Temptation can be such an enchanting topic – we relish the allure of chocolate, ice cream, exercise endorphins, someone uber-cute of the opposite sex, a cool pair of jeans or shoes that are WAY out of the budget, an addiction we’re trying to break, . . . . . choose your pleasure. And Jesus teaches us that when we pray, we should ask our heavenly Father to lead us not into temptation.
In an earlier blog, I asked why Jesus would teach us to make this request considering that He, was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Furthermore, there’s lots of New Testament verses that tell us that tests & temptations (generally the same word in the Greek) are good for us with the strength & character they build. So given these thoughts, why does Jesus teach us to make this request of our Heavenly Father?
Here’s my sense on this conundrum (nice word, eh?): I think we miss the main point of what Jesus is saying when we get hung up on the temptation topic. I think Jesus’ main point was that by teaching us to pray that God leads us, He implies that we will follow God & that He will direct our lives. To me, Jesus’ primary objective for this request is for us ask God for His direction & guidance in our lives.
Fundamentally, each of us need for our heavenly Father to lead us each day. After acknowledging this need, then let us add that we’d prefer to avoid temptation – but if God should direct our paths in any given day past temptation, then let me encourage you to look to Him for the exit ramp from the temptation (1 Cor 10:13). But let us daily request our Father’s direction – we desperately need it.