Scripture For Today:
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you…”
The Lord’s Prayer pt 5
We have been studying the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:8-13. Today, let’s look at verse 13. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” At face value, it looks like we are asking God not to lead us into temptation. But James 1:13 clearly tells us the God DOES NOT tempt us to sin. If He did, God would be acting contrary to His nature. And that is something God cannot do! Amen!
The idea of God leading His people is a main theme of scripture. The Book of Psalms is filled with pleas for God to lead us in HIS ways! And, along with leading in His ways, we will be lead towards the GOOD that He has planned for us. And if we are following the path He has planned for us, following His Will for our life, that will, by default, lead us AWAY from temptation. Amen! It will lead us AWAY from the evil. Glory to God! Don’t shout me down when I’m preaching good!
There is another sense in which we are to plead with God not to lead us into temptation. The word temptation can also refer to trials. We know from 1 Corinthians 10:13, that God will not test us beyond our ability in Christ to bear it and will always provide a way out. But God sometimes subjects us to trials that may expose us to Satan’s assaults for God’s own purposes, such as in the cases of Job and Peter.
If the temptation in the Lord’s Prayer refers to trials, then the meaning of Matthew 6:13 is, “Do not afflict or try us.” It is not wrong to pray that we may be delivered from trials and suffering, as long as we submit ourselves to the will of God, no matter what it is. The believer can rightly ask to be delivered from testing as well as ask for the strength to endure it if it does come. Amen!
We might illustrate Jesus’ words “Lead us not into temptation” like this: a mother takes her young children grocery shopping with her and comes to the candy aisle. She knows that taking her children down that aisle will only stir up greediness in their hearts and lead to bouts of whining and pouting. In wisdom, she takes another route—whatever she may have needed down the candy aisle will have to wait for another day. In this way the mother averts unpleasantness and spares her children a trial. Praying, “Lead us not into temptation,” is like praying, “God, don’t take me down the candy aisle today.” It’s recognizing that we naturally grasp for unprofitable things and that God’s wisdom can avert the unpleasantness of our own bellyaching. Amen!
Whether we are asking for God to lead us away from sin or from difficult trials, our goal is found in the second part of verse 13: “Deliver us from the evil one.” A petition similar to this is offered by David in Psalm 141:4: “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies.” In all things, God is our deliverer, and we are wise to seek His power over sin and not rely on our own power to deliver us. Amen!
I want to pray with your right now that you grasp this very important concept that Jesus is teaching. I want to pray with you that you will submit yourself to God’s guidance and, if necessary, He will divert you away from the candy aisle while leading you to your destination this day.
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