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.
Humans have always rationalized and hidden things they’re not comfortable about everyone knowing. We recognize that what we’re doing is wrong, but we say to ourselves, “What I do in the privacy of my own home is my business…it doesn’t hurt anyone, so why should it matter?!” We even brazenly think we can get away with the sin and won’t get caught. But it does matter…For every evil action will affect someone negatively somehow…every scheme of wickedness done in the realm of darkness will eventually be found out…it’s just a matter of time.