Don’t Poke the Bear!
For many avoiding temptation is a struggle. Jesus knew that his followers had issues with enticement. When asked by one of his disciples on instructions on how to pray, Jesus included these words, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil, [or] the evil one.” Luke 11:4
When a Christ-follower learns to pray they discover that prayer teaches them what to pursue or to avoid in the activity of life. Therefore, earnest and serious action should be taken to avoid temptation. Our desire should be to walk so carefully in the direction of obedience, that we might never tantalize the devil into tempting us. To use a term my wife uses, “Don’t Poke the Bear!” (This is in reference to not over stimulating a small child, resulting in unpredictable bad behavior). You should not venture into the cave where bears reside thinking it’s ok cause their hibernating—you might pay dearly for such a presumption. It is one thing for a bear to cross your path and chase you, but it is entirely foolish for you to go hunting after him.
Christ having had experience with temptation and knew what it meant to be tempted earnestly admonished his disciples to pray that they would not enter into temptation. Christ-follower pray that you may be spared the tempter’s snare. When left on our own, however, we wander off the path of obedience and become tempted. This is why Jesus included in the prayer, “deliver us from evil.” God’s one-and-only Son was without sin, but he was not immune from temptation. We must always be on the watch for Satan, because, like a thief, he will give no indication of his tactics.
Satan expects to catch you unaware, unprepared, and unguarded when making his attack. This danger can be avoided when you’ve prepared yourself in prayer. There are some famous old sayings that apply here; “Forewarned is forearmed!” “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Christ-follower, prevention is better than trying for a cure. Christ-follower, it is better to be so well armed that the devil will not attack you, than to go through the dangers of the fight, even if you end up winning.
Friends the days are saturated in evil. Begin praying now that you may not be tempted, and then also, if you are, that you may be delivered from the evil one.