If you're a genuine believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan and his demons will tempt you. But we also know from the Word of God that God has given us the power to have victory over Satan's temptation (see James 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 10:13).
God never tempts us, but we tempt God.
The problem is that we tempt ourselves. We know Satan tempts us, but we can also tempt ourselves when we put ourselves into situations that cause our sinful flesh to rise up and crave what is ungodly. In those moments, we become our own worst enemies.
When Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation," He meant us to ask God to empower us not to tempt ourselves nor to tempt God.
But, how do we tempt God? Don't get me wrong, God cannot be tempted by evil. That is not what I mean at all. But we can presume on God's mercy and grace. When we place ourselves in situations where we force God to intervene to rescue us, we are tempting God to give us what we deserve.
The Bible is very clear: God never tempts us, but we tempt or test God (see James 1:13-15; Exodus 17:2; Deuteronomy 6:16; Malachi 3:15; Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12). For example, Samson tempted God repeatedly. He kept forcing God to intervene to save him from different situations that he got himself into. Finally, after delivering him again and again, God gave him up to the consequences of his foolishness.
Many committed Christians subconsciously fall into temptation like Samson. Every time you are blessed by God, you must be on guard. You may begin to think, "God has blessed me in all these physical ways, so what I do secretly, my morals and the attitude of my heart, must not be important to God. After all, God must be pleased with me. I can do no wrong."
That's exactly what got Samson into trouble. He kept using God's strength to serve his will; he kept using God's blessings to serve his own purposes. May we learn from his mistakes and humble ourselves before the Lord, trusting God's purposes for our lives for His glory and our good.
Prayer: Father, lead me not into temptation. Help me never to use Your blessings for my own purposes but to enjoy them as I pour them out in service to You and others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon The Prayer That God Answers, Part 9: LISTEN NOW