"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" Matthew 6:9-13 KJV “
As we round toward the end of this prayer, we speak some pretty bold words "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". This sentence is saying a whole lot, first that evil is real. This sentence is also saying that temptation is daily, and thirdly, that God is bigger than any temptation or sin. I am hoping that you remember a few weeks ago in the news, there was a video clip shown. This clip shows a young girl at the zoo looking into the lions exhibit. She appears to be about three or four years old and is face to face with a ginormous lion with nothing between them but a 33 cm piece of unbreakable glass. Though the lion towers her in size and is within a foot of her, she doesn't seem to be afraid, in fact she seems more intrigued if anything. After a few seconds of this intense stare down, the lion makes his move. He roars repeatedly and jumps at the glass attempting to destroy the child who stands unmoved, as if she is unaware of the possible danger. Of course, her parents in the background sound concerned as they watch the events unfold.
This got me thinking about the way we see our enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 says "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Watching this video really put perspective on the size, strength, and instinct of the lion. Though we are looking at a caged animal that does not get to enjoy it's natural habitat, the fact that he wanted to tear apart this young innocent child is obvious. Also, the power that the lion holds is undeniable. I would think that the child wouldn't have had much of a chance if the barrier was not present.
Being tempted by sin is natural. Look throughout the bible, everyone was tempted, even Jesus in the wilderness. When we are tempted, it's as if we are staring in the face of a lion waiting to pounce on us. That 33 cm of unbreakable glass, that's the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has ever overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
Our enemy is real, my friends, and though the sin we are in may seem harmless, there is a lion staring us down, waiting to attack and devour. Sometimes, we can feel invincible as humans. We know what we are doing is wrong, however, it's not as bad as so and so. But the bible says sin is sin and it's all ugly. Can I just tell you that we need to heed the word of God and steer clear of the enemy. Once we step on sinful ground, we are allowing the enemy to be right up in our grill.
The good news is, there was a piece a glass that was 33cm thick that was a barrier between the child and the lion. If you are a child of God, you too have that barrier.
2 Peter 2:9 "Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,"
As you read this, do you find yourself in face of a lion? I know I do, but I also know that I have a 33cm piece of unbreakable glass keeping me from that enemy, praise God! Or maybe you have a friend, a spouse, or a child that is sick of all they have known or understood and is just about to jump into the exhibit, as you helplessly sit and watch wondering what you can possibly do. My advice is to put down the video camera and hit your knees. Let's go:
"God, thank You for your provision. Thank You for always allowing an escape from our temptations. God I struggle with some things that You are well aware of, and some days I wonder if it will ever cease, but Your word, God, tells me that if I hold fast to You and Your word, it will cease. I pray God that You will surround each one reading this with that 33cm barrier, and if someone does not know You personally, that they would reply to this email. I pray, God, that You will reveal to each of us the temptations that are present in our lives. Help us as we travel through this lifetime, Father, to not get desensitized to the sin that surrounds. Help us to boldly yet lovingly" reach out to those around us who are staring into the face of evil. I pray all of this in Jesus name ~ amen"
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