Deliver Me From Evil

Heidelberg Catechism: Question 127: What does the sixth request mean?

Answer: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one means: By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment. And our sworn enemies - the devil, the world, and our own flesh - never stop attacking us. And so, Lord, uphold us and make us strong with the strength of Your Holy Spirit, so that we may not go down to defeat in this spiritual struggle, but may firmly resist our enemies until we finally win the complete victory.

 

Observations: The Catechism divides the Lord’s Prayer (Q&A 119) up into 8 parts, consisting of an introduction (Q&A 120-121), 6 requests (Q&A 122-127), and a conclusion (Q&A 128-129). The last request is ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ We ask God to protect us from temptation because ‘by ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment.’ The reality is that our human nature is so depraved that without divine intervention we revert back to rejecting God and His will for our lives. The truth is that ‘the devil, the world, and our own flesh never stop attacking us.’ We need God’s protection against ‘our sworn enemies.’ The Good News is that God provides us with everything that we need. God ‘upholds us and makes us strong with the strength of the Holy Spirit.’ Through the Spirit we are able to resist our enemies and win the final victory over sin and Satan. Paul writes, ‘God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Cor 10:13b)’

 

Application: The war against sin is very real. Satan, the world, and our own sinful desires battle against our desire to faithfully serve God. We constantly need to pray that God will give us the strength to serve him through the power of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is our first safety line in this battle, ‘because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually. (Q&A 116)’ The spiritual disciplines of Bible study, church attendance and Christian fellowship are also helpful in this battle. Make a commitment to resist the devil and your own sinful desires today, and pray for the strength of the Spirit.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word talks about Spiritual Warfare, and I know that there are forces all around me and within me that desire to reject You and rebel against You. Lord, I ask that You protect me from temptation and the schemes of the evil one. Lord fill me with the Holy Spirit that I may have the power to resist temptation and instead choose what will bring glory and honour to You. May You keep me holy and blameless this day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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