Pastor Rick Bell, who has visited and spoke at Faith Church before, has a tremendous article about how we have it backwards when we say that God is using something to tempt us or to make us stronger when in fact, if we listen to the bible, God is delivering us from these temptations that are inherent to our fallen world.
This excerpt says it all.
“It’s often been taught that God brings His people into trying situations in order to produce something good. But if this is true, why would Jesus teach us to pray, “lead us not into temptation”?
Temptation is present everywhere. It’s present with you the minute you wake up in the morning! You might be tempted to sleep in, or tempted to dread the coming day. Temptation is broadcast into our homes through the TV and internet. It’s present through friends who want to do the wrong things. Everywhere you go there are noises and sights that tempt you away from being focused on God.
Temptations often come in the form of attempts to get you to sin. But perhaps they come more abundantly to get you to question God or to weaken faith. Whichever way it goes, temptation is the devil’s business, and he doesn’t let up. It all started in the garden with the forbidden fruit, and he’s offered forbidden fruit ever since.
Thus the Lord taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). Notice that He didn’t teach, “Help us to overcome temptation.” Temptation seems powerful, but it’s really not, because Jesus has overcome the world. You have the greater One living on the inside of you, the One who is a proven deliverer from evil.”