Luke 11:4February 9 Evening
Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from the evil one.
What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. We should very earnestly avoid temptation, seeking to walk so guardedly in the path of obedience, that we may never tempt the devil to tempt us. We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. We might pay dearly for such presumption. This lion may cross our path or leap upon us from the thicket, but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that seeks to meet with him, even if he wins the battle, will find it a hard struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Saviour, who had experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples --"Pray that you enter not into temptation."
But even if we do our best, we shall be tempted; hence the prayer "deliver us from evil." God had one Son without sin; but he has no sons without temptation. The natural man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards, and the Christian man is born to temptation just as certainly. We must be always on our watch against Satan, because, like a thief, he gives no intimation of his approach. Believers who have had experience of the ways of Satan, know that there are certain seasons when he will most probably make an attack, just as at certain seasons bleak winds may be expected; thus the Christian is put on a double guard by fear of danger, and the danger is averted by preparing to meet it. Prevention is better than cure: it is better to be so well armed that the devil will not attack you, than to endure the perils of the fight, even though you come off a conqueror. Pray this evening first that you may not be tempted, and next that if temptation be permitted, you may be delivered from the evil one.
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