Just as you can learn to read signs and understand road systems, there are spiritual directions that can aid you greatly in choosing the right road. Should I turn left or right and where will that take me?
The word ‘temptation’ in Greek is peirasmos, which has the root meaning of ‘to test’ or ‘to prove’. It can mean trial or it can mean temptation, both of which are occasions when a Christian may be enticed to sin.[i]
It is not only temptations that can mislead us. We can be going through difficult circumstances and trials that cause us to question the road we’re travelling on. We ask our Father to keep us heading in the right direction when we are faced with temptations.
We also need to ask Father to guide us when difficulties and troubles overwhelm us. You may have stayed on the right road for hundreds of miles and be tempted to venture out in another direction or go back because the traffic is moving slowly. You cannot always understand why your progress is hindered. You need guidance when things slow down and get difficult.
Practically speaking, lost jobs, poor health and money troubles can tempt you to abandon your directions from God. Trials and tests can sometimes challenge you more than the temptation to get drunk or steal from your workplace.
You may have heard of Murphy’s Law. Murphy says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Another name for this is pessimism. It is a nagging belief that all things are destined to fail and there is no cause for lasting hope. You will be disappointed in the end.
Jesus invites you and Murphy to ask Father for help in dealing with temptation and troubles. Mister Murphy needs to know that Father has a road through the wilderness and that you are not destined to fail.
In prayer, we discover that God’s directions are true. We need God’s help in our journey.