It is interesting that the Lord Jesus would ask us to make this a prayer: lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13). What is the deal with temptation anyway? Isn’t the problem with sin?
My thoughts led me to a number of areas but what hit me the most was what I rediscovered in James 1:13-15. “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.” [AMPC]
Every person is tempted – it’s not peculiar to you or to me! No wonder the Lord Jesus said we should “watch and pray lest you enter into temptation…” Matthew 26:41 [NKJV]. I like the Amplified translation: “All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation…”
This happened when the disciples who Jesus had asked to pray with Him at the Garden of Gethsemane, just before the crucifixion, kept falling asleep instead of praying. I find that we are caught up in similar circumstances: we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life as we know it and are mostly spiritually ‘asleep’ and unable to watch and pray. It explains why we get drawn away by our lusts and passions so easily. It explains why we give in so easily when we are tempted. We need to pray.
It makes sense to simply obey God’s word. Then there is no need to struggle with anything really. We have the help of the Lord! We have the Holy Spirit to support us with life as we know it so that we can be spiritually ‘awake’; meaning that we can be spiritually cautious and active, receiving grace not to yield to temptation. This is such an encouragement! We are not alone; we don’t walk this road alone! Praise God!
So, what do we do now? Simply pray, as the Lord has encouraged, so that we do not fall into temptation. I like how one minister of God put it. He said: I have the potential to commit adultery, to murder and to do all the evil in the world that any man can think of. It just won’t happen today! – Andrew Wommack.
Our daily connection with God and dependence on the help of the Holy Spirit ensures that we are delivered from the temptations that come with each day. There’s no need to worry about falling short of God’s expectations tomorrow or sometime next week. Matthew 6:34 says:
“So, do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” [AMPC]
Pray and receive grace for today.