Focus: Being delivered from evil
Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV) Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Nobody chooses hardship consciously. Everyone would prefer to have an absence of trials and trouble. If you were given a choice of having good times or bad times—of course you’d say, “Give me the good stuff.”
We know God uses trials and temptation to test our character. But there is a difference between trials and temptation—and evil. Times of difficulty come into all of our lives for the purpose of us becoming able to use the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding God has given us. Trials and temptations allow us to utilize our ability to call on God for His help in humanly impossible circumstances.
There are other times when we may be faced with evil that could be potentially devastating to our family, friends, homes, possessions, finances, and position. One way evil can come into our lives is through choices we make that are wrong.
When we make good choices—‘good’ leads to more good. When we make bad choices that lead to evil—‘bad’ leads to more bad, and ‘evil’ leads to more evil. Evil doesn’t always look like evil at first, but when evil gets a foot in the door—it will continue to make advances until it has more and more control over you.
The reason so many people become evil, is not because they ‘set out’ to become evil. The reason people become evil is because they make just one small compromise, and then just another. Little by little, they continue to make choices that are more and more in disagreement with God’s ways. By the time they are consumed by evil, they may not even realize how and when they actually changed. The changes have been so subtle and gradual that they might not be willing to admit they have changed at all. That’s the way the devil works.
The average person is quite gullible when it comes to being capable of recognizing evil in some of its everyday forms. Worrying, fretting, being anxious and fearful, are just a few of the negative attitudes we sometimes choose that have evil roots. They are all the opposite of ‘faith’. When we knowingly choose any of these attitudes, we are favoring disbelief over faith in God. Other kinds of evil are much more obvious. Gossiping, backbiting, slandering, being envious or jealous are behaviors that open the door to more evil.
Making choices regarding what we watch with our eyes or listen to with our ears can be another way evil finds its way into our heart, soul and mind. Exposing ourselves to sinful thoughts and concepts tends to dull our sensitivity to evil.
When we have opened our minds to evil things—the evil one goes to work with the goal of gaining more ground. The Bible tells us to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV).
Notice the phrase, ‘he walks about’. The devil isn’t in a hurry. He accomplishes his work incrementally and imperceptibly. He has defeated many a spiritual man or woman by his willingness to wait. He doesn’t always ‘rush’ at his victim—he just takes his time and wins most of his victories through appealing to a person’s weakest area when they are in a place of vulnerability.
The only way to win against the devil and his evil tactics is to stay on your knees and in the Word of God. Another great weapon against him is Christian music. The devil can’t stand to hear the Name of Jesus. Surrounding yourself with songs that exalt Jesus as the King of Kings puts up a shield all around you that the devil just can’t penetrate.
Spending generous time in prayer and having fellowship with other believers will also keep you in a place of spiritual safety.
Declaration: I will find new strength by making a conscious effort to avoid all appearances of evil. I will cultivate a clean atmosphere in my life that will welcome the presence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.