Summary: When we ask God to “lead us not into temptation” we are asking Him to guide our steps along a moral pathway.
In Genesis, Satan temped Eve with these three categories and plunged the world into separation from God. Gen. 3: 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ " 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Satan appealed to the cravings of Eve’s sinful nature:
v.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, she took some and ate it.
He keyed into the lust of her eyes and the pride of life
When we pray, “Lead me not into temptation” we’re praying, “Lord; help me not to fall into the world’s seductive trap”. TV commercials, credit card applications, peer pressure, the “mall” can all be seductive traps to suck us in and spit us out.
When we pray, “Lead me not into temptation”, where asking the Lord to help us not to give in to the garbage that is peddled as edible.
Praying, “lead me not into temptation”, is like going on a long road trip and depending on the person in the passenger’s seat to read the map and tell you which direction to head and turns to make. So the important thing to remember is that we need God’s help in the paths we choose because all of us are capable of making very wrong decisions. The Lord wants us to establish a watchful attitude over our spiritual lives. Remember when the disciples fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said to them in Mt. 26:41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
We want to make you strong in spirit. Now the word “temptation here and in the “Lord’s Prayer” is the same word for “trial”. So when we pray this, we’re asking the Lord to deliver us from both a crisis and a process. Let’s say a person likes to go out to eat. They eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 6 days a week. The problem is that they can’t afford it on their budget. So they end up charging their meals which puts them behind on their car payment and their rent and the downward spiral continues until their up to their eyeballs in debt. The water and electricity is going to be shut off and creditors are going to bang on the door.
Now the Holy Spirit grabs their attention and so they pray on Monday, “Lead me not into temptation”. It’s a great day, they eat breakfast a home, they brown bag it for lunch, they eat at home that evening, and they avoid the crisis of overspending on Monday and the savings that day are significant. But what about Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the weekend? They may have had an answer to prayer for their crisis, but what about the process of temptation. In order to get out of sin’s snare, not just 1 day, but everyday, they will need to pray “Lead me not into temptation not only on Monday, but Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and probably everyday until they break the cycle that sin has on them. Pray in the crisis, but pray in, during and through the process.