“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
Every element in Jesus’ model prayer is focused on God and His glory. When we say “Father,” we acknowledge Him as source. When we say, “Hallowed be Thy name,” we acknowledge Him as sacred. When we say, “Thy kingdom come,” we declare Him as sovereign. When we say, “Thy will be done,” we regard Him as superior. When we say, “Give us our daily bread,” we acknowledge Him as our supplier. When we say, “Forgive us our sins,” we confirm Him as savior. Finally, we come to the last petition, “Lead us not into temptation,” which acknowledges Him as our shelter.
The word “temptation” has a two-fold meaning. First, it can mean to tempt with the goal of causing one to sin. We know from James 1:13 that this kind of temptation never originates from God. James says, “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.” Second, the word “tempt” can mean a test to prove one’s validity of faith. James addresses this issue in Chapter 1:2-3, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
David, the anointed of the Lord, was running from the grips of King Saul. He searched for a hiding place, a cave, a rock, a fortress, a place of safety and security. No permanent place was found. He finally came to realize that the only secure shelter was in God Himself. He expresses his faith in Psalm 62, “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” (vv. 5-6)
Who do you turn to when temptation and testing comes? Is the Lord Jesus Christ your solid rock? Do you hide under his covering wing? Jesus said to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are my place of refuge, my rock, my fortress.