It’s vital to know the enemy and his mode of operation…ask anyone who has served in the armed forces. The Scripture here is a lament or an oracle against Satan. It speaks of him being created blameless but then allowing wickedness and willful rebellious pride to enter him. Our enemy, Satan, also has many alias or aka – Lucifer, prince of this world, father of lies, the evil one, the devil, our adversary, a deceptive angel of light. His mode of operation is simple and yet very effective…it’s destruction, deception, and death. But it’s also essential to know the enemy’s limitations. It tells us in the Bible that if we resist the devil he must flee.(James 4:7) And when we are equipped with the armor of God, we are able stand against him victoriously. (Ephesians 6:11) Finally and most importantly…the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (I John 4:4)
Whenever God is the agent of trials (temptations)…it’s for the purpose of testing, never for the purpose of causing us to fall. For God can’t be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. (James 1:13) And with each test, He will not only never tempt you beyond what you can bear, but He will also provide a way out. (I Corinthians 10:13) But we know our biggest adversary when it comes to temptation is the devil…the evil one. In this verse of the Lord’s Prayer, we are asking to be rescued from evil or the evil one. This statement is echoed in the Prayer of Jabez which says, “..Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me far from evil, that I may not cause pain.” ( I Chronicles 4:10) NKJV So anytime we ask God to keep us from the evil one…the devil must flee.
With each temptation, the devil offered Jesus a shortcut…a way to compromise and thus circumvent God’s plan. So anytime our own impatience tempts us to not wait but instead run ahead of God…we’re playing right into the same scheme. Now none of us like to wait…we all want immediate gratification, so when offered a shortcut, we usually take it. But within that shortcut can hide compromise, risk, and loss. I Corinthians 15:58 encourages us to, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” In God’s perfect plan there are no shortcuts, and even though we may feel impatient when waiting on the Lord…we are to stand firm, fully committed and trusting in Him.
From the very beginning, Satan has been planting seeds of doubt, distorting and twisting the truth, and appealing to the base human carnal nature. For it tells us in Revelation 12:9 that he is the ancient serpent who leads the whole world astray. And Satan doesn’t need to change his game plan either, for it’s been working effectively for thousands of years. Anytime he can get us to doubt God’s Word, hesitate when God puts a call on our life, or question the Lord’s plan and purpose for us…Satan has won for the time being.
The area of our lives that the devil is most easily able to gain a foothold… is when we have unforgiveness in our hearts. II Corinthians 2:10-11 tells us that we need to forgive in order that Satan might not outwit us. When we harbor unforgiveness, we allow the devil to capture a place in our heart…setting up a position – a base of operations for further advancement against us. We need to remain then vigilant…forgiving and forgetting quickly, so as not to allow him the ability to take advantage over us.
Rebellion…if you’ve ever tried to reason with a toddler why he can’t do something, only to see him do it…you’d think we were born defiant! Unfortunately, since that moment in the Garden of Eden, humans have been on a path of revolution and resistance against God. But where has our fierce independence gotten us? Separated far from God as He looks on with great sorrow at the abject wickedness and corruption of His creation. Rebellion is the road to hell…the time is now to turn from evil and embrace obedience and submission.
The ending has already been written…Satan’s doom is inevitable, and he knows it. The Accuser and Slanderer of God is well aware of how his story will end…and it’s not pretty. Satan knows that his time is short and so he’s bound and determined to take as many deceived souls with him into that abyss. Pray then, that people’s eyes and ears will be open to the Truth…the Truth of the living God.