My friend Brandi Rennemeyer rejoins Word Nerd Wednesday this week with the word “lead” as we continue our series on The Lord’s Prayer
Lead. Leader. Leadership.
All words that denote passage with someone towards something.
The dictionary defines lead as “To cause a person or animal to go with by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. Show someone or something the way to a destination by going in front or beside them.” It is also defined as “a route or means of access to a particular place or in a particular direction.”
But it’s more than just a rope or a means to an end.
It’s a relationship.
So let’s unpack this word in the context of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, more specifically verse 13.
“…and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Verse 13 ties into verses 11 and 12 in that we are petitioning God; asking Him to provide all we need today, to forgive us our sins and to empower us to forgive those who’ve sinned against us. Subsequently, in verse 13 we’re asking to be kept away from sin and temptation. But we need to get one thing clear right from the start, God could never and would never lead his people into temptation. He wouldn’t hold you by the hand and take you into a place where sin tempts. He also would not be your route or access to it either. He wouldn’t and couldn’t for one reason and one reason only: God cannot sin. (see James 1:13-14).
If I were to speculate, this is a translated phrase that more aptly resembles something like this: “Lord, help us not to stray, or yield, or give in to the pressures of distracting temptations.” In other words-Lord we want You to stay as our leader, and not be lead by temptations or evil desires.
In the Living Translation of Matthew 6:13 it reads like this:
“And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.”
Don’t let us yield. Don’t let us give way to temptation. Don’t let us follow. Leading automatically assumes someone is following. So in this context, Jesus is instructing us to ask God for help in following truth and Love and not the temptation of sin.
So this one little sentence is more about our ability to follow than it is about God’s ability to lead.
I’ll be honest, 2018 has been a year of really odd twists and turns, and following the leadership of the Lord has not been easy. Not at all. Have you had a season or two where following God was opposite everything in your bones? Where the lines between righteousness and our own sinful nature seems incredibly thin and very difficult to decipher?
There have been a few times this year where I’ve found myself on the slippery slope of everything opposite of my faith. And I admittedly have fallen prey to those temptations, giving in to self-pity and fear. I doubted and became angry with pride. And it has cost me a lot of peace and intimacy with the Lord.
Every time I came back before the Lord in humbleness and prayed this simple prayer that Jesus taught, the Lord responded with one simple question.
“Who are you following?”
Who will you let lead you?
God never led me into temptation, never. In fact, if I trace my steps out of the pit back to where I veered into temptation, I find it’s the same place I stopped following the voice of truth and started following fear. The point of deviation started with the voices of unforgiveness and confusion—a subtle move off the mark, but one that led me to a whole cavern of temptation and sin.
When we find ourselves tempted and tested, lost in a whirlwind of sin and darkness, it is usually a good indicator that we have started following something other than the truth of God’s word. To return to His path, to fall back into step with His leadership we need to repent, forgive ourselves and others and then yield to His voice and His voice alone. His leadership, our following is not rote directions and lists of do’s and don’ts but a relationship built in the hands of grace and pure love.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
~Psalms 23:1-4Who is leading you? #wordnerdwednesday #lordsprayer #lead #leader @brandirennemeyer Click To Tweet
Brandi is a writer, speaker and faith encourager. She has served in women’s ministry for over 10 years and has co-authored a Bible study, “A Walk Through Ephesians”, with another due out later this year. Growing up in a non-denominational church, Brandi Learned scripture and encountered God, but was wounded by religion. 15 years later, God rescued her from the brink of extinction in one death-defying moment. Since then she has sought an authentic life with radiant faith. She and her dreamy husband live at the base of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with their three vivacious children. Learn more about Brandi at www.brandirennemeyer.com