No matter our life stage, temptations surrounds us and if we’re unprepared or unsuspecting, we can easily become trapped. Some temptations and trials are obviously bad and destructive, but others look benign or even good. Temptation seeks to ensnare us and ultimately encase our lives in shame. Thankfully, Jesus has a different plan!
In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus exhorts us to regularly pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthews 6:13). At face value, it almost sounds like the Lord is the one tempting us. However, that is not what is being said. For us to pray effectively, we must know what Jesus is saying here.
Trials are allowed by God to grow us and show His faithfulness
The Lord allows trials, but Satan brings the evil temptation. Have you ever thought, “would God ever lead me into a trial or test?” The answer is yes, He would. The trying of our faith causes us to grow in character and fulfill the destiny he Has for us. He does this for our good.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” -James 1:2–4
The Lord is conforming us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). Jesus tells us to pray for protection and guidance because the tempter is in the trial. When we give way to temptation, the voice of shame comes to bind us in our darkness. Jesus is our faithful High Priest who can sympathize with us in our weaknesses because he was tempted in all points and did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, and the Father did this for Jesus’ good and He knew Jesus would succeed. Jesus came out of his 40-day trial stronger than He went in. Will we do the same?
We will never be tempted by God
It is impossible and outside of His nature to tempt us. He is a good Father that loves to walk with us and shower us with His love. James tells us one source of temptation. “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 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. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:12–14).
We are told that the Lord will never tempt us, but that we are drawn away by a desire we have. We become tempted and enticed to follow our own lusts (1 John 2:6). Lust conceives and brings forth death, and the enemy jumps on it. The enemy is a tempter which means he seeks to draw aside or lure us into sin. The word tempt means to have our eyes drawn a certain direction. The tempter’s great desire is for us to cast our attention away from the Lord so he can enslave us in bondage.
God will deliver us
Two of the greatest promises for those undergoing temptations in trial are found in 1 Corinthians 10:
1.God will never allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able.
2. With every temptation, He will make a way of escape.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but 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.”
-1 Corinthians 10:12–13
The Lord knows how to deliver us out of every temptation, an tells us that our part is to pray. God will do His part if we will do our part. Pray for the Lord to lead you and deliver you from the evil one.