I think about the Lord’s prayer that states, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” Matt 6:13.
In commenting on this passage Ellen White says that “Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that the evil of our characters may be revealed before men and angels, that he may claim us as his own,” (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessings p. 116). Jesus told Peter that Satan seeks to sift him as wheat but he Jesus had prayed for him that his faith does not fail. So in us asking for God’s power to enable us that we not be led into temptation, but to be delivered from evil is to realize that we get into temptation not because it is God’s will or his action because James tells us that God does not tempt man. This comes many times as a result of our own sinful desires. The prayer then helps us recognize this and to ask for God’s help in getting over our own selves. Over our own lustful will or desires and that we will be spared the consequences of our sinfulness. It is amazing how the temptations that come from the devil lead us at times to yield to them then the devil turns around and accuses us as too vile to deserve God’s goodness. This is how we beat up on ourselves and isolate from God rather than draw to him.
We tend to believe what the devil says to us about ourselves and we see ourselves as beyond grace, forgiveness, mercy and Christ’s righteousness. Oh how false this notion is. The truth is that Christ is willing to deliver us from evil that is protection to strengthen us when we are tempted but he also has the power to save us from our sin. Thus when we sin, as John puts it, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous. It is important that we all understand this amazing gift of forgiveness that is ours through Christ.
He will never leave us to ourselves but it is encouraging that we can insulate ourselves by yielding to God and allowing His word to be the thoughts that occupy our minds. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil allows us to let go and let God be the power that drives us, the guiding force that we yield to and what a blessing to avoid the pitfalls of doing it our way or yielding to the deceit of the enemy. Victory is ours when God’s words empowers. - Pastor Kerth