The Protection of Prayer

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In the final words of the Lord’s prayer, Jesus ends His lesson of prayer given to His disciples with a request for protection—but from what? While Satan’s goal is to damage our fellowship with God by any means, Jesus combats that by sharing the importance of protection through prayer. In this lesson, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the enemy’s use of temptation as well as the protection we have from it through Christ.

 

 

where were you? If you would have been here, she said, this thing wouldn’t have happened. The blood of christ has given believers a passport to enter into a realm that is closed to the general public prayer is how you show your passport. God has given so much clout to prayer. That’s relational li driven to draw heaven in the history that he will even allow prayer to change his mind. The disciples never asked jesus to teach them to preach to teach them to do miracles. The one thing they did ask him is will you teach us to pray if you pursue a relationship and bring your needs along with that in your secret place, you will hear from God because God will hear from you ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find knock and it will be open to you. Don’t let things that God is willing to change go unchanged because we refuse to meet him in a private place. We come to this next line. In the Lord’s prayer, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. We are to hollow his name. We are to submit to his rule by kingdom Come, we ought to honor his will and that qualifies us to receive his provision of daily bread while we exercise forgiveness to others that we wish to receive for ourselves. And now he says, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. This line in the Lord’s prayer is a request for protection. It is a request for God to protect you lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. And in the greek text, the word evil can be translated the evil one. So this is a request to be protected from the devil. To understand that you must understand that when the devil brought sin into the world, he not only affected people, he infected and affected the systems of this world. Whatever systems exist in the world, including our own humanity, has been infiltrated by the virus of satanic influence leading to sin. So you and I need to be protected from every kind of influence that the devil has in every system to which he is associated and he is associated with every system that exists. Satan’s goal is to break us up from fellowship with God. Because if he can accomplish that, he can mess up everything else. He wants to separate us from fellowship with God? He says, lead us not into temptation. Now, the concept of temptation in scripture can be positive or negative. When we try to make the distinction, we use the word trials to describe positive and we use the word temptation and generally we mean something negative, But it can be used either way and the context will tell you which way it’s being used. We know it’s being used negatively here because he’s asking for deliverance from the Evil one. But why would you have to ask God to lead you not into temptation James 1 13 says God does not tempt any man. But here you’re making a request for God to not lead you into a temptation. So let’s go a little deeper what God leads you into our trials, trials are adverse circumstances, negative things that happen that are designed to develop you spiritually. A trial is a negative event that god causes or God allows, but every trial is only for one purpose and that is to grow you spiritually. If God let it go from his heart through his finger into your life, you view it as a child as a trial Satan doesn’t want you to look at as a trial because then you you will miss the developmental purpose of God allowing it to happen first, peter one verses six and seven in a trial. God is calling your faith to the witness stand see, you can say amen in church all you want, but he puts you on trial and when he put you on trial, he wants to see what your testimony is like. Now he wants to see whether your testimony on the stand of your trial is the same as your testimony in the service. When you are listening to the sermon, singing the song and getting your praise on. Now a temptation by the devil is designed to defeat you. God is designed the negative experience to develop you satan brings temptation in order to defeat you spiritually and separate you, you’ll see what I mean in a moment further from God. Now, here is the problem. Trials and temptations often happened around the same event. In other words, most of the things we deal with is not a trial over here and a temptation over there. Now we know certain things, you know, there’s just so obvious that they’re temptations. But what satan does is he piggybacks on a trial to try to turn it into a temptation. He will take something legitimate and try to take a legitimate and make it illegitimate. He’ll take food and try to turn it into gluttony. He’ll take sex and try to turn it into immorality. He’ll take money and turn it into greed or theft or debt. So he will take something that God makes legitimate mix with. It messes with it to turn a trial that God wanted to develop us into a temptation in order to defeat us. So you say, well, I don’t know whether this is a trial or temptation, assume it’s both because God will often use the devil for a trial. And when God uses the devil for a trial, the devil takes God use of him for a trial to try to use it for himself for a temptation. Did you follow me? God will use the devil for a trial. You don’t believe me, Matthew Chapter four verse one. The Spirit of the Lord let jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The Spirit of the Lord led the Son of God into the dry place of testing in order for the devil to tempt him. So when life hits you and you’re being tested and tempted. The question is, which way are you going to go? Are you gonna go with God as a test or with satan as attempt? Because they often both happen at the same time. So then what God is after is seeing in a test, how