Once again, I am branching off from our study in Luke today. Rudy Ross has an excellent interpretation of Luke 21.12-24 on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please go there to listen to the interview that I conducted with Rudy on the subject of the End Times.
You would think that someone who has spent over 50 years in the ministry, who is 72 years old, and who has had hip replacement surgery wouldn’t have to deal with temptation and testing.
No doubt, the temptations and tests have changed over the years, but they are still a reality that needs to be confronted.
Today’s blog article features some of the ways that we can access the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power to have victory over temptation and testing.
Watch and Pray
Before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told his close followers: “Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26.41).
For centuries, the church has set aside certain hours where people have been encouraged to pray. The hours match significant events in the life of Jesus.
The great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, shortened the hours to two distinct times of prayer. He wrote a devotional prayer book that was called, “Morning and Evening.”
I think Spurgeon’s idea of starting and ending the day with prayer is a great plan.
One pastor pictured his day as that of walking through a muddy field. If you have done this, you know that every step in the mud adds more mud to your shoes.
This pastor made it a practice to unload all of the “mud” of his day in prayer. The trials, temptation, and tests of the day are best handled when we give them to the Lord.
We start the day in prayer, but also need spend time in prayer at the end of the day. This will allow us to finish the day well.
Guard Your Heart
Imagine walking in the dark with a candle. The candle is your only source of light and without it you will stumble.
When we guard our hearts, we live in such a way that the “light” of the Holy Spirit will direct our paths.
Rudy Ross will cover Luke 21.34-35 in his explanation of Luke 21 this week. For now, consider how we can guard our inside condition.
— Luke 21.34-35a – “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.”
The entry point of temptation, trials, and testing is our mind. We need to treat what enters our minds with the same diligence as what enters our eyes.
When dirt or some other object gets in our eyes, our immediate reaction is to see it as an irritant and remove it.
We do well to apply the same care to our thoughts, as we do to our eyes. When a temptation, trial, or test enters, it needs to be immediately removed.
As one spiritual leader said, “When the devil knocks at our door, ask Jesus to answer it.”
When a negative or destructive thought occurs, give it to Jesus in prayer.
Paul counseled the church, “Pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Rudy Ross approaches continual prayer by always having Jesus in the conversation of his mind. I aspire to do the same thing.
Frank Laubach knew that people are always thinking. He tried to always involve Jesus in his thoughts.
Laubach said this about his method of prayer. “It is the hardest thing that I do, but it makes everything else easier.”
As we guard what thoughts we allow into our minds (watch) and include Jesus in our thought life (pray), we will have greater success with temptation, trials, and times of testing.
I encourage you to listen to the interview I did with Rudy on the End Times. It is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.