2001-06-07 - A Matter of Choice
The Lord's Prayer , Part 9
Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye:
There is a popular prayer right now. It is taken from 1 Chronicles 4:10. It reads like this, "Oh that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!" And God granted him that which he requested.
"Keep me from evil." "Deliver me from evil."
You can't miss evil. It leers at us from the billboards. It shouts at us from the television. Shopping in the stores, in the newspaper ads, in the newspaper articles. Evil is everywhere.
Evil causes pain in every life it touches.
Why does God want us to pray that He would deliver us from evil? Because He loves us. Love has no wish to inflict pain! Love has only our best interests at heart.
My sons look down when we walk the aisles at Wal-Mart. Large pictures of women in their bras and underwear hang from the ceiling. To a young man with hormones tuning up, those pictures shout. Looking at the floor is their way of being delivered from a lust that they can't handle.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God promises that He won't lead us into temptation, but when we wander into it on our own, He promises a way to escape it. Isn't that a great promise? The best part is, if, on our own, we give in to the temptation He promises that He will forgive us. Unfortunately, although He forgives us and we won't be punished for it, there is still a consequence. The consequence is what brings pain.
In my opinion, it is better to avoid evil altogether. "Oh, Lord, for this day, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil. Oh, that Thou wouldst keep me from evil, that it may not cause pain."
Father, You are so faithful. I trust You with my every breath. Keep me from evil. Guard my tongue, guide my footsteps. I want to glorify You. I want You to shine through me to all those around me. Thank You for Who You are. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen