“Lead us not into Temptation”
There is one petition in the Lord’s Prayer which has often caused difficulty, it is this: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” James says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man, but every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed.”
It must be borne in mind that this word “temptation” means trial; for in other parts of God’s word we find God does lead his servants through trial, and it is by faith under trial that we are perfected. Then how can we ask God not to lead us into trial? The two expressions “Lead us not into trial” and “deliver us from evil” should not be separated. The thought in the mind of Jesus seems to have been the need for faith, for whilst God in his wisdom may lead us through trial, we must pray (and have faith in His guidance), that He will not lead us into any trial which would result in evil for us, or, in other words, that He will not lead us into circumstances so difficult that they are beyond our strength, and we fall.
If we pray this prayer in complete faith in the power and willingness of God to hear, then the effect of it will be that we shall go through our daily lives unafraid and undisturbed by trouble, knowing he will not bring upon us any trial which is harder than we can bear. In circumstances of happiness and contentment there is no need of faith or patience, but in conditions of hardship, or when in the company of people who naturally tend to irritate or exasperate us, it is then our faith is tried; there arises a need for endurance. We have to learn to exercise restraint, to control not only our words, but the way we use them, and even their tone. This way lays the training of the mind and the mind of Christ is developed, so that instead of an angry retort we may give the soft answer that turns away wrath.
Supposing instead of worries or trials, we had no sad experiences, and our lives were hedged about by God in a miraculous way! What would our adversaries say? “Do these fear God for nought? Thou hast made a hedge about them, on every side, about their homes and all they have. Their substance is increased in the land.” The way for brethren and sisters is the way Christ went, through trials and difficulties; but faith in God makes all the difference – His ways are always best for us. He will lead us through our wilderness to the Promised Land. Faith is counted to us for righteousness. The Apostle Paul says, “There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tried above that ye are able; but will with the trial make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Sis Millie Trueman