Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
Later on, Jesus will teach his disciples to pray a prayer that many of us churched folks have prayed a good bit over the years that includes the line “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Perhaps this experience is what compelled him to include that line in his prayer!
At one point many years ago I took each line from the Lord’s prayer and spent a week meditating on it. The thing that struck me about the request was how I probably would never know how often God answered it.
Today and every day, there are larger, cosmic, spiritual realities at work in the world and all around you than any of us can see. Today and every day, God is at work in the world. Today and every day, the Lord of Hosts is commanding hosts of angels at work from Bangkok to Pittsboro driving back darkness and the evil one.
In this passage, Jesus is led into the time of temptation by the Holy Spirit and isn’t delivered from the evil one. He has to come face-to-face with the embodiment of all darkness and evil and overcome it for us and for our salvation.
But for the rest of us, the request to a good God who commands legions of angels of light to come to our aid and to fight for us is a really, really good one.
Every work of God’s people has a spiritual component or layer to it. Every good work God’s people want to undertake will likely meet opposition to it on a spiritual level. Jesus faced it. You and I will, too.
Call to mind whatever changes or resolutions you’ve got in mind for 2019 and pray that one line from the Lord’s prayer over it a couple of times: “lead us (me!) not into temptation, but deliver us (me!) from the evil one.” Then thank God for the ways he’s already done this and will do it today that you’ll never know about.