"And lead us not into temptation. What does this mean? God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair or other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory." (The Lord' s Prayer, Sixth Petition and Explanation)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. Martin Luther once said, "You can' t prevent the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair."
If only fighting temptation were as easy as chasing off a flock of angry birds. But the devil launches his fiery darts of temptation at us from every angle: school, friends, television, internet, books — you name it; the devil wants to twist it into something that will bring you great shame and vice. Where do you turn for help?
Not the world. It' s no better off. So what do you do? Go live in a cave and cut yourself off from all the sin, greed and corruption?
There' s just one problem. You may be able to hide in a cave from the world for a while. But you can' t hide from your old sinful nature.
There is One person who has overcome temptation though, Jesus. He has endured every temptation in the devil' s playbook and has beaten them all. He did it for you in the wilderness after His baptism in the Jordan. And He did it again for you on the cross.
The devil, the world and your sinful nature are no match for Jesus' perfect life, perfect obedience, perfect suffering and death. All of your temptation and sin is piled on Jesus' head. He lets your sin, temptation and death build a nest of thorns on his head so that you can pray for deliverance, "Lead us not into temptation."
It' s true, you can' t fight temptation on your own. You are baptized. Satan' s fiery arrows are doused in the font. That means you never fight alone. Jesus fights for you. In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
Lead not into temptation, Lord, Where our grim foe and all his horde Would vex our souls on ev' ry hand. Help us resist, help us to stand Firm in the faith, a mighty host, Through comfort of the Holy Ghost. (LSB 766:7)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.