As we come towards the end of the Lord’s prayer we are confronted by a request for very specific help about living in this world.
Temptation and sin are common to all humanity. It doesn’t matter where you live, east or west, north or south, whether you have money or none, educated or uneducated… we all know temptation, we all know sin.
To that end we need a saviour, a deliverer, for none of us is able to save or free him or herself from it’s strangle hold. We all live under the prince of the power of the air and are subject to the passions/lusts of the flesh. As much as we might try to extricate ourselves we can’t.
Praise God Jesus came to do just that. He beat the devil and temptation at every twist and turn of his life. When dragged before the courts on trumped up charges, he was found to be not guilty. Yet, the masses wanted his death, and he was scourged and cruelly crucified on a Roman cross.
In the sovereign purposes of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – his death is part of the great plan of to bring salvation and deliverance from sin and it’s consequences, and make right with Him all those who would hear and believe the message of salvation – a salvation wholly achieved by Jesus Christ, and not by anything that we have done.
Let me ask you, do you know Him? Have you come to a saving knowledge and experience of Jesus Christ? He is able to save you, forgive you, set you free and give you a new life. The scripture calls us to repent (change our minds and direction), and believe in Him and we will be saved.
Becoming a Christian though doesn’t mean we will never be tempted or not sin again. We still live in a fallen world. We still await the redemption of our bodies. We do have an enemy. Hence the necessity of this prayer, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver from evil (or the evil one).”
Yes, there will be times when you will have thoughts, unexpected thoughts and desires to do wrong. Sometimes they will will be connected to your own particular passions, at others totally out of the blue, like, where did that come from?!
This is about living the saved life. Yes, we are saved and no longer under condemnation, and have a sure and certain hope, but we are still living in a fallen world, and we need saving day by day. Our enemy is extremely cunning, having lost us to the Kingdom of God he is constantly devising strategies to cripple us in our Christian walk. Paul says “we are not ignorant of his devices,” but it would appear today many are – we need to wise up.
Part of our daily praying should be, “lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil/evil one.” 1. It will alert us to the fact we can and will be tempted and help to set our antenna, and set our hearts and minds on knowing God’s presence and help, and 2. It will keep us alert to the fact that it’s not our will power or strength that beats the enemy but knowing the presence and power of the Lord.
One last thought, temptation doesn’t define us. You may be powerfully and sorely tempted. The devil might suggest it’s unique to you, that you are an exception. Don’t believe him. Temptation is not sin. Adam and Eve were tempted prior to the fall, Jesus Christ being without sin was nevertheless tempted in all points as we are. Don’t allow the fact that you are tempted to define or bind you. Go forward knowing that Jesus is present to rescue you from every temptation, to deliver you from the power of the evil one, and that he always provides a way of escape.