And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
While God is “Jehovah Jireh”, our provider, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep; as his sheep we can expect him to care for us, protect us, and lead us to safety. We need to remember that our times are in God’s hands and that he is in control. When we go through the waters and fire (Isaiah 43:1-2), he will be with us and in his letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us that, ‘…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (Romans 8:28).
During these times of temptation or testing or challenge, God is forming our characters and refining us, so that, not only does our faith become deeper and stronger, but also, we become more like Jesus his Son. However, despite these positive aspects, times of trial and temptation can leave us feeling battered and bruised. This highlights our need for community, to be part of a small group of believers with whom we can share our lives, where we can give and receive encouragement and support and where we can develop and strengthen our faith. On our own and isolated, without support from fellow believers we are far more at risk of succumbing to temptation and then, to continuing to indulge in it. None of us are free from temptation; it comes in all shapes and sizes and from all quarters! It leads to sin which is not only detrimental to our own physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, but it can also have a serious effect on those close to us, through our behaviour.
Creative writing activity
- Respond word by word to, ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ Write your responses down on paper/in your journal/on your iPad/laptop.
- For example: lead – What does this word mean to you?
- What mental images come to you as you think about this word?
- What or who leads you?
- When you have completed this activity spend a few minutes reflecting on what temptation actually means for you. How/where/what tempts you? What sort of strategies can you put in place for yourself to resist the temptations you are currently facing? Who can help and support you in this?
- Finally read Hebrews 4: 14-16 and be encouraged.