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'And lead us not into temptation.' (Matthew 6: 13)

temptation is a problem. We don't like it, and often find it very difficult. It is good to pray, not to be led into it: the really unhappy thing we have to realize about temptation is that it is itself an evidence of evil in our hearts.

None of us are tempted to do something we dislike. If we are tempted to steal, it reveals dishonesty within. It is likewise with all other evils. An outside circumstance sometimes seems to cause the temptation, but it could not do so at all unless the evil were first in the heart (Matt. 15, 19)

All our Father does for us is from the goodness of His love. He could never lead us into temptation to evil. Nevertheless, He does sometimes appear to do so. The appearance arises from the circumstance that every step we take towards Him awakens the opposition of self-love. As long as we love ourselves first all the interests of self-importance and self-gratification will be on the alert to tempt us away from our Father.

But temptations prove that we are free to choose which way we will take. You may be going to do something, good or bad, you have never done before; immediately the opposite position arises in your mind and you know you are free to take either course.

What we need is strength in the moment of trial to resist hell. If we pray to our Father ' Lead us not into temptation,' we will resist, and not be led into its evil.

' Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.' (Psalm 139: 23, 24)

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