Prayer series #13: Deliver Us From Evil
We’ve come now to the final request, “deliver us from evil”. Have you noticed that in all these request the plural pronoun us is used? Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:18 to pray for one another as well as for our own needs. We ought to continually be aware of the physical and spiritual needs of others and uphold them in prayer. Certainly we as husbands need to carry the burdens of our wives on our hearts and we as parents need to carry the burdens of our children on our hearts and we as pastors need to carry the burdens of our congregations on our hearts as the Old Testament High Priest carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel in the ephod over his heart.
From what evils are we to ask deliverance?
Satan is the chief enemy of every Christian. Before we were saved we were not even aware of his danger. He ignored us for we lived in bondage to him and we thought we were living in freedom. The moment we put our trust in Christ and became His, we were immediately confronted by Satan. Satan hates us because we belong to Christ and he hates Christ. In Ephesians 6 we learn of the need of wearing our spiritual armour in order to face the attacks of Satan. That armour is basically the Word of God and our personal relationship with Christ.
Sin itself is an evil from which we need deliverance. Paul, as a Christian, writes in Romans 7 of his ongoing struggle with sin. The Christian who thinks he has had an experience with the Holy Spirit that has freed him from the power of sin for the rest of his life is very misguided and is deceiving himself. It’s a very dangerous position to hold for the Bible warns, “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
When a person is saved, he receives a new nature, but he still has his sinful flesh nature. The flesh nature does not refer to his physical body. There is nothing sinful about our physical bodies. They are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 Yes, we all bear the marks of the curse of sin with our aches and pains and impending physical deaths. Because we have fallen in Adam, we all have a sinful nature, saved and unsaved alike. When we are saved through faith in Christ, we do not lose that sinful nature just as we do not lose our sin-cursed bodies; but we are given a new nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He gives us a desire to do right and to please God. As for our sin-cursed bodies, they will be changed and glorified at Christ’s return.
These two natures are opposed to one another and therefore, we find ourselves in a constant struggle between the desire to do wrong and the desire to do right. In Romans 7:25 Paul concludes the description of his struggle by explaining how we can have victory over sin. We learn that whenever our minds are under the control of the Holy Spirit, we have victory. Whenever we give in to the desires of our flesh nature, we are defeated. The life of victory begins when we surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit. As long as we stay surrendered to Him and feed on God’s Word, we have victory. Whenever we allow the flesh nature to control, we are defeated. The decision is ours. Psalm 119:9-11 teaches us that the more time we spend reading and hearing and meditating on God’s Word, the stronger we become to resist temptation.
This present world system
The world of God’s creation is wonderful, though even it has been damaged by the curse of sin. One day when Christ returns, this whole world will be restored to Edenic perfection.
The world system, led by sinful, fallen man; is corrupt. The world system includes everything contaminated by sin: the entertainment industry, the news media, the public educational system, the anti-Christ religious system, the political system and anything else controlled by sinful men. The whole world system lies under the control of Satan. I John 5:19 So we pray in the Lord’s Prayer to be delivered from evil.
In the meantime
Although Christians have been delivered from Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of Christ; God still allows Satan to wield his oppressive power to molest and harass us, as he did in Job’s case.
We are not immune to Satanic persecution. John 15:18-21 John 16:33 Persecution for Christ brings blessing to the Christian. Matthew 5:10-12
We are not immune to lustful images every day. It is impossible to escape them; not just lustful images, but inordinate desires. Colossians 3:5-8.
God does not deliver us from this sinful world system until we die. But John 17:15 encourages us by letting us know that Christ is praying for us that we be delivered from the evil of the system.
Temptation is a necessary part of our sanctification. However, don’t seek out temptation by going to an X or R rated movie and praying that you will be delivered. Don’t seek it out by going to a casino and praying that God will deliver you from gambling. That is as dumb as a dare-devil driver trying to prove what a good driver he is by driving as close as possible to the edge of a cliff without going over.
Practically, how can we be delivered from evil?
Let us not mock God by praying this prayer and trifling with sin.
Let us be watchful. “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
Let us submit ourselves to God. Then we can resist the devil and he will flee from us. James 4:7
The more our character and conduct are controlled by the Word of God, the more we will overcome evil with good.
Let us set our affection on things above and not on the things of this earth.
Then we can pray sincerely, “Deliver us from evil.”
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