Verse for the Day – Matthew 6:13a
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

Daily Scripture ReadingLuke 4

Devotional Thoughts
Matthew 6:13a – And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

The Greek word used for temptation is a word that is used in Scripture in two ways. It can be used to refer to trials or testings, and it can be used to describe temptation to evil. A trial is good in that it confirms our faith, temptation is bad in that it leads us toward sin. So which does Jesus mean?

Lets take a close look at this verse in the light of all the Word of God. We know that James tells us that when we enter trials we are to have joy because the trial of our faith will produce endurance. The trial itself may seem overwhelming and harsh and difficult to walk through, but He will bring us through. The testing of our faith, when we pass the test, will produce a stronger faith in the end. (James 1:2-3) We also know that James tells us that when we are tempted it isn’t God doing the tempting! Each of us is tempted when we are drawn away by our OWN LUST! (James 1:13-14). So if trials are good for us and God won’t tempt us, then why does Jesus teach us to pray that God would “not lead” us “into temptation”?

Jesus is teaching us here to share our innermost thoughts and feelings with God! Of course He knows that God won’t tempt and that trials are good – but Jesus also knows the devastation that sin brings. In the garden He even prayed that if it was God’s will to employ any other means to save mankind than the cross, He wanted God to do so! “Let this cup pass from Me”, He said. He knew the cost of our sin. But He also knew He could trust the Father. “Nevertheless, not My will but Thine.” He was willing to undergo the crucifixion and separation from the Father knowing that it was God’s will.

When we are faced with sin and temptation and testings of our faith, Jesus is teaching us that it’s okay to express ourselves to God!! We can let God know that we don’t want to be tempted for fear that we might fail and fall into sin. And who wants to have their faith put to the test? It isn’t usually a pleasant experience. You see, in our relationship with God He wants us to know Him and trust Him more and more. He knows us already. He even knows what we need before we ask – but remember, that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want us to ask!

The joy of fellowship and the truly amazing thing about relating to God is that He wants to hear about our lives. He wants to hear us pray about everyday concerns and problems and difficulties. Of course He won’t lead us into evil, but He wants us to express the truth that don’t want to go there, too! We know that the people we can truly trust are usually the people who know the most about us, right? They know all our secrets. God knows, too. And He wants to share Himself with us on that same deep level of intimate trust!

Jesus is not afraid that God will open the door to temptation. He is stating a fact about the level of fellowship and relationship that God desires. We can tell God anything and everything!

We know this, too, because He goes on and prays, “but deliver us from the evil one.” In our relating to God we must admit and realize that the devil does exist and that he wants to accuse and confuse us today! There are those who think that the devil is a myth! If so, Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness being tempted by a myth. No, the devil is real. He is an angel that was thrown out of heaven when he rebelled and sinned against God. He said, “I will be like the Most High.” He was filled with pride and wanted to take God’s Throne!

Now the devil, we are told, roams the earth in search of people to devour – to destroy and control (1 Peter 5:8-9). He loves to accuse us of sin and to confuse us as to the truth (Matthew 13:19). And Jesus teaches us to pray and to expect God to deliver us from the evil one. Remember, we used to be the devil’s children, now we are God’s (John 8:44).

So Jesus is teaching us to tell God everything (which I also expect husbands and wives to share everything, too. Then they are open to one another, submit to one another, and can provide accountability to each other on a level that no other person can! Just as we have no secrestr from God ew should not have any secrets in the family.). Give Him our all! Love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (all that we are and have). Trust Him to protect us from both evil and the evil one! And know that He is always there.

Some people don’t like to tell God everything. They think their lives will bore Him, or they think of God like another person who might not be able to take what we are about to say. HA! God can take it. And He wants us to be open and honest with Him. Tell him how we feel, and what we want. And in the process we will see Him change our hearts and minds to fashion us into the likeness of His Son. When we are completely open with God it makes it that much easier for Him to break us and shape us and conform us into His image!

Dread temptation, knowing that we are prone to fail and fall. Embrace trials that we might grow strong in our faith. Cling to God – and tell Him everything! That is how Jesus is teaching us to pray!

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 17:3-5; 23:4; 37:27; 119:9, 11; 141:1-4
Proverbs 2:10-14; 8:13
Isaiah 14:12-15

Recommended Songs for Worship
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
I Am Thine, O Lord

BONUS ARTICLE: Does Your Worship Please God?