“Deliver us from evil”.
If you are a entertainment buff, you know this to be the name of at least two movies and three books. But if you have ever prayed the model prayer, you will recognize this to be our very last request: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
We’ve read it, memorized it and quoted it, but why do we need to pray it?
Well, look at just a few of satan’s strategies:
Tempts – “to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof feelings or judgments; to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin” (Mark 1:13; 1 Corinthians 7:5).
Steals – “to remove, to carry off, carry away with one, to take away from another what is his or what is committed to him, to take by force” (Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12).
Binds – “to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains – metaphorically satan was said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, by taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright.” (Luke 13:16).
Enters into – “to take possession of the body of a person” (Luke 22:3; John 13:27).
Demands – “to demand of for torture or punishment” (Luke 22:31).
Fills one’s heart – “to flood, diffuse throughout one’s soul” (Acts 5:3).
Destroys – “to ruin” (1 Corinthians 5:5).
Takes advantage – “to gain advantage of another; to overreach” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Disguises – “to change the figure of, to transform” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Torments – “to strike with the fist, give one a blow, to treat with violence” (2 Corinthians 12:7).
Hinders – “To cut into progress, to impede one’s course by cutting off his way” (1 Thessalonians 2:8).
Works signs – “Works efficiently with superhuman power in unusual occurrences and deceitful miracles” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Deceives – “to lead away from the truth, to lead into error” (Revelation 12:9).
Prowls – “To make one’s way, to make due use of opportunities” (1 Peter 5:8).
Seeks to devour – “to seek by thinking, meditating, reasoning, enquiring into, to plot against by swallowing up and destroying” (1 Peter 5:8).
Speaks lies– “to utter a voice or emit a sound of conscious and intentional falsehoods – perverse, imperious and deceitful precepts” (John 8:44).
Murders – “manslayer” (John 8:44).
I’m not halfway through the listing before I want to ask for protection. What about you? So beginning today, let’s regularly ask the Father to rescue us from this predator of our soul.
Thank You for opening my eyes to see the maneuvers of the evil one. I’ve been negligent to ask for Your protection, even though You have faithfully guarded me in so many ways. I realize You have built a sturdy barricade around me and my family just because I’m Your child (Job 1:10). When the evil one asks permission to breach this wall, please tell him no and cast him violently away from Your Presence (Luke 10:18).
You’ve given me authority to refuse evil in what I can see (Titus 2:11-12; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8). I ask You to reject satan’s requests on my behalf in what I cannot see (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Thank You not only from rescuing me from the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13), but for also being my daily Deliverer as I ask for it (2 Corinthians 1:10-11). May I serve You boldly without fear (Luke 1:74). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“The prince of the power of the air.”
My eyes stopped. Why had I never noticed that before? I read it again. “The prince of the power of the air.”
The air? How could anyone have power over air?
And in a moment, new revelation rushed upon my understanding. Airwaves…..
The internet, videos, Pandora, television, XM radio….the list goes on. All forms of news and entertainment, coming to me via airwaves, have indeed worked to distract me away from God’s truth.
Of course! They are controlled by the prince of the power of the air.
Early in my Christian walk, I realized that my biggest struggle sourced not with family or co-workers, but within my own thought life. My “struggle (was) not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). There was something constantly whispering to my thought life to keep me off track with God.
Could this be the prince of the power of the air? Had I been “ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11)? As I began to search the Scriptures, I found that this “father of all lies” relies heavily on deceit (John 8:44). What better way to deceive, but to have control of the air?
Here are just a few of his tactics that he uses to “kill, steal, and destroy” you and those around you (John 10:10):
- Snatches truth away from the heart (Matthew 13:19)
- Chokes truth through worry and the allure of riches (Matthew 13:22)
- Uses the “power of the air” (thoughts, media, advertising, programming) to increase our tolerance for evil. Then encourages us to slide comfortably into the disobedience we’ve seen and heard (Ephesians 2:2)
- Draws our flesh and our mind toward indulgence, making our appetite our god – whispering “anything your heart desires”, “whatever makes you feel good”, “think about whatever comforts you,” “eat whatever you want” (Ephesians 2:3; Philippians 3:19)
- Schemes to keep us distracted, unable to focus on Truth (Ephesians 4:14)
- Tempts us to think on earthly things and question God’s truth (Philippians 3:19; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; Luke 4:3,9-11)
- Captivates us with philosophy (Colossians 2:8)
- Insults and humiliates (1 Timothy 3:7)
Recognize any of these? I sure did.
So what do we do?
Our first line of defense must always be putting on truth (Ephesians 6:14). We must recognize truth accurately in order to perceive the counterfeit. When I first buckle on His reality, then I will be ready for my other pieces of armor — His righteousness, His salvation and His peaceful preparation (Ephesians 6:14-15, 17). Lifting up faith only comes after belting on Truth (Ephesians 6:16; 2 Thessalonians 3:3). We can’t extinguish the “flaming arrows” sent by the prince of the the air until we know Truth. Once truth is revealed, we are fully assured that He will strengthen and protect us from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Truth in the form of God’s Word is both our best defense as well as our only offense (Ephesians 6:17). Our first piece of armor is Truth and in a way, our last as well (the Word of God).
So what about you? Have you noticed the prince of the power of the air? Or are you ignorant of his schemes? “O Lord, please bring me into Light of Your Truth.”