This responsibility of Our Father’s to us seems odd. “Can God lead us into temptation if we are asking Him not to?” Well, Adam and Eve were tempted. And Jesus even said during His agony in the garden to Peter, James, and John, “Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.” [Mark 14:38] It seems that Jesus was telling them to ask the Father to fulfill this responsibility to them, so they are not tested.
“Why would God allow us to be tempted? Why would God want to test us?” Well, why does a teacher test students? A teacher does so, not only to be informed of how much a student has learned, but also as a way of informing the student how much the student has learned. And while God is all-knowing and does not need to be informed of our spiritual condition, we do need to be informed of our spiritual condition.
Now, these tests seem to have a good purpose, but then “why would we ask to be kept from such tests?” Who wants to take tests? It is a measuring of oneself that we can find failure in even if we only got a few problems wrong. What we are asking for is not to be tempted, so that we might not fail. It is an acknowledgement that we are weak. We humbly ask Our Father to keep us from the test, so that we do not fail Him.
We are asking Our Father to guide us, so that we do not need to be tested to know our spiritual condition. In a sense, we are asking to take Our Father’s hand while we wear a blindfold. We are entrusting Him to guide us knowing that we are completely reliant upon Him to do so. It would be like Adam and Eve asking God to remove the forbidden fruit so that they might not ever be tempted by it. It is our job to be reliant upon Our Father to lead us and not let go of His hand especially when we peek over the blindfold.
Jesus, You were tempted by the Devil after 40 days fasting in the desert. Give us the strength to bypass the Devil’s temptations and let Our Father guide us, as we are not stronger than Him. Amen.
“[T]he one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” [1 John 4:4]