(Day 9 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13)
How easy is it to be caught up in our amoral culture of constant stimulation and instant gratification? When we visit a local restaurant where large screen televisions in every corner are projecting bigger than life images of supermodels, sports heroes, the latest electronics gadgets and medicines, how can we focus on the person sitting across the table from us? On a trip down the interstate, the billboards have become graphic, scrolling, electronic, multi-media message boards touting the newest liposuction or a happening nightspot. We don’t have to go to the movies to see the exotic imagery. We don’t even have to turn on our television anymore. We don’t need to open an evening newspaper. Our once innocuous cell phones have become a prime marketing tool and daily we are bombarded by text messages, advertisements, unwanted email, social feeds, videos and more stimuli than we can possibly sort through in 10 lifetimes. Movies, television, Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon… the deluge never ends.
Peter warned us that our enemy prowls about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). This has become a horrifying reality in our day. Now more than ever, we need to put on the full armor of God and pray the offensive prayer as Jesus instructed us. “Lead us not into temptation that surrounds us and cries to us with every chirp of the phone and Facebook ad. Deliver us from the clutches of the evil one who has his trap set out for us.” We need to fix our eyes on Jesus, remain vigilant in our quest for purity and ask God daily for protection as we pursue the Kingdom adventures.
As we pray our offensive prayer, we can take courage in the fact that Jesus also prayed for our deliverance from the enemy. He told His Father,
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
I cannot imagine that we will ever return to the simpler times before the daily deluge of Internet marketing, phishing scams, instant pornography and the vile onslaught of immorality. Our alternative is to squirrel ourselves away from media devices and make time for quiet communion with our Lord where we ask Him to put a hedge of protection around our hearts and minds and deliver us from this rampant evil of our time.
Dear Father, lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the evil one.
By Lisa Fulghum