Summary: The Christian life is not a Church picnic, attending a nice worship service or adopting the power of positive thinking. It’s a battle with an enemy who relentlessly tries to destroy us and the work of God.
Elmer Towns, the vice president of Liberty University and dean of its school of religion shared how he was conducting a seminar for about a 150 people at a seminar in California. At the conclusion of the day, he walked over to the end of the first row of chairs by a row of windows, asked every one to kneel so he could offer a closing prayer. Dr. Towns then began to pray the Lord’s Prayer, but in his own paraphrased words. When he got to the last petition, he prayed, “Lord, deliver us from the evil one who would harm us in a travel accident, destroy our health through disease or germs. Deliver us from the evil one who would hurt us in ways we don’t even think about”.
Then, no sooner than he concluded the prayer, got up and moved a few steps toward the middle of the room, one of the large windows right next to where he had been praying came crashing in on the exact spot where he had just knelt to pray. Glass shattered into thousands of pieces as the heavy ornate window smashed a chair and surely would have crushed him.
Coincidence, perhaps, but perhaps not! Satan is real, he dwells here on planet earth and he seeks to destroy everything belonging to the Lord.
Now in the traditional Lord’s Prayer in the King James Version of the Bible it reads, “Deliver us from evil”, however, the New King James Version along with the NIV and others is more accurate when it says, “Deliver us from the evil one.”
When we pray therefore, “Deliver us from the evil one, we are acknowledging the fact that there is not only evil in the world, but a supremely evil one. 1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. By praying this portion of the prayer, we are admitting that life is a struggle and that we are in warfare, a battle, and are combating an enemy who seeks to oppress us and keep us from serving the Lord and sharing Him with others.
By praying this prayer, we are confessing that though we are in the world, we are not of it. That though the Lord is Sovereign in the world, Satan dwells here as well and we live and move and have our being behind enemy lines.
When we pray “Deliver us from the evil one”, we are conceding four essential facts about our enemy the devil. We are admitting that he is exists, he is in conflict with us as God’s children, God is our deliverer from him and the Lord wants us to take our stand against him.
Now before we look at these four essentials, I want you to understand that how we approach our adversary is as important as knowing his schemes and what the Lord is calling us to do.
Therefore, understand that as believers, we have been essentially recruited into God’s army and as soldiers of the Lord; we need to learn how to fight the good fight of faith.
In boot camp soldiers learn the basics, that’s why the Lord’s Prayer is so fundamental to the faith and why it needs to be a daily reminder of our mission and purpose. Think about it!
“Our Father in Heaven”- we have authority as God’s children
“Hallowed be thy name”- Lord, you are in charge
“Thy kingdom come”- you give the orders
“Thy will be done”- I will submit to you and your orders.
“Give us our daily bread”- an army marches on its stomach
“Forgive us and help us to forgive others”- let me not give the enemy a hand up on me.
“Lead me not into temptation”- help me not walk into an ambush and now deliver me from the evil one.
The Christian life is not a Church picnic, attending a nice worship service or adopting the power of positive thinking. It’s a battle with an enemy who relentlessly tries to destroy us and the work of God. You see;
1. The Evil One Exists
A fella stood up every week at the conclusion of his church’s prayer meeting and prayed; “Lord, clean out the cobwebs in my life”. After listening to him pray this every week for months, a little older woman of faith finally stood up and prayed. “Lord, I want to thank you for cleaning out the cobwebs in my brother’s life, but Lord, would you save him a lot of trouble and just kill the spider”.
How often do we confront the cobwebs in our life while ignoring the spider? 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith,