SWS-11 - Living In The World But Devoutly Apart From The World

160207AM   The Evil One SWS-11.docx

Why Should We Be Praying Every Day For God To Deliver Us And Every Believer We Know From The Evil One?

Matthew 6:13b

 

Jesus framed the contrast between His plans and Satan’s plans.

Jesus said that each day we live, we face a life or death situation.

John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The Evil One wants to steal, to kill, and to destroy our abundant, overflowing life of joy and peace.

That is what the sixth petition in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13 is all about. Seeking and finding God’s protection daily. Please turn there with me.

Matthew 6:13 (NKJV) And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

We are looking at a series of petitions that are to be part of our daily plan.

Every day we need to get and stay in touch with God. Each of these petitions are all about something that God says we need, and Jesus says we should ask for. Which leads us to our topic today:

 

Why Should We Be Praying Every Day: For God to Deliver Us & Every Believer We Know, From The Evil One

We are to be asking every day for God to deliver us from the evil one. If we are not purposefully praying each day for ourselves and all those in Christ, we are not only not obeying what Jesus asked us to do, we are also showing we are unaware of how dangerous the Devil really is.

This verse are three questions this text prompts us to ask:

Who is the evil one?

What can he do to us?

How do we pray for each other?

 

First of all, who is this Evil One?

The Evil One of v. 13 has personal names. 36x times he’s called Satan which means adversary.

35x he’s called the Devil, or diabolos which means slanderer. But, there is one verse where most of his keys names are all grouped together. That spot is Revelation 12. Open there with me to see the Evil One we are to ask God every day to deliver us from.

Rev. 12:7-9 (NKJV) And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

So the Evil One is the serpent, the Devil, the Deceiver, Satan the accuser, the dragon.

The Evil One is here with his demons, and from them we face grave dangers.

When Jesus prayed in John 17 He gave us a brief glimpse into what His interceding prayers for us look like. Here is one specific area Jesus prays for us:

John 17:15-18 (NKJV) I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Pray

Jesus Intercedes to Deliver us from the Evil One

“In His high priestly prayer, Jesus describes our proper relationship to the world.  

God sends us into the physical world, the world where people live.

What we are to be separate from is the world system, the way the world’s people live (1 John 2:15-17).

You do not have to participate actively in the system to be a part of it.

It is just as worldly to want to do the things of the world as to do them. 

In that sense, the degree to which you are of the world is not measured merely by your contact with it, but by how much it has taken up residence and influence in your heart”.[1]

The Evil One is:

 

The Ruler of this World

The Evil One is called the prince of this world.

John 14:30 (NKJV) I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.

The Evil One is called the prince of the power of the air.

Ephesians 2:2 (NKJV) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

The Evil One runs the whole world system as the wicked one.

1 John 5:19 (NKJV) We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

The Evil One has the whole world in his lap, he runs the whole system of this world.

 

The Deceiver of Eden

Think of it. The Evil One was able to talk the first couple out of their daily walks with their very own, personal friendship with Creator of the Universe. Satan convinced Eve, and then Adam that what he had to offer was better than everything God had already given them.

Think of what they were lured away from: knowing God personally, and hearing His voice as He came for walks in the Garden.

The Evil One tempted Adam and Eve when they were perfect and lured them away from God in Genesis 3. He is the deceiver of Eden.

 

The Devil of the Wilderness

The evil one is so brazen, so set on his ways that he actually tried to pounce on the Lord Jesus Christ at His weakest moment. The temptation in Matthew 4 is astounding when you step back and think about it. Satan knew who he was attacking, yet he did it anyway.

The Evil One even was willing to tempt Christ. He is the Devil of the wilderness.

 

The Disruptor of Ministry

Paul wrote some sobering words to the Thessalonians (1Th. 2:18) when he explained what kept him from coming to them. Listen to what Satan can do.

1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NKJV) Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.

Romans 15:20-22 (NKJV) And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.” 22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you.

In both verses the word egkopto is used. It is a military term for breaking up the road, or placing an obstacle directly in a pathway to impede travel. Satan was able at times to hinder the work of the Apostle Paul.

The Evil One was able to directly hinder God’s servant Paul. He is a disruptor of ministry.

The Blinder of Minds

Satan can steal the Word that is shared with people when we witness.

 Mat. 13:19 (NKJV) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

He also can actually blind people from seeing truth as they consider it in their minds. All his evil is basically worked through unregenerate people who make up his kingdom and that is the world system, and that is the source of temptation driven at our human flesh by this very sophisticated system. 

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NKJV) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The Evil One tries to restrict the proclamation of the gospel by blinding the minds of people so the gospel cannot come to them.

So who is the evil one? From the Scriptures we can say that the Evil One is at least these five clear things:

The Ruler of this World in John 14.

The Deceiver of Eden in Genesis 3.

The Devil of the Wilderness in Matthew 4.

The Disruptor of Ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2.

The Blinder of Minds in 1 Corinthians 4.

So, first we have seen “who is the evil one?” Because of what we have seen we can understand why Jesus asked us to regularly ask God our Father to deliver us from the crippling, deadening power of the Deceiver, and the Devil, who is the Ministry-Disruptor, and the Mind-Blinder.

 

Secondly, what can the Evil One do to us?

If these first four truths did not get your attention, then Peter will.

Peter warns all of us that Satan prowls around, and when he finds one of those places as Paul called them, (Eph. 4:27), he has an opening from which to launch his attack where he can devour (1 Peter 5:9) believers. 

There is why we pray daily for God to help us. The Evil One is:

 

The One who Devours Saints

Turn with me to 1 Peter 5:5-11 (NKJV).

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

When he devours we find ourselves overwhelmed by doubts (the opposite of faith), we are immersed in fear (the opposite of hope), and we are consumed by selfishness (the opposite of love).

God wants us walking in faith, living in hope, and serving in love. Satan devours us to be overwhelmed by our doubts, chained by our fears, and driven by our desires. That is all the Evil One has to do and we are devoured, rendered useless to God.

The Spirit is grieved, our testimony fades, and our joy and peace evaporates. Downward we go.  Next, look at James 3:13-18. The Evil One is also:

 

The One who Brings Confusion & Strife

Here we see how the Evil One can destroy the joy, peace, hope, and effectiveness of believers.

James 3:13-18 (NKJV) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

 God’s wisdom from above brings confidence, but the Evil One brings confusion.

So, we have see who the Evil One is, as described by God.

Secondly we saw what he can do to us as:

The one who devours saints in 1 Peter 5.

The one who brings confusion in James 3.

 

Now, back to where we started. There are three questions this text prompts us to ask:

Who is the evil one?

What can he do to us?

 

Finally, How should we pray for each other?

God shows us how to resist the attacks of the Evil One in the very next chapter. Turn onward to James 4.

James 4:7 (NKJV)

Therefore submit to God.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 

There is a two part response that God prescribes for us each time we face the Evil One’s attack through our flesh, the world, or his demons:

Submit to God in the ways He has asked us to in His Word.

Then, resist the devil.

Say yes to God’s Word, and His way.

No to Satan’s lies, deceptions, and attacks.

That is how we resist:

 

The Ruler of this World in John 14.

The Deceiver of Eden in Genesis 3.

The Devil of the Wilderness in Matthew 4.

The Disruptor of Ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2.

The Blinder of Minds in 1 Corinthians 4.

The One who devours Saints in 1 Peter 5.

The One who brings confusion in James 3.

 

Jesus left us a daily prayer for asking for our Father’s protection

When we pray, we should ask God to protect us from Satan.

We should ask God to keep us from his deception and lies.

Then we should pray the same for those we know and love.

 

#330 “Come Every Soul By Sin Oppressed”

 

[1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Hebrews (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983) 442.