February / March 2015 - Vol. 78

 two paths to life or
                            destruction, by Kevin Carden
Lead Us Not Into Temptation 
by Tom Caballes

Pray then like this… “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil...” 
- Matthew 6:913
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus taught us to pray the “Our Father.” The first part refers to God, the second part refers to us and our needs. This part of the prayer, “lead us not into temptation…” comes immediately after the asking for forgiveness. Jesus knows our need to be forgiven and tendency to fall into sin through temptation. How?
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. [Hebrews 4:15]
He knows our state of sinfulness and how easy it is for us to fall. Verse 16 of Hebrews continues:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
God’s grace and mercy is always there for us.

So how do we not fall into sin through temptation?

  1. We need to commit to doing the positive: love God, offer our life to Him, seek Him in daily prayer and the Scripture, grow in His character, and love and serve God’s people. The key to avoiding temptation and sin in our lives is to strive for holiness. Strive for … holiness without which no one will see the Lord. [Hebrews 12:14] Holiness and sin are opposites – we can pursue only one. We need to pursue one daily, consistently, and without fail. If and when we fail, we need to repent and go back to the right path.
  2. Temptation itself is not sin; but it is an opening that can lead to sin. Let us avoid all forms of temptations if and when we can, especially in the areas where we are weak. Many times we need to run away to win.
  3. We need to sift through what goes in our minds, eyes and hearts and never let our guards down. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. [1 John 2:16] Our unguarded minds, eyes and hearts connives with the enemy within, our flesh.What should our minds be occupied with? See Philippians 4:8.
  4. The way we handle media plays a very significant role in the way we can be tempted. Billboards, magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, and the internet are the modern ways temptations can creep upon us. We need to know how to protect ourselves from these, like placing the computer in a public area.
  5. We need to leave our past behind. Brothers … one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead… [Philippians 3:13]. We are a new creation in Christ. Let us leave the old man behind and let the new man in us grow into the likeness and image of Christ. Let us leave the sins of our youth. Let us settle our unresolved past – hurts, resentment, grudges and so forth. Only those who resent and not forgive are the ones who hurt themselves. We can be free from our past – it’s our choice.

Other Scripture passages: 

  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. [1 Corinthians 10:13]
  • Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. [2 Corinthians 7:1]
  • That you are to put away, in relation to your earlier way of life, the old man, which has become evil by love of deceit; And be made new in the spirit of your mind, And put on the new man, to which God has given life, in righteousness and a true and holy way of living. [Ephesians 4:22-24]
  • Other references: 2 Peter 3:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:9.

For personal reflection or group sharing

  1. What kind of temptations do I regularly encounter?
  2. What are my personal weaknesses? In what ways do temptations come to me through my weaknesses?

Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


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