“Lead us not into temptation” – (Luke 11:14).
Those are familiar words from the Lord’s Prayer. Yet there seems to be something almost sinister about them. Would God actually lead you into temptation?
At times you may want to blame God for falling into temptation. Your circumstances maybe caused you to lie. Maybe the people around you were a bad influence on you. Can you blame that on God? The apostle James says you should not accuse God of tempting you because: “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13).
Satan is the author of evil.
The reason the devil’s temptations work so well is because they connect with desires you have deep inside. “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (James 1:14-15).
Interestingly, there is one time in the Bible where it seems that God led someone into temptation. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). God led Jesus into the desert but it was the devil who tempted Him. And God knew that the devil would not succeed! This passage shows that the devil is real. The devil wants to lead people into sin. He wanted to tempt Jesus most of all.
The Holy Spirit wanted Jesus to trade places with you.
Jesus faced every temptation and hurt and disappointment you face. For all the times you have failed by giving in to temptation, Jesus succeeded. He succeeded as your substitute. When you believe that, God counts Jesus’ success as though it were yours.