LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION?
“…And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’ And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation (εἰς πειρασμόν). The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου).’” (Mt 26: 38-42)
So here the Lord offers us an additional lesson on the most difficult phrase of His prayer, the Lord’s Prayer: “and lead us not into temptation.” We do pray, as He did, that we not be tempted or tested, “if it be possible.” We pray, as He did, that “this cup pass” from us. Nonetheless, on my cross-carrying journey it sometimes “cannot pass unless I drink from it,” according to my Father’s will for me. He sometimes has me walk through danger-zones, in Him and with Him, that I may grow in dependence on, and become a witness to, His “deliverance.” Because He can, and does, “deliver us from the evil one.”
Today let me walk through whatever “stumbling-blocks” may come my way, because they “must come” (Mt 18: 7), in our God-given freedom. But let me not try this on my own, but rather “watch and pray” with Him and in Him, Who has the power to “deliver” me through it all towards more growth and more light. “Thy will be done,” I say with Him today, “on earth as it is in heaven.”