit and intent of the prayer.

    I can appreciate the situation you found yourself in regarding the intervention. I am faced with a similar situation myself and trying to find my way through.

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    1. Galen, I really do love the changes you made on your own that make this all-important prayer more meaningful to you. I think the original intent, in many respects, has been "lost in the translation" over time. And thanking God for everything is so crucial, and being grateful is key to our relationship with Him. Sorry, though, that you are facing a similar situation. Extra prayers for you, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I've often pondered the Lord's prayer: "Lead us not into temptation..." and struggled to reconcile these words with James 1:13, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.' Also the wording in Matthew 4:1 that states, "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." This implies that God may lead us into temptation, or is that just a poor translation?

    Nothing can change a person's ungodly penchant like intercessory love, and this will bear eternal fruit. Even if we don't know the outcome - and of course we can't be attached to the results (this has freed me more than anything when it comes to interceding for others) we know that God hears and answers in his perfect time.

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    1. Such great questions posed here, Debra. "Lead us not into temptation" has always been a struggle for me, too. And I'm really thinking that it's the result of a poor translation.
      And thanks for your supportive words regarding intercessory love. We can't be attached to the results, as you say, but we can trust that God will answer correctly in His own time.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. We are charged with speaking truth. The rest is up to God! Praying your words will be well received and thoughtfully considered!
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Loralu. We are charged with speaking the truth, even when it hurts. Hopefully, the love we have for that person shines through with the light of Christ.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I wasn't familiar with Pope Francis' proclamation, but yes. I like this. Oh Martha, I don't envy your intercessory actions! But I pray this individual comes to realize your efforts are driven by love.

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers, Mevely! The seed has been sown, and now the rest is up to God.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, Your sweet, humble spirit is so inspiring. I trust God will give you continual wisdom in helping the one you love so dearly. So wonderful to visit with you today!

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    1. And dear Cheryl, I am honored by your visit here. The good and grand news is that this intervention and continuing prayers are working for the good of the one I love so much. Danny and I have seen a remarkable turn-around, and we are completely assured that it's God's hand at work here. May He continue to bless you and us all!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I love that you bravely face this situation out of such love for this person's soul, Martha. May God give you strength and may God give this person an about-face and lead him on the right path! Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Oh, Trudy, the good and grand news, as I mentioned to Cheryl in the previous comment, is that we can see the prayers and intervention already working! What an all-knowing, all-caring God we serve! I am humbled that He gave me the words for this loved ones when they were needed, and that He has continued to address the problem in ways I can't even begin to imagine. Feeling so relieved and blessed at the moment.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha,
    My friend, I think most of us can identify with the situation you find yourself in with a loved one. I'm praying for the Lord's wisdom and love as you prayerfully share.
    I like the translation you shared. Interesting.
    An author friend of mine wrote an amazing book called "The Art of Hard Conversation" that you may find helpful. Here's the link:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JB864V6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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    1. Thanks for the link, Beckie, I'll check it out! Glad you found the translation interesting as I certainly did.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I appreciated the change in the Lord's Prayer too to better reflect God's heart. We have enough temptations as it is without thinking that God is tempting us too! :) Thanks for sharing this, Martha Jane.

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    1. Yes, Lisa, too many temptations out there! Glad you liked this change.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Martha, My heart goes out to you with the journey you're on with your loved one. It's so hard to see those we love make unwise choices.

    I do believe I'll have to be the nay-saying voice on the Pope's change to the Lord's Prayer. The change doesn't set well with me. Something seems out of wack and just not quite right.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I hear you, Kim, regarding the change. For some reason, it doesn't rattle me, but I can certainly understand you're not caring for it. No worries! His suggestion is just that - a suggestion!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Thanks Martha for posting on what why the Pope wants to change the Lord's prayer. I did not get to watch anything on it. God's truth cannot leave any loopholes for us to depend on. Interpretation starts where they're heart is. When a translator works to get the truth of God's Word clear in another language and culture they sometimes have to make changes to make it clear. In some languages there are no word for some of our English words so they have to build it from their language so it will be meaning base and not literal based. I will pray for this one you are working with. May their heart be ready to receive the meaning of the heart of God.

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    1. Betty, I so love the insights you've shared here. Our hearts definitely need to be prepared to receive God's meaning in His Word. To me, this change makes sense, as we know the Lord never, ever deceives us.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. The thing is, Satan knows the secret proclivities and desires of the heart. He sets traps that are intended to lead us astray. He lays in wait and presents the perfect opportunities for sin to seep in. It is prudent to remember to stay vigilant and prayerful. Thanks for your post. Have a good week.

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    1. Thank you, Belle, for your insightful comment here. We do need to stay vigilant and prayerful against Satan's wiles.
      Love and blessings!

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