And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13, CSB)
Based on what we know from James 1:13-15, God will never lead us to be enticed by sin, but we are tempted by our own evil desires that lead us into sin. As long as we live in a fallen world, there will be temptation. To be free from sinful enticements is one of the many blessings of heaven. But we are not home yet. Until we arrive in our eternal abode, we must pray fervently that we would be guarded from temptation and delivered from Satan.
The fact that Jesus included this petition in the disciple’s model prayer illustrates the reality of spiritual warfare that many Christians are either unaware of or ignore. The first step in having victory over sin is to realize that there is a spiritual war being waged. Believers are confronted by the world (1 John 2:15-17), the flesh (Romans 7:14-21), and the devil (1 Peter 5:8). These spiritual confrontations come in various forms, and they are different for each person. If you were to make a list of all the ways in which you’re tempted, it might be longer than you realize!
Being aware of the battle is critical; we must be alert. Otherwise, we are doomed to defeat. If a person walked into a paintball game without knowing it, they would quickly become aware of the warfare being waged all around them because they’d find themselves covered in paint and fresh bruises. We must not walk through life without being mindful of the evil one’s fiery darts. May we lift up the shield of faith, take the sword of the Spirt, and ask for divine power to overcome the evil one. The battle is real. It’s intense. It’s constant. Let’s be vigilant.
Next, we should avoid all appearances of evil. We must not open the door for the evil one to walk through and entice us. The shows we watch, the music we listen to, the conversations we have, the thoughts we entertain, and the websites we visit are all capable of hosting the evil one. Instead of opening the door for evil to ensnare us, let us run from all appearances of it.
Further, we must memorize and wield the weapon of the Word. Jesus modeled this for us in Matthew 4 and shows how to overcome deceit with the Word of Truth. Spending time in God’s Word, having our mind saturated with it, is the means of obedience and a life of holiness. We live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Finally, let’s pray for God’s enabling power to overcome temptation and evil. In 2 Peter 1:3, Peter proclaims, His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Also, in Galatians 5:16, Paul declares, I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. As we yield to His power and control over our lives by being obedient to the principles found in God’s Word, we have victory and are more than conquers through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
As you pray through the disciple’s model prayer and claim His promises to deliver us from the evil one, put on the gospel armor found in Ephesians 6:
- Loins girded about with truth.
- Breastplate of righteousness.
- Feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace.
- Shield of faith.
- Helmet of salvation.
- Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. (1 Peter 5:8-10, CSB)
Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, CSB)
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4, CSB)