Tempting the Lord
Acts 5:9 -
Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
The Greek word used for tempt and test is the same word 'peirazo' / 'peirasmos' (temptation) which means to prove or examine. There is also another word 'ekpeirazo' which also means 'tempt', it comes from the combination of two words 'ek' (which means by or out of) and the word 'peirazo'.
In English tempt and test as we understand means 2 different thing. To know if the Greek word means tempt or test one needs to read the context of the scripture. The purpose towards the result of the test / temptation defines the translation of the word 'peirazo', if it is test or tempt.
We need to understand, God as well as Satan put us through tests. God does it to increase us and Satan to destroy us. When God puts us through a test He assesses us, builds us and promotes us, although the result is good but the way is hard therefore Jesus asks us to pray that God does not test us but by His grace we grow and not by being tested. Satan on the other hand put us in tests with the purpose to get us to fall and be condemned before the Lord. Satan wants us to be destroyed but since he cannot harm our spirits he tries to get us condemned by the Lord and thus get us to fall in the wrath of God and our spirits be consumed.
To test us Satan makes us to get attached to out carnal man and on the other hand when God tests us He sets us to be led by our spirit man. God also strengthens our spirit man by His Spirit so that we do not fail.
James puts it well in James 1:13-14, he says let on one state God puts them through a test for an evil result; when man falls to the temptation of Satan it is because one operates in the lust and enticement of one's carnal man.
God is Holy and perfect in Spirit. It is the craziest thing or unthinkable thing to do when one tries to tempt God or test God for an evil purpose. God does not have a carnal nature that He be tested for evil. The Nature of God or the Name of the Lord is lifted above all things and that is what He upholds as most valuable and would not spare anyone who tries to bring His Name down. He tolerates people when they do things out of ignorance or weakness but when they have the knowledge of things and yet try to do it God does get very angry and His judgment is quick and harsh.
In today's message we read how Ananias and Sapphira who were in a Church that had great fellowship with God, tried to tempt God to gratify their carnal selves and then God's judgment came instantly on both of them. First the husband and then the wife died instantly when they tried to deceive God in their Givings as one deceives a man.
Jesus told us not to tempt God and so also many scripts tell us not to think God is a man that we can deceive Him. He does understand our weakness, weakness of the flesh and lack of knowledge but when we are knowledgeable of His Word and His Kingdom and have receive His Spirit then His wrath is great and quick when we try to deceive Him. Overcoming His Spirit is the ultimate foolish thing for a person in Christ to do.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are a merciful God. You are slow to anger and forgiving, but not a forgetful God, nor a God who does not have any standard. You hold your Righteousness high, and your Name above all things. Lord, we pray that we are not put to test but live and grow by your grace. We also pray Lord we hold on to your Word and your Spirit when we are tested by Satan, that we do not operate in our carnal nature but be led by our renewed spirit man...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
Matthew 4:1 - Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mark 1:13 - And he was in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; And he was with the wild beasts; And the angels ministered unto him.
Luke 4:13 - And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Matthew 26:41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Mark 14:38 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
James 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him.
2 Peter 2:9 - the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day of judgment;
1 Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.
1 Thessalonians 3:5 - For this cause I also, when I could no longer forbear, sent that I might know your faith, lest by any means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor should be in vain.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
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