Question: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:13. I have always wondered about this verse. Why would God lead me into temptation, to begin with, that I have to ask Him not to lead me into it? I think I have found the answer.
Answer (I think): “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1. Why, even Jesus had been led to be tempted! Is it for the testing of our faith then? ‘Must be. And Jesus, in his human form would have known the fleshly weakness first hand that when he taught us how to pray, he added the plea at the end to be not led into temptation. And again, mind you, Jesus knew what it was like to have one’s prayer be given the answer ‘no’. In the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to be delivered from the cross three times (gospel of Mark). But always attached to his petition was the relinquishing of his desire, the welcoming of the Father’s will (gospel of Matthew). And an angel also appeared to strengthen him (gospel of Luke).
The Lord gives us trials, but He never tempts us. But He allows us to be tempted—by permission–just as Satan was permitted to decimate everything that Job had, except his very life.
Faith, hope and power
We are not hopeless! Jesus sent his Spirit to be with us, to live in us, to empower us. That same Spirit that alighted on Jesus as he came out of the river Jordan, that same Spirit that resisted the devil in the desert now lives in us!
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 2 Corinthians 10:13
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” – Job 23:10*
*All verses are from the NIV