Fri, May 22, 2020

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Good morning, Anthem!

We have enjoyed walking through the Lord’s Prayer intentionally over the past couple weeks! We hope that taking the time to dig in and practice what Jesus modeled for us will lead to some great times of daily prayer with Him as you move forward! Today we come to the final statement of the prayer…

“and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

Charles Spurgeon explains it this way...

“The man who is really forgiven is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. ‘Forgive us our debts,’ that is justification; ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,’ that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms. Now, it would not be the course of nature to begin a life of prayer with the supplication of this morning. This is a petition for men already pardoned, for those who know their adoption, for those who love the Lord and desire to see his kingdom come. Taught of the Spirit to know their pardon, adoption, and union to Jesus, they can cry, and they alone— ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ Charles Spurgeon

Exercise #1: What are the prayers that Jesus has already taught us to pray?

- Thank Him for your adoption as sons and daughters (1 John 3:1) and for the forgiveness you have received (Eph 1:7). 

- In prayer commit yourself once again to being someone who seeks Jesus rule and reign in your own life and in the world around you (Galatians 2:20) as you become a recipient and dispenser of His grace (Eph 4:32).

As we remember those things, let’s spend some time posturing our heart’s desires toward holiness. Remember Spurgeon’s observation…

“The man who is really forgiven is anxious not to offend again”

Exercise #2: In recounting your day yesterday, where did you miss the mark? What attitudes and actions needed repentance? (If you haven't already, take time to repent of those now.) In prayer, ask the Lord to give you a heart “anxious not to offend again”.

Going back to the prayer Jesus models for us, we must ask, what exactly are we praying for? We know from James that God does not tempt or entice us to sin (James 1:13) but we also know that as He leads us we find ourselves with evil all around us (1 John 5:19). We also see in scripture (think Job and Jesus) that God sometimes allows for us to be tempted by Satan for the purpose of being strengthened, finding victory in Him and endurance for the road ahead. That can be a sobering thought and some humility is needed. That humility is what Jesus models for us in this prayer. Consider this...

But those who are conscious of their weakness cannot shake off the thought that they might fail in the conflict, and the cry of that conscious weakness is therefore, “Lead us not into such trials,” even as our Lord prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass away from me” (Matthew 26:39). And the answer to the prayer may come either directly in actual exemption from the trial, or in “the way to escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13), or in strength to bear it. It is hardly possible to read the prayer without thinking of the recent experience of “temptation” through which our Lord had passed. The memory of that trial in all its terrible aspects was still present with Him, and in His tender love for His disciples He bade them pray that they might not be led into anything so awful. -Ellicott's Commentary

Exercise #3: Take some time in humility praying “lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil.” 

- Lead me not into temptation. In your anxiousness not to sin again, what things (trials and temptations) are you asking God to keep you from? Where do you sense a lack of strength? Pray for God to not only protect you but also continue to sanctify (make holy, make more like Him) those areas.

- But deliver me from evil. And if, by your flesh or by the enemy, you are tempted...or by providence, God leads you to trials, what do you need? (Galatians 5:16, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Cor 12:9-10) Take some time to pray for His filling, His leading, His strength.

“Temptation is the best school into which the Christian can enter ; yet, in itself, apart from the grace of God, it is so doubly hazardous, that this prayer should be offered every day, ‘Lead us not into temptation; ' or if we must enter into it, ‘Lord, deliver us from evil.’” Martin Luther

Let us not be found “apart from the grace of God” today. As we pray let’s continue to abide in Him, drawing from His strength, walking by His spirit.

“Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 14:4

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Gal 5:16

Much love to each of you,
Matt and Kristen