Lead Us Not Into Temptation
In what many call “The Lord’s Prayer” of Matthew 6:9-13 in which Jesus taught men to say, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” He finished by saying, “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” This famous prayer is a model for all disciples to imitate. Within it we find the very essence of true praying.
When Jesus told us to ask God to “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” what was He saying? Was this a contradiction from other verses like James 1:13 which clearly state: “Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone?” Since God is truth and cannot contradict Himself (I Cor. 14:33), there must be a reasonable explanation for this request.
As Christians we forever are asking God to lead us into paths of righteousness (Psa. 1; Psa. 23:3). Where God leads we will gladly follow, for He only has our best interest at heart. God, “who knows how to deliver (i.e. lead) the godly out of temptation” (2 Pet. 2:9) has promised His blessings of a crown of life upon the man who “endures temptation” and thereby is “approved” (Jam. 1:12). “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13).
Did you get that? God will never lead you into temptation or sin, but instead will forever lead you to the escape exit so you are able to bear Satan’s overtures. Yes, God sometimes allows us to be tested (think the story of Job, or Abraham offering Isaac, or Jesus in the wilderness), but if we listen to His counsel we will always know of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11), and be kept from every sin (Psa. 119:11). God has, and will, deliver us from the evil one. Have you prayed for that today?