Where are You Taking Me?
Jesus says in Matthew 6:13, “And do not lead us into temptation…” I think that most followers of Jesus can identify with the idea that temptation is not a good thing for us to encounter. At least I hope you think that way. The word of God warns the believer to “flee youthful lusts” and to stay as far away from temptation as we can. I think it is a good idea for each of us to draw boundaries for our own lives which help us to avoid temptation or desires in areas that we know we might be susceptible to sin.
I don’t think that God leads us into temptation; at least as far as the temptation is to sin. James 1:13 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God” for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He himself tempt anyone”. I do think that God leads us into testing. That is clear from the word of God. God tests us. But God tests us in ways that reveal our faithfulness to Him. God tests us in ways that show us our strengths and weaknesses. God does not tempt us to sin.
So why should we pray this way? I admit that I’m not really sure about this. I think that this prayer is an acknowledgement that sometimes we don’t know the difference between a temptation and a test. Since I’m not God, I’m not smart enough to know the difference sometimes. When I pray, “Do not lead us into temptation” perhaps I am praying this as a prayer of trust, a prayer of dependence if you would. I’m trusting that God is not going to lead me into temptation; but I’m also trusting that I will follow God into and through times of testing. I will not refuse to follow simply because the going gets tough.
We can trust God to take us where God wants to take us.