Summary: Part of prayer is also asking for God’s help from temptation and the tempter.
THE LORD’S PRAYER - PROTECTION
In March, 1989, an asteroid a half mile across, moving at the speed of 44,000 miles per hour, shot across the very path the earth travels, missing us by only six hours. Did you know about this danger? Every day an estimated twenty tons of material from space enters our atmosphere, most of it the size of grains of sand but some as large as golf balls. Did you know about this danger? Daily we face temptations of every size and shape. Do you know about this danger? You should!
Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
After recognizing God’s person and provision the Lord’s prayer ends recognizing His protection. We need to constantly remember that we are safe in the hands of Jesus.
1. Lead us not into Temptation –
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden all creation was changed. We were born into a fallen world as fallen people. Even though we have been redeemed from the curse we still face it’s consequences daily. We face temptations of many kinds. Most come as a result of our fallen nature:
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.
Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom …
The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life are things we daily face. Temptation does not come from God. It comes from the devil and from our own fallen nature. The devil uses it to destroy us and lead us away from Christ.
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
To pray “lead us not into temptation” is not to say that God would tempt you. It is also not saying that God would keep you from ever being tempted. It is asking God to help you face temptations and to lead you out of them. It is not a sin to be tempted – it is what we do with temptation that is important. All of us faced it every day coming in many forms and wearing many faces.
1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.
You do not have to sin when you are tempted. There is always a way out. God has given us everything that we need to overcome it. How are we to handle temptation when it comes? How does God actively help us to avoid falling into sin?
a. Keep watch –
The way to handle temptation is to catch it early. Above in James 1:15 it says "after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" This gives the picture that temptation is like conception. The more it is allowed to grow the stronger it becomes. Praying “lead us not into temptation” is asking God to keep you alert to the danger always around you.
Martin Luther – “lead us not into temptation is to say: O dear Lord, Father and God, keep us fit and alert, eager and diligent in your word and service, so that we do not become complacent and lazy as though we had already achieved everything. In that way the devil cannot fall upon us, surprise us, and deprive us of your precious word or stir up strife and factions among us and lead us into other sin and disgrace, both spiritually and physically; Grant us wisdom and strength through your spirit that we may valiantly resist him and gain the victory. Amen."
We need to keep constant watch over our eyes, mind and heart. Erwin W. Lutzer wrote “Temptation is not a sin; it is a call to battle”. When you see temptation approaching sound the battle cry and call upon God to aid you in the struggle.