The Sixth Petition.
And lead us not into temptation.
What does this mean?
Answer - God, indeed, tempts no one; but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us, nor seduce us into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice; and though we be assailed by them, that still we may finally overcome and gain the victory.
Abide with Me! Stanza 6, The Lutheran Hymnal © 1941 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Choose, but choose wisely. A temptation is any life situation in which we must decide for or against God, for good or for evil. There are usually strong inducements that would draw us either way and so we are tested where we follow the one or the other.
God never tempts us. He allows temptation to come our way as the influences of the devil, the world and our own flesh are always about. When temptation comes and we resist, we grow in strength of faith and in holiness of life. This battle will continue until the day we draw our last breath. The devil, who does the testing has the evil purpose of leading us into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vise. The same temptation which God allows and permits to test our faith the devil will use to destroy us. We need to look to Christ for without Him we have nothing but misery.
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the Tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things