Lead me not into temptation…

This is a tough one. On a theological level it raises questions. On a personal level it hits home.

If one says to Our Father who art in Heaven,  “Please don’t lead me into temptation,” that would seem to imply that when we are tempted it is God that is leading us into temptation.

If it is God’s will that His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven, then why would God lead us into temptation?

Now, to be clear, it does not say that God is the one who tempts us. It merely implies that God may lead us into a situation in which we are tempted.

That makes more sense, because if we are to become perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect, then we should be able to resist temptation.

After his baptism by John, when the Holy Spirit descended and a voice from above said, “This is my only Son in whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to fast for 40 days before beginning his public mission.

During that 40 days, we are told that he was tempted by Satan himself with three great temptations. He withstood the temptations by reciting verses from scripture.

Moreover, the story goes on to say that, in addition to these three temptations. Jesus was tempted in every way that it is possible for a man to be tempted and he overcame every temptation.

God allowed the man Jesus to be tempted in every way before he began his public ministry.

Jesus began his ministry as the Messiah on the foundation of his spiritual victory.

Because he overcame temptation, he is the Way.

St. Paul said that Jesus is the first fruits and we are to become like him. So perhaps in order to become like Jesus, we also need to overcome temptation.

Therefore, we may be lead into temptation.

If one has never been tempted, how does one know how he or she will respond?

To teach the Way, one must become the Way.

There are many more questions, but for now I want to repeat that Jesus resisted Satan by quoting sacred scripture. There is power in the words of sacred scripture.

It is not only Christianity that testifies to this power.

To give an example. Five hundred years before Jesus lived, Buddha gave this advice:

Those who recite many scriptures but fail to practice their teachings are like a cowherd counting another’s cows. They do not share in the joys of the spiritual life. But those who know few scriptures yet practice their teachings, overcoming all lust, hatred, and delusion, live with a pure mind in the highest wisdom. They stand without external supports and share in the joys of the spiritual life.

-Dhammapada 1:19-20

5 Comments

Filed under Confusionism, Flawed Guru, Judeo-Christianity, Religion, The Lord's Prayer

5 responses to “Lead me not into temptation…

  1. I personally say :” If it be thy will that I be submitted to trials (note the change), then fiat voluntas tua, convinced as I am that I shall have, through God’s grace, the virtues necessary to overcome. It has worked for me.

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    • Alex Colvin

      Very nice. I like that, and the proof is in the pudding. I’m going to explore this further in the future. Addiction is so predominate in our society. I pray that with God’s grace we can all find personal growth and victory through virtue.

      Like

  2. Sierra

    In order to be in the world but not of it, we must overcome the world hence we must be tempted in order to test ourself to see if we have overcome or if we still have attachments and are still missing the mark of the narrow path. Temptation is a part of the journey back home. The prodigal son finally got sick of the place he was in, missed home and returned.

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  3. Pingback: Lead me not into temptation… Alex Colvin (UTS'86) - UTS Alumni Association

  4. Pingback: Liberation from the evil one ~ Alex Colvin (UTS'86) - UTS Alumni Association

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