Despite knowing the encouraging words found in the eighth chapter of Romans, many believers continue to live in misery, enslaved by their fleshly desires. I often tell you to guard the T.I.S. in your life: Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions. Those are the greatest weapons of our enemy. This is why we pray, “deliver us from evil.”
Our Father in heaven,
let Your name remain holy.
Bring about Your kingdom.
Manifest Your will here on earth,
as it is manifest in heaven.
Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—
And forgive us our debts
as we forgive those who owe us something.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9-13)
Yesterday I gave you a quote from a Prayer Book that gave us a whole list of evils:
“. . . the crafts and assaults of the devil . . . blindness of heart; pride, vain-glory and hypocrisy; envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness . . . fornication, and all other deadly sin, and all the deceits of the world, and flesh, and the devil . . . sudden [unexpected, and unprepared-for] death . . . hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment, Good Lord, deliver us.”
These seem to flow spontaneously from the fallen heart. Now, it is true that Satan may be the ringmaster, deciding the order each of them will come on for their performance, but he never has to put them in our heart, they are already there! And sin works for the most part by deceit. (Again, T.I.S.)!
“Blindness” . . . “deceits” . . . “hardness of heart” represent sin’s manifestation. But pride and uncharitableness (I love that word) will masquerade as zeal for our God — and then other moral and spiritual “evils” will creep in unnoticed while we focus on something else. This is what the Puritans called “the mystery of self-deceiving,” and what Hebrews calls the “deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews (3:13).
When a trained soldier faces danger, he will keep his cool and tread carefully, always alert, watching each step and ready to react immediately. So will a trained and mature disciple of Christ! They will watch and pray, just in case they enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41), and in an instant you will hear their cry of deliverance. That is when they will be kept safe!
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