Monday, June 29, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For

“…And lead us not into temptation…” Matthew 6:13a

I have always wondered what in the world this line meant from The Lord’s Prayer. With God hating sin, of course He would not lead us into temptation. It was only this morning that I realized one of the things I had been praying for all of my life through this prayer. In stating this one line I am, in essence, agreeing to be led into adversity and away from comfort.

When the Israelites fled Egypt, God led them into the wilderness which was the most indirect way to get to Canaan, their promised land. He actually led them south of Egypt into the wilderness only to cross the Red Sea and travel north to obtain their promised land. The most direct route would have taken about 30 days before arriving at the destination since it was only 150 miles north of Egypt. God’s reasoning was stated in Exodus 13:17-18. “Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea;’” God knew that leading them by a direct route would indeed lead them into temptation which could hinder His ultimate plans for them.

God frequently takes us south when our destination is north. He leads us away from temptation although going through it may be the fastest route. He will not have us face something before He knows we have developed the tools to obtain victory. His concern is not how quickly or easily we can accomplish His will, but rather how obediently we will accomplish what He determines is best for us.

My mother has always said, “Be careful what you pray for…”

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