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Evil and the Evil One

Jesus knew that, like every other human in history, we would struggle with temptation. That’s why He taught us to pray, “Let us not yield to temptation.”

But we are not done. We need more than to simply “not yield.” We need rescue.

And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

Other translations render this last line simply “deliver us from evil.”

The language actually allows for either translation. I think Jesus did that on purpose.

See, throughout the Bible, evil is an internal and external reality. It resides inside of us as sin. It resides outside of us in our Enemy.

We need deliverance from both.

We cannot battle the evil inside of us.

Albert Einstein is credited as sayin, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Likewise, we cannot combat the sin in our lives with the same sinful hearts that ushered it in.

We are not greater than our sin. But God is. We need His rescue.

We also cannot wrestle down the evil outside of us.

As James Emery White once wrote, “At this point it is customary to declare… that greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Yes, but he that is in the world is greater than you. That is why Jesus instructed us to pray not, you will notice, for dominance… but for deliverance” (The Prayer God Longs For).

We are not greater than our Enemy. But our God is. We need His rescue.

This is a humble prayer.

It eradicates any notion of self-righteousness. It forces us to confront out own weakness. It challenges

the popular conception that we are “basically good.”

We are not good. But our God is.

We are not great. But our God is.

That is why we pray, “Rescue us, God, from the evil inside of us and outside of us.”

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