This post is our sixth in a series of blogs encouraging our church during our PRAY40 initiative beginning on March 1st through April 9th. Join us each week in prayer on Wednesday nights and download our mobile app to receive daily prayer updates as we seek God together in prayer this spring.
Lead Us Not Into Temptation!
Verse thirteen ends the Lord’s Prayer again declaring our dependence on God the Father: “And lead us not unto temptation, but deliver us from evil.” While this passage is not suggesting that God ever tempts us to do evil, He will lead us into seasons where we face temptation. This is evidenced by James 1:13 “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God can not be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.”
This is maybe one of the most captivating characteristics about our God: He has no dark side. In our humanness, we are prone to sin in want of fulfilling our fleshly desires, but this is never even a temptation for the Father. He only dwells in the light, encompassing righteousness in all of His ways. Why then does God allow us to face temptation from the evil one?
As always, it is imperative to remember that God’s plans do not always align with our plans. God’s ultimate goal for believers is that we be sanctified. We live in a fallen world of sin and degradation, but the Father is serious about our holiness nonetheless. With this in mind, God will often test us to prove us and bring us to spiritual maturity. When we acknowledge that such sanctification is our highest goal, we can focus our prayers on admitting our weakness to God about our sinful state so as not to be overcome by temptation.
When we fail to lean on the Lord where we are most vulnerable, we will fall into temptation. We do not simply sin because we are weak, but do so because we fail to realize that we are weak and confess this to the Father. Confessing our sinful nature to God and begging Him to “deliver us from evil” is our first step toward freedom.