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Seeking Things Above

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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The Lord's Prayer - Deliver us from evil

Matthew 6:13 (ESV)
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Here Jesus asks us to pray that our Father not lead us into temptation.  However, this is exactly what the Holy Spirit did to Jesus at the beginning of His ministry.
Matthew 4:1 (ESV)
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
We also know that we are going to be tempted throughout the day.  Just turn on the TV, listen to the radio, walk out the front door and you are faced with temptation.  We live in a fallen world with temptation at every turn.  What does it mean to ask God not to lead us into temptation?  Even if we were to move into the desert we could never evade the temptations in our own minds.

There are avoidable temptations.  Maybe this prayer is for God to help keep us from walking down the slippery slope of temptations that we could and should avoid.

We don't have to watch those TV programs or movies that put impure thoughts in our heads, ready to pop out when we least expect it.  We don't have to let ourselves dwell on thoughts of envy, anger, or lust but we do.

The second half of this verse is a prayer for our Father to carry us through the temptations we do face.  These are temptations from the evil in our own hearts and temptations from Satan himself.

This part of the Lord's prayer is a great reminder that we cannot face the temptations of this world alone.  We are promised that we will not face any temptation that is beyond our ability.  However, we are are also taught that we must wear the full armor of God to resist the schemes of the devil.  We can never be so cavalier as to think we can resist the evil in this world on our own.

Jesus added this last verse because evil is real, Satan is real, and we need our Father's protection.

P.S. Are you protecting your own children?


Tony Cathey said...

I stumbled this post for you. Very good insight on this passage from the Lord's Prayer. I really like you taking this set of scripture and expounding on it like you have. They have been very encouraging.

Where False Doctrine Gets PWND

Jena Isle said...

The Lord's prayer is my favorite religious song. Everything a person needs is in there. Very powerful presentation too. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Very beautiful post Tony. I agree with you that on our own, we cannot stand up to the temptations of Satan and his minions. But we can always find strength in our Lord Jesus Christ and say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)It is always wise to be humble and trust in the strength of the Lord than in our own strength. Thanks for the moving post. God bless you an your loved ones always.

brad said...

"Maybe this prayer is for God to help keep us from walking down the slippery slope of temptations that we could and should avoid."

Love the prayer series and this post on temptation and evil is wonderful. Temptation and sin are very much a slippery slope. One thing leads to another and before you know it you have dug a deep hole for yourself. I have watched this in my own life and learned with the Lord's help what thoughts, things, and places in particular to avoid. But in no way must I diminish the reality of evil in this world and in me. I must keep seeking the Lord's help in keeping my sense of reality of evil and sin clear and accurate.

Back in February we went through a great series at my church on Evil. During this time something clicked when I read Matthew 4 as part of the E100 series I was working through at the time. The resistance to temptation is vital. The resistance itself is critical in keeping our walk as Christ followers real. If you are interested please check it out.

Temptation is real. Temptation is strong. Temptation is a daily battle. Am I a realist?

Enjoying your blog tremendously. Keep it up Tony!

Tony said...

Tony C - thanks for the Stumble brother.

Jena - I have not heard from you in awhile. Thanks for coming by and don't be a stranger.

Mel - Thanks for your continued words of encouragement.

Brad - thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

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