And Lead Us Not Into Temptation…

The Lord’s Prayer Cont’d

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil… 

Thanks to Hollywood movie makers, there is no end to interpretations of what evil is, what it looks like, how it behaves, how it can be subdued and conquered, and so on.

I recently watched a few episodes of the Sleepy Hollow series and apart from the awful script (my husband disagrees!) I was absolutely amazed at how wrong a biblical interpretation could be… in this case, an interpretation of End Times and of the devil’s role in it.

In one of the earlier episodes, a priest sprinkles salt and holy water at the entrance a house to prevent an evil spirit from entering and possessing a young girl inside. That plan was foiled and the spirit entered, eventually confronting and killing the priest.

To discuss spiritual warfare is a cup of tea for another day. Suffice it to say here that one of the things Jesus encourages us to pray for in his model prayer The Lord’s Prayer, is for protection from and victory over evil.

The fact that we are to look to God to deliver us from evil is rested in a confidence we can have that He is able to conquer the evil one. In fact, according to Colossians 2:15, he has already done so. Hallelujah!

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (NIV)

Not only has he conquered evil but he says that those who are in Christ Jesus (who rest secure in a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour) have the ability to conquer evil which opposes them in throughout life as well.

In James 4:7, the Apostle James tells us that when we submit ourselves to God (that is our will, emotions, agenda and entire being), and we RESIST the Devil, he will flee from us.

The Devil, Satan, or the enemy (however you choose to call him) has a clear mandate to “steal, kill and destroy” you. (see John 10:10). And so resisting him is not something to take lightly or to do one day and not the next.

There are several techniques that persons will cite as ways to resist the enemy. One of the sure-proof ways is to read and meditate on God’s Word so that his Word becomes hidden in your heart. In times of temptations, we lean on this Word and declare it in our prayers, believing that God, our Rescuer, our Deliverer, will provide an escape.

In times of temptations… God, our Rescuer, our Deliverer, will provide an escape.

In times of temptation, we can make 1 Corinthians 10:13 the basis of our prayer.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is FAITHFUL; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”

That concludes out breakdown of the Lord’s Prayer, itself a model upon which we develop effective prayers for ourselves, our families, our communities, and even people or situations miles away from us.

I trust that you were encouraged in some way and look forward to you continuing to follow Feathers For Every Season as we resume our devotions.

There’s indeed much happening at home and in the wider world to talk (and pray) about!

Much Love,

RuthMoïsa Stoute

Forgive Us Our Wrongs…

The Lord’s Prayer cont’d

And forgive us our wrongs as we forgive those who have wronged us.

Forgiving others can be one the most challenging things on earth to do, particularly when they it involves someone close to us who has wounded us emotionally.

In her book “Do Yourself a Favor… Forgive” televangelist and bestselling author Joyce Meyer discusses how hurt is one thing in life that’s essentially guaranteed and that forgiveness is not a guarantee… it’s a choice we can make to set ourselves free from the pain that keeps us trapped in a state of fear, resentment or anger.

Many persons have suffered horrible things: abuse, rape, betrayal, abandonment, the tragic loss of loved ones at the hands of recklessness.

I once heard someone say it was her “right” to not forgive someone and that Christians were insensitive to be going around trying to convince people to give up the one thing you held in your heart to repeatedly condemn your offender.

I once heard someone say it was her “right” to not forgive someone…

I even told God one dark and depressing day  (I was very adamant about it as well) “Why should I forgive (that person) when they’re just going to hurt me again?”.

Have you ever asked yourself that same question, in order to justify holding on to the offense someone committed against you? The reality is, carrying around the weight of unforgiveness does more damage to you, the recipient of that offense, than to the offender. Most times, the offender is not even aware of the damage he or she caused you, and may not even recall committing the offense! All the while, we walk around steaming in our own juices of resentment.

The reality is,… unforgiveness does more damage to you… than to the offender.

But the biggest reason to me why unforgiveness is nothing to mess with, is because it’s a sin, and like all sins, born out of selfish desires.

How so?

Refusing to forgive someone is to place yourself as a merciless judge over their lives and actions. But Jesus compels us in Matthew 5: 44- 45 “… to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

As God has been merciful, He has made his strength available to us to be merciful to others. But to accept God’s mercy, while refusing mercy to others is to treat with disdain the mercy we first received from Him.

See also the parable of The Unforgiving Servant.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread…

The Lord’s Prayer Cont’d

Give us day by day our daily bread…

Perhaps you’re familiar with the passage in Luke 11: 10 – 13 in which Jesus explains the willingness of His heavenly Father to give good gifts to His children.

                “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

And what more (or who more) is so vitally important to us navigating the ups and downs of life than the Holy Spirit. our companion, our guide.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives allows us to move in wisdom and open doors of favor to us.

God’s gift to us is not only His presence, but his provision. Again, Jesus says in Matthew 6:8 “your Father knows what you need before you ask him”. He was telling his disciples not to worry about how they would obtain material necessities such as food, shelter and clothing; the basic needs of man.

And though God knows already what we need before we ask (someone may ask then “so why need I ask if he knows?”), I believe that the act of asking forces us to engage God, forces us to lift our eyes to Him, knowing and being confident that our help comes from Him.

…the act of asking forces us to engage God…

Stop asking Him and you find yourself leaning on your own strength, intellect and other devices to provide for you. You start resenting a spouse, an adult-child, a parent, a government official, a pastor, the church for not meeting a need.

Stop asking Him and you by default put your confidence in something or someone else, which can, only at some point in time, fail you.

Bu there is no failure in God…

So ask Him, and rely on Him to supply your daily bread.

Your Kingdom Come…

The Lord’s Prayer Cont’d

It’s been an entire month since our last post! I want to sincerely apologise for that, particularly seeing how we were in the middle of walking through some very basic, easy-to-understand points of one of the most important disciplines of the Christian life… PRAYER.

Let’s dig right in where we left off…

Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I used to think that the only time we will experience the coming of the Lord’s Kingdom is upon the return of Jesus Christ. I used to think that everything good, pure, holy and without pain was “on the other side” and “in the sweet by and by”.

While there is a rest in peace offered those who’s hope is in the Lord, we can still experience the Lord’s Kingdom while here on earth. Simply put, The Lord’s Kingdom is established wherever He is King. Wherever He is in charge and in control, wherever situations are guided by His laws and decree, he exercises full governance. And even when we don’t allow him in, He is still Sovereign!

… even when we don’t allow him in, He is still Sovereign!

There was song we used to sing as children: “Love is a flag flown high in the castle of my heart, in the castle of my heart, in the castle of my heart, love is a flag flown high in the castle of my heart, and the King is in residence there.”

Such a beautiful expression and reminder that the Lord’s Kingdom is within me when I allow him to rule in my life.

That Jesus Christ taught the Lord’s prayer to his disciples means that it is God’s will that earth replicates what is done in Heaven. We may get discouraged as believers when we see and read about all that is going on around us today that is in violation of God’s Word. The discouragement many even cause some of us to believe that it is hopeless to pray for this world. But as long as sin exists, this aspect of the Lord’s prayer remains relevant.

As God is worshiped (placed first and above all things) in heaven, we must pray that He be worshiped on earth, that His Knowledge and Power would cover the earth as the water clothes the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Bring it closer to home. Pray that His rule comes to your heart, your home, your family, your community, your nation.