Jesus ends The Lord’s Prayer with a plea for protection. The Bible is clear that God does not tempt anyone. James tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” (James 1:13-14).
John Piper said:
“So God does not do the tempting—he does not put evil desires in our hearts (for he can have no evil desires in his heart)—but he does bring us into the presence of many tests and temptations. “A man’s steps are from the Lord” (Proverbs 20:24). In fact, every step we take is a step into the presence of temptation. There is no moment of your life that is not a moment of temptation—a moment when unbelief and disobedience is not a possibility.”
Christ knows full well the horrors of temptation. Hebrews 2:18 reminds us, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Matthew 4:1-11 gives the account of Satan’s vain attempt to thwart God’s plan of redemption. Had Jesus succumbed to the temptation, there would have been no Lord’s Prayer to pray! Of course, God’s plans cannot be thwarted. Jesus had the same Super Weapon that we have at our disposal in his arsenal: The Word of God. Jesus did not engage Satan in the wilderness with logic or persuasive apologetics. He simply resisted him with Scripture.
God has provided prolific instruction and encouragement in resisting temptation in his providence. His Word is a veritable how-to manual on the subject:
- 1 Corinthians 10:13: “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.”
- Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- James 4:7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
- 1 John 4:4: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
- Romans 6:12-14: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
- Mark 9:43-47: “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off…if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out.”
- Luke 22:40: “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And in His goodness, God not only gives us specific (and graphic) guidance on resisting evil, he assures us of the outcome for those who heed it: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Our beautiful, perfect, and holy Father, who resides high above in Heaven, sent his only Son to bring us to him because we couldn’t do it on our own. As we come to faith in the One who holds our future, we follow the example of Christ, who taught us to pray while we wait for the glorious Day when Christ ushers us into his eternal kingdom.
Leslie Schmucker retired from public school teaching to create a special education program at Dayspring Christian Academy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is the author of the upcoming book, Broken Children, Sovereign God: Rejoicing in God’s Goodness in the Midst of Childhood Mental Illness (Christian Focus, 2023). She belongs to Grace Baptist Church. She and her husband, Steve, have three grown children and eight grandchildren. She blogs at leslieschmucker.com, and you can follow her on Twitter.