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"And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen." Mt. 6:13. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray in Mt. 6:8-15 He clearly asks that they pray, "Lead us not into temptation." The question arises, "Why would a God who loves us and desires the best for us ever lead us into temptation?" To say the least it seems as if this is contrary of a loving God. But yet we know these words are the words of the Savior and therefore must be true.

The answer would seem to be that while God does not tempt us Himself, He does at times "test" us. This was true of Abraham in Gen. 22:1-14, when He asked Abraham to "offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering." In this instance, while God asked Abraham to do something immoral and contrary to God's general character, God would have never allowed Abraham to actually sacrifice his son. In short, Abraham could only fail this test if he never purposed in his heart to offer up Isaac.

Temptation, on the other hand comes from within. James verifies this for us in Jas. 1:12-15. James clearly states that the source of temptation comes from our own "desires". Sinful desires are a part of the sinful nature of man. A nature that should in time change after one has obeyed the Gospel of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17, Rom.12:2

Our perspective on temptation is often incorrect. Because James tells us in Jas. 1:12 that there is a "crown of life" to be gained if we love Christ more than any pleasure or treasure that yielding to temptation might bring. Paul reminds us as well that "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." Literally God always gives us an escape hatch.

So while God does test us, it is our own sinful desires that tempt us. It is a mark of Christian maturity when we pass the test and refuse to submit to sin.

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