serious your commitment is. And to when you pass the test, take you to the next spiritual level, satan simultaneously will use that or something else in order to drive a wedge between us and the Lord so that we do not have the full presence and power of him with us. So sometimes you will say, why is the devil doing this to me? It may be because God has invited him to or at least allowed him to because he will test. Even using the devil who will at simultaneously tempt. And the question you stand on is which way are you going to go? Are you going to follow God when it doesn’t make sense? When you don’t like it? That’s what’s jobs choice and job had to make the decision. He says, shall I receive good from the Lord and praise him only during the good times and not negative from the Lord and not praise him during the negative times. And so he says lead us not into any situation we can’t handle. That’s what lead us not into temptation. Don’t put me, don’t give me a trial where I will be overrun by a temptation or if I’m already been beat up by the devil, If I’m already defeated by him, deliver us from evil. So the first part is keep me from getting into a situation I can’t handle. And the second part is if I’ve already gotten into a situation, I can’t handle get me out of this situation that I can’t handle, deliver me from evil that is from the evil one. Well, now that means we need to learn how temptation works. How does it work? James chapter one verses 14 to 15 lays it out, he says. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. And those two verses, he gives you the pattern of temptation. The pattern of temptation always starts with desire, enticed by his lust. The word lust means desire. What satan does is he creates a craving for something outside of the will of God. He wants you to want it in Adam and Eve in the garden, he told them. God told him, don’t eat the fruit of the uh in the midst of the garden. But when Satan talked to Eve, it says when she saw it was delightful and desirable and was able to make one wise, she ate it because he created desire because he knows you so well, he knows your tendencies. You have been assigned a demon, there is a demon who is assigned to you that the bible says an angel is assigned to you if you’re a believer, but the devil is assigned to you since he’s not omnipresent, he’s not God, he can’t be everywhere. He needs his posse. So he has a posse that is assigned to you and they have game film on you. They know how you move what you like, what you are geared to what you are desirous of. They know what you’re thinking and how you operate. So they know the precise time to bring that thing, that situation, that person that problem into you to create a desire, a desire that you may not even recognize you had until he shows up, he’ll use television to bring the desire computers to bring the Desire people to bring the desire circumstances and it gets amplified by your demonic agent and he creates a lust or a craving for the thing that is outside of the will of God. Now, what we do is what we do is we dumb down how bad it is. In other words because we don’t want to feel bad about it being bad. We make it less bad than it really is. So that is simple. But it ain’t that simple. What we do is we let the devil hang out long enough. So the desire begins to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and it grows. And so he starts off with desire designed to entice dr Evans will be right back after this important announcement. So it is absolutely critical that you have the perspective of desire and the desire leads, he says, to the disobedience. Please notice something in verse 15 when lust has conceived, it brings it gives birth to sin. So he talks about a pregnancy conceiving notice he didn’t call the desire sin. He called when it conceives it becomes sin. Okay, so let me let me help make you feel this a little better. The fact that your flesh wants to send, it’s not the problem because that’s what the flesh does. You can you cannot stop the flesh from wanting to be fleshy. If you get tricked into that, you’ll walk around miserable all the time because you got this part of you that wants to do wrong because it was trained in your unsaved days or maybe even amplified in your saved days to want what God does not want. So, if you’re an alcoholic before you became a christian and now you’re a christian and your flesh still wants to drink alcohol, that’s what the flesh does, He does not call that desire the problem, he calls the decision to act on it the problem. So in one sense, you can you can feel a little better about the fact that your flesh can never become unflashy. It can never become unflashy because it’s been trained that way and into varying degrees as you grow, it loses its dominance. But it never stops being the flesh. Sin brings forth death. Let me explain this all the time. There are no exceptions to this. But when he says death, he’s not talking about being in a coffin. When Adam and Eve sinned, they didn’t drop dead, they lived, they lived for many, many years after that, what they what happened when they said was they were put out of God’s presence, they were removed from the garden. So that is death. When people die who are not christians and they go to what the bible calls the second death or we call hell, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist anymore. It means that they’re eternally separated from God. So many christians live days, months, years and even decades separated from God. And they lived there all those times separated from God because they refused to call sin sin or they dumb it down. They call it a mistake. So that raises a question. Here it is Okay, what do I do? The prayer is you pray leave me not into anything. I can’t handle wherever you leave me, make sure I can handle it. And if I’ve already gotten caught by the devil, I’ve already sunk my my mouth into the into the hook and I’m hooked, I’m addicted? I’m struggling or whatever it is. What do I do? Well, let me first tell you what you don’t do. You don’t give sin The attention that it asked for here is the secret so to speak, to overcoming temptation that leads