Day Twenty-One- Journal
Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Martin Luther is reported to have said that he went to bed with the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, and woke up with the sixth. It makes sense. We go to bed reviewing the day and realize we need to pray the fifth petition, “forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” We wake up previewing the day, and realize we need to pray the sixth petition, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
The word translated “temptation” is the Greek word peirasmos, which has two different meanings. One is “test”; the other is “temptation”. These are two very different things! A test is something meant to prove a person’s character and, in the process, improve it. A temptation is meant to entice a person to sin, to bring a person down in some way. A peirasmos is a difficult or challenging situation in life, which can either be a test, proving and improving a person’s character, or a temptation, enticing a person into the way of sin. Whether it is a test or temptation depends on who is behind it and how we respond.
So, we have the puzzling wording of the sixth petition. If God can’t tempt anyone (James 1:13), why pray, “Lead us not into temptation?” Why bother asking God to not do what He can’t do? It’s because the evil one desires to turn tests from God into temptations. Every test from God has the potential to become a temptation from the enemy.
Every commitment that you will ever make to God will be tested by God. It’s the way that He proves it and also the way that He strengthens you. Be aware of the enemy’s desire to cause you to fail. If the enemy can get you to fail regularly after you make a commitment, then you won’t make any more commitments. You will never be challenged to grow.
What is the difference between “test” and “temptation”?
How have you been tested lately?
How should you pray the sixth petition?