|Posted by kelvinbueckert on January 27, 2019 at 10:35 AM|
Most of us are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. In some churches it is repeated every Sunday. Each phrase is very meaningful when we examine them individually. This prayer teaches us first to honour our Father who is in heaven. His name represents the essence of His being – that which is holy. What a challenge in our world today, to think about holiness!
Our focus for today is on the end of this prayer when Jesus taught His disciples to pray “deliver us from evil”. This is a crucial request, for many reasons. It involves our perception of what is acceptable in God’s eyes. What exactly is evil? Adam and Eve did not know what evil was until they yielded to temptation. Now that we inherited their vulnerability to temptation we need the power of Almighty God to deliver us from both temptation and evil….”lead us not into temptation”.
It is worthy of note that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days of temptation but He did not succumb. What was it that gave Jesus the strength to endure without falling into sin? Was it the knowledge that He had come to do the Father’s will? (John 6:38).
What is the source of evil? We think temptation comes from the devil, and so it often does, but Jesus describes our hearts as the source of “evil thoughts…” He includes murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander (Matthew 15:19).
These things that make a person unclean in God’s holy eyes, require a cleansing that we ourselves are incapable of and so God sent Jesus the Christ to save us from ourselves, and our own inherent tendency towards evil.
If we saw ourselves as God sees us we might be appalled! The writer to the Hebrews tells us we need supernatural help…”The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any sword it penetrates….it judges the thoughts and intent (KJV), attitudes (NIV) of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Perhaps this is another reason Jesus was tempted – so that He could identify with us in our weakness, yet without sin (:15). He does not want us to fail, so with the temptation He has made a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
How often do we deplore the evils of our society, and stand in judgment on the actions of others. Would we have done any better, given their circumstances? Wouldn’t we have eaten the apple in the Garden of Eden? Paul warned the Corinthian church “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Even in the process of restoring a fallen brother or sister Paul warns us to be careful, lest we ourselves are tempted in the same way (Galatians 6:1).
How often when we think of evil do we think outside of ourselves? Would we be ready to ask God to search our own hearts?
Read Matthew 7:3-5.