Monday, February 13, 2012

February 14, 2012

"And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." Matthew 6:13

Some have called this the Lord's Prayer but it could just as appropriately be called the Disciple's Prayer. It WAS taught by Him but it was designed for them as a guide or a pattern for how to pray. Also, it was a new way for them to think about God.

The more we study this prayer the more we find out about God, about how much we need Him AND how much He has made available to us as we pray!

This final verse in the prayer gives vital truths about spiritual warfare that is being waged against the kingdom of God and the followers of Christ and how believers are to fight back.

Let's begin with the big truths:

There Is Powerful Evil Within Us, "And do not lead us into temptation....."

There Is Personal Evil Against Us, "...but deliver us from the evil one."

There Is Powerful Equipment For Us, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11  -  "For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."

Over the next few days we will examine each of those truths more closely but allow me a few more general observations.

If you don't believe you are essentially evil by nature you have never really read the Lord's Prayer. Or, if you read it you didn't get it.

You may be thinking, "Brad, I really take offense at you calling me evil!"

First, I am not calling you evil, God's Word is!

Second, ler me ask you, "Are you ever tempted?" If you are tempted it is because of the evil desires resident within you!"

And if you don't believe there is evil in the world you haven't read the Lord's Prayer. Jesus believed in evil, He often confronted it, was eventually was killed by it and personally, overcame it by His death and resurrection.

Finally, if you don't have spiritual weapons to resist these evils they will overcome you and destroy you!

I urge you to take evil seriously. It is real and it is powerful and you cannot defeat it in your own strength. When you begin to take evil seriously you will find yourself taking this Lord's Prayer or Disciple's Prayer much more seriously. If you don't you are in serious trouble!

February 13, 2012

"And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."   Matthew 6:13

As we have worked our way through this great prayer given to us as a guide by the Savior, we have learned four important reasons why we should care about prayer:

1) Prayer leads us into worship

2) Prayer lines us up with God's will

3) Prayer lets us express our wants

Those three parts of the Lord's Prayer we have already discussed. The fourth area of the prayer is warfare.

Just looking at this last section of the prayer with a casual glance shows why it matters.

There is evil in this world that tempts us. The reason we are tempted by evil is that we have an evil nature within us. So, there is evil that surrounds us and it appeals to the sinful desires resident in the human nature.

And, there is an Evil One who attacks us, accuses us, and allures us toward sin.

So, the power of evil is two-fold and double trouble - there is a powerful person and there is a powerful pull.

Jesus said, "The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy - BUT I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10

So, we are torn between two natures and confronted by two opposing kingdoms. We are in the middle of a spiritual war between righteousness and evil. Both kingdoms are strong than us and one is stronger than the other.

The battlefields of this war are in the mind, in the spirit and in the will. Each of those have been sabotaged by the enemy to cause us to self-destruct.

This final phrase of the prayer remind us that the only hope we have for victory is to call in an ally who is stronger than our enemy. That ally is Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who became Savior of the world. He conquered the two most powerful weapons the devil could threaten us with - sin and death. Sin was conquered when Jesus bled and died on the cross to atone for sin and death was defeated at the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ!

So, when we pray, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one", we are choosing sides and calling in the One Who has already conquered and won the victory! When we pray this prayer are calling in the cavalry and the infantry and the artillary and the air force all wrapped up in One - Jesus!

You are engaged in a spiritual conflict with eternal consequences and an overwhelming enemy. There is no neutral territory and no treaties. Either you are being defeated or you are defeating the enemy in the power of God.

With prayer as your primary weapon, how can you afford not to pray?

Why would you not pray as Jesus taught you to pray?

Why risk defeat when victory is one prayer away?