We can plainly see that the world is continually tempting us to be and do things that are contrary what God wants for our lives. That is no surprise. The surprise is how Jesus teaches us to pray regarding temptation. He says to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” Matthew 6: 13a. Why in the world would we need to pray for God not to lead us into temptation? Everyone knows it is the devil and our own sin nature and the influences of this fallen world that leads us into temptation, not God. Jesus is simply saying that we should pray God will lead us away from temptation; this is not to imply that he could ever lead us into temptation.
In short, neither you nor I can ever hope to have victory apart from God’s perfect leading into righteousness and holiness. The cunning subtleties of the enemy should remind us that God alone is able to truly deliver us from temptation and evil. When it comes to temptation, please do not be guilty of underestimating Satan. He is not to be taken lightly. In fact, Jesus told Peter that Satan had demanded Peter that he might “sift you like wheat.” Jesus reassured Peter that he had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. The truth remains, Satan, if allowed, could have sifted Peter like wheat, and he could you too. Look at the example of Job. On the other hand, we must also never be guilty of overestimating Satan. Satan is on a leash. There is an end to his freedom. God is sovereign. That is why Jesus teaches us to pray to God regarding our temptations. We don’t wear garlic, or crucifixes, or chant mantras to ward off temptation. We pray to God that he would empower us by his Holy Spirit to stand firm in the day of temptation. As God grants us his grace, may we, “Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10: 5.