to sin or getting out of the sin that you’ve already gotten caught in. It’s in the same chapter Chapter one of James, He says in verse 16 do not be deceived my beloved brethren. So he’s talking to Christians. My beloved brethren. This is for Christians, every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above. Coming down from the father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow in the exercise of his will. He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among his creatures. He’s gonna say four things And they all revolve around one word. Focus. You must change your focus. What you are focusing on will determine what will control you. Focus, he says, focus on four things. Number one, focus on the goodness of God. Every good and perfect gift coming from above. When you see sin or the devil trying to tempt you to sin or you’re caught in sin, he says, recognize it, but that’s not where you put your focus, We want you to put your focus on how good God has been to you, what are the good things he has bestowed on you? And if you look close enough long enough you’re gonna see God has been better than you than you’ve been to yourself. The little things, the medium sized things, the small things you’re gonna see the goodness of God. How do you focus on the goodness of God? You enter into a time of thanksgiving. Want to enter into a season of thanksgiving on the goodness of God number to focus on the faithfulness of God, he said because in God there is no shifting shadow or as he puts it in the verse, he says, the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Okay, let’s talk about lights. He’s talking about the sun and the stars. Okay, the lights in the sky. Okay, so let’s take the biggest star, let’s take the sun. Did you know which I know? You know, the sun always shines The show. The Sun Shines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since the inception of sunlight, there has never been a time where the sun has not and does not shine. He says if you’re gonna have victory, you must focus on the God who does not move not the circumstances that are always moving. That’s why averse. You need to memorize and recite over and over and over again is first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 13 it says, and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able But will with the temptation provide you a way of escape. But let me summarize it for you right now, He says, here’s how the faithfulness of God works. When you’re being drawn by satan into sin. Or even when God is allowing you to deal with the trial number one, he will control how long it lasts and how deep it goes. Because he will not allow you to be tempted above what you’re able. So if you’re in a trial or in this case you’re under an attack, you can assume something that the devil is not the devil, he’s God’s devil. And God got a leash on him and he’s only gonna let him go so far. And whatever he’s allowing you can handle, because he promised he’s so faithful, he won’t give you what you can’t handle, he says. And when he gives it to you, he says, God is faithful and in his faithfulness, he will not give you. But will with the temptation give you the way of escape. I don’t know if you just heard that. With the temptation will come the way of escape, not after the temptation, he says, I’m gonna give you when I give you the temptation at the very same time, I’m going to give you an exit sign. And when he does it, he says, he will give it at the very same time. Watch this so that you’re able to endure it. Now watch this the only way to finish a test or to get victory in the temptation, he says, is you must go through it. The third thing you focus on this goodness. You focus on his faithfulness. Then he says, you focus on his word Verse 18 in the exercise of his will. He brought us forth by the word of truth. You focus on what God says, not how you feel, he said. It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It is written. He will call his angel. It is written, use observe the Lord thy God and worship him only. It’s written is written is written. Why must you keep quoting the word of God when you’re being tempted? Because the devil is allergic to scripture. When he in scripture, he goes, huh? He can’t handle scripture. He loves to hear what you think. He loves to hear how you feel. But when you start quoting the word to him, three strikes you out of here. And finally, the 4th thing you focus on his perspective. Look at the end of that verse, I don’t want you to miss this. His perspective he says. So that verse 18, we would be a kind of first fruits among his creatures. Oh, first fruits. We normally talk about first fruits for giving, giving your tied your first fruits, but he’s not talking about money here. He says, you are the first fruits. The first fruit was the cream of the crop is what you offered God first because it was viewed as the most precious it was being, it was honoring God to give God first, it gives him honor. So he says, he says that you are first fruits. In other words don’t let the devil dial back your dignity. Even if you think you are nothing, I think I’m nothing but God you say I’m something. So I’m gonna go with you. I’m your first fruit. So I’m here to tell you today that God is a delivering God psalm chapter 50 verse 15 says he delivers some one oh seven versus 1 to 32 says he’s a God who delivers psalm 91 verses 14 and 15 says he’s a God who can deliver you. Second timothy chapter four, verses 17 and 18 paul says I’m looking for God to deliver me. He can deliver you from circumstances, situations people and the devil, we’ve taken a long drive to arrive at the rock of doom. The remains of the Castle of Doom is that has long been destroyed. This castle like most castles everywhere was used primarily for defense because it was under attack. We’re under attack too and we need a defensive plan that will help us to get victory. God has won for us as we pray for him to deliver us from evil.

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Tony Evans Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and...

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