Half a million dead, mass protests around the globe—do you think we are being tested?
Is life a test? And if so, what do we need to do to pass the test?
Jesus never led a political movement, and when they tried to make him king, he ran away.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything; he actually does everything.
In Matthew 6, he tells us to pray, “Our Father… forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
“Father… lead us not into temptation,” implies that sometimes the Father does lead us into temptation. Why would he do that?
The word translated “temptation” is also translated “test.” Why would God test us?
But the word also means “temptation.” To be tempted is to be tested with evil.
Why would God want to lead us into a situation in which we would be enticed to want what our Father doesn’t want? “Evil” is that which God does not will.
James writes that God does not tempt with evil.
But, does God lead us into temptation, such that the tempter—the “Accuser”, would tempt us?
It would make sense that the Accuser would tempt us to not forgive; unforgiveness is the unforgiveable sin. You must pay for unforgiveness with forgiveness.
Jesus then says, “…If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Unforgiven… and yet our trespasses were forgiven on a tree in a garden at least two thousand years ago, if not from the foundation of the world.
Forgiveness is undeserved Love. The moment you receive it is the moment you give it. Love is not a decision you make; it’s the decision that makes you.
Forgiveness is an infinite river of Life called Love. To refuse to forgive is to dam the river, such that the life dies, and the love begins to burn… the ego.
Forgiveness is like a Kingdom. It isn’t just a ticket into the Kingdom; it’s the substance of the Kingdom.
Forgiveness is the Father’s Banquet on the Seventh Day of Creation, when and where “Everything is good,” and “It is finished.”
The door to that Seventh Day is a tree in the middle of a garden.
You can no longer find that garden in Mesopotamia; you will find it in the temple of your soul.
So, does God test us? Yes, absolutely.
Is it because he doesn’t know something? No, absolutely not.
We are not being tested because God doesn’t know something.
We are being tested because we don’t know God, our “Helper.”
So, does God lead us into temptation to be tempted by the Tempter?
Well, remember Adam, or Abraham, or Israel, or Adam—the last Adam, Jesus?
The first Adam was tested and failed to choose the Good. He didn’t know what it was.
Abraham succeeded, but it was actually something in Abraham, not of Abraham, called Faith… and when the faith was revealed, a lamb was slaughtered.
Israel was tested in the wilderness. Israel failed, but God provided Bread from heaven and water from a broken Rock… and both were Jesus.
The Last Adam was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Tempter. And where the first Adam failed, the last Adam passed the test, because he didn’t put His Father to the test.
When God leads us into temptation, the temptation is always to put him to the test.
Romans 11:32: “[The Father] consigned all to disobedience, [led them into temptation] that he may have mercy on all,” [that’s Forgiveness].
It’s our Father’s heart that hangs on the tree in the Garden.
Every time we sin, we take the Life of Love on the tree in the Garden.
But every moment we believe that our Father gives the Life of Love on the tree in the Garden, we witness the Last Adam rising in the garden tomb of our souls—as Faith.
Forgiveness is the judgment of God that destroys the ego and reveals Christ in you, the righteousness of God—Faith.
We are justified by Faith through Grace—Forgiveness.
It is how we are made in the image of God, our Father.
So why pray, “…lead us not into temptation”?
My son Coleman crashed my truck, and I forgave him that truck, and I was happy to do so because I want him to know that I love him more than a truck.
But now I’ve got a new truck….
If Coleman stopped believing in my love, I would need to arrange for Coleman to crash another truck. But I’d rather that Coleman wouldn’t put me and my love to the test, because it hurts everyone, every time Coleman crashes a truck.
When you doubt that God is Love and his word is Good…
When you doubt that God has justified you, and so you begin to justify yourself and compete with your neighbors…
When you sin…you put God to the test, whether you know it or not.
To pray, “…lead us not into temptation,” is to pray, “Father, I no longer need to put you to the test, for I believe you have passed the test; I believe I am thoroughly loved and entirely forgiven. So, I forgive as I am forgiven. I’m ready to join the party.”
I don’t think God “needs” you to do something.
I think God wants you to see something.
And when you see that something, you will do all things… with him.