“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
- Matthew 6:13
One of my favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Penned in 1758, Come Thou Fount is a timeless classic— both the melody and lyrics call out to me! My favorite line:
Oh, to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Do you know what a fetter is? A fetter is a chain used to restrain someone, usually a prisoner. The chain was traditionally placed around the ankles so that running away was improbable!
How we need a Holy fetter— our hearts are prone to wander! Our hearts are so easily influenced, like little idol factories, perpetually producing desires and passions that seek to pull us away from God (Jer. 17:9).
Knowing that this is true of the human heart, our Lord teaches us to pray, “...lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” With this one sentence, Jesus is teaching us that we are prone to be led astray and fall into temptation. We are not being led astray by God, but in walking with God, temptation is everywhere. Before Christ reconciled us to God, Satan did not need to test us, nor did he need to tempt us— we belonged to him, we were ”for” him! But now that we belong to God, Satan is after us, working against us, employing the powers of this world to lead us astray.
Every morning that we wake up, we must put our hand into God's hand and ask Him to walk us through the day. We ask God, Who orders all things in heaven and earth, to keep us from going astray. We ask God never to let us face temptation beyond what we can endure, and we ask with boldness! For we know, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
Loved one, we do not know what the day holds, but we do know Him who holds the day. May He also hold our wandering heart, binding it to Him. No matter what comes our way, we shall endure!
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.” - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing © 1758
Your prayer today, “God, I need a holy fetter! Help my wandering heart Lord, shield me from temptation, but when I fall, help me cling to you!”