Day Eight: ‘But deliver us from the evil one…’ (Matthew 6, verse 13b) Reading: 1 Timothy 6:1-21 Today when we speak to our Father, we want to ask Him to protect us from the evil one. The Devil is a fallen angel. He is a real person. He is not symbolic, as many people and indeed some Christians believe. Then they minimise him, or simply ignore his existence. Everything indicates, however, that he is very active and especially so in these latter days. He is furious and fired by deep anger. Knowing that he is condemned to death and sensing that he has little time left, he has to act fast. This is why the Word of God puts us on our guard: ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’(1 Peter 5:8). His sole object is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He would like to be sure that when he goes to his judgement place, he takes with him as many people as possible. He does all he can to make us stumble, and destroy our Christian life. We badly need the strength and protection of our Father in heaven. Sometimes when we stumble, we feel that the Devil has won a great victory, but we know that our Father is capable of delivering us. When we pray, ‘But deliver us from the evil one’, this does not mean that we stay passive and that we wait for this deliverance to arrive on a plate. No! God asks us to cooperate with Him in the process of deliverance. Our cooperation already consists of doing all we can to avoid falling into temptation. The Devil can push us to the point of stumbling. But he cannot force us into sin. The final decision is ours! Joseph in Egypt shows us that it is possible, even though difficult. He did not look at the physical beauty of his master’s wife. Instead of giving in to temptation, he fled, literally. Fleeing like Joseph when faced with a temptation might feel like cowardice. But in reality, it is not. It is courage, and wisdom. And above all, it is biblical (2 Timothy 2:22). Our part is to resist the Devil. In order to resist better, we need to submit ourselves to God. Submitting ourselves to God means submitting ourselves to His Word, as Jesus Christ did each time the Devil tempted him in the desert. The response to Jesus to each temptation was: ‘It is written…’. We must know what is written in the Word of God in order to be able to draw on it at our point of need (Psalm 119:11). One interesting thing with the Devil is that he loves fierce debate, as with Jesus Christ. But the one thing he cannot tolerate is resistance. When you resist him, he will flee (Matthew 4:10; James 4:7). But he does not get tired. He can disguise himself and come back in other form. This is why every day and on every occasion we must pray this prayer before the event. When we are assailed by temptations and other times of trouble it is difficult to think straight. So it is good and pleasant to pray this prayer constantly, before temptation appears. This prayer is of course our prayer of sanctification, and it is pleasing to our Father. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). May our use of ‘us’ and ‘our’ in prayer remind us often that everything we pray for ourselves should also cover our brothers and sisters in Christ elsewhere. This is what gives weight to the prayers of the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 3:14-21; Colossians 1:9-14). Verse of the Day: No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Prayer Points:
- Pray that God will give you the grace to be able to resist Satan’s temptation.
- Pray for the deliverance of those who have fallen into Satan’s temptation.
- Praise and thank God for a life transformed when we pray as Jesus Christ taught.