The Model Prayer (AKA “The Lord’s Prayer”) – Part 5.
In this sermon we covered Matt.6:13 and Lk.11:4 which says, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (NKJV). However this is a discrepancy with the translations, with some omitting the last line, “…but deliver us from the evil one”, and some which have “…and deliver us from evil”, such as the KJV. This is because that last line is absent from several of the most important early witnesses, representing the text of Matthew in use in various parts of the church from the 2nd Century, which convinces most scholars that it was not in the original text (though in use very easy and over a wide area), and it is absent from all texts of Luke.
In our desire to be led by the Holy Spirit, we can be sure that God would never lead us into temptation (See Jas.1:13-15). And if we are tempted, we should not think that there must be something seriously wrong with us, since even the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, was tempted in all points, just like us (See Heb.4:15). This by the way creates a theological problem, since as we saw in Jas.1:13-15, God is not tempted with evil, and yet Jesus, the God-Man was. And Matt.4:1ff go so far as to say that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness ‘to be tempted by the devil’! This discrepancy also can be solved by noting that the word ‘peirazo‘ translated in Matt.4:1, 3 in Matthew’s Gospel, always signifies ‘testing‘. In its 36 New Testament occurrences, it is only ‘tempting to do wrong‘ in 1 Cor.7:5 and Jas.1:13-14. For some other New Testament examples where the word means ‘test‘, see Jn.6:6 and 2 Cor.13:5.
We are to be led by the Spirit (See Rom.8:14), and in the midst of temptations, tests, and trials (See Jas.1:3; 1 Pet.4:12), we can ask God for wisdom (Jas.1:5-8) so that we can know what we are going through and receive godly wisdom (See Jas.3:15-17 and 1 Cor.12:8), or we may need to diligently seek wisdom from the Bible, perhaps by going to ‘The Wisdom Literature’ in such books as Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. But bear in mind 1 Cor.13:1-2 that says that even if you have all wisdom and all knowledge, you must walk in love. Otherwise you’re nothing but noise!
One of the first things we learn from Proverbs is that ‘The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom’ (Prov.1:7).
To be led by the Spirit we could apply Prov.3:5-6, and trust in the LORD to direct our paths. See also Ps.37:23, 31 that says that God orders our steps.
Nevertheless occasionally we do face temptations. And yet 1 Cor.10:12-13 teaches us that God is in control of all such things, allowing only what He knows you can manage.
Finally, we should pray that the Lord would ‘deliver us from evil’ by being reminded of the devil’s schemes (2 Cor.2:11; Eph.6:11; 1 Pet.5:8-9), while at the same time trusting that though ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all’ (Ps.34:19). Believers should recall such texts as Ps.23; 91; and Isa.54:17 that speak of guidance and protection.