Being Delivered From Evil
We are in the middle of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. Near the end of how Jesus teaches us to pray, we have verse 13: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…” Today’s focus is on the phrase “deliver us from the evil one”. This sort of seems like a “no brainer” doesn’t it; at least for the follower of Jesus Christ? I mean, do we ever think that God has a plan to deliver us to the evil one? Do we really need to pray this to remind God that the “evil one” is not really one that we want to be delivered to?
In some ways, I do think that we can be delivered to the evil one. We see this in the book of Job where God allows Satan to significantly impact Job’s life, first by taking the lives of his children and all of his possessions. Then Satan is allowed by God to impact Job’s health with very painful boils. In this case it sure seems like Job is “delivered to the evil one”. However, in this account in Job we also read that God put a “leash” on Satan regarding what he could do to Job.
When I repeatedly pray, “deliver me from the evil one”, what am I saying? For me, praying this way acknowledges that I am dependent on God. As we talked about yesterday, there are times when God tests us, and I think it is true that sometimes Satan be used by God as a part of that test. But that is not something that I’m anticipating. I don’t get up in the morning and pray, “God, give me your best shot today”. Hopefully you don’t do that either. Hopefully, you and I both recognize our own frailty that we don’t demonstrate any bravado with our God.
I think that I need to combine this statement with the very first words of this prayer, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done”. I need to be willing to walk with God through whatever God wants to walk me through. I don’t want temptation. I don’t want interaction with the evil one…so I should pray for that. But, I also need to trust God that there may be times when, in His perfect will, I find myself in those situations. Will I trust Him? Will you trust Him; even when things are a little “dicey”?