The Evil We Face

And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13 NLT)

What is your greatest temptation?  A lustful heart and mind were issues for me for years, but in this season of my life my greatest temptation is to dishonor the Lord by not recognizing His hand on every detail of my life. When completing any project, whether writing an article for this blog or changing a light bulb, I thank the Lord for enabling me to have the knowledge to do whatever it is, but also for the resources to make it possible – i.e. a computer on which to write, post; or money to buy the bulb, etc.

Perhaps you think that’s a bit extreme, but in my mind, it helps me keep my focus on the Lord, remembering that apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5). “Yeh,” you may be thinking, “but isn’t that taking that verse a little too literally?” Perhaps, but where do you draw the line? Every thought leads to something else – another thought, an action, a reaction – which leads to another and another.

Photo by Charles Parker on

Think of the worst sin you’ve ever committed. Think of the evil it represented and the vile repercussions of that one sin. Think of the people you love who were most affected. Think of the ongoing implications on your effectiveness as a child of God. Like the proverbial ripples in the water from a single stone.

One of the tragedies of modern Christianity, especially in America, is we’re asking the wrong questions. We’re asking, “How far is too far?” Or, as John Piper wrote: “People who are content with the avoidance ethic generally ask the wrong question about behavior. They ask, What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with this movie? Or this music? Or this fame? Or these companions? Or this way of relaxing? Or this investment? Or this restaurant? Or shopping at this store? What’s wrong with going to the cabin every weekend? Or having a cabin? This kind of question will rarely yield a lifestyle that commends Christ as all-satisfying and makes people glad in God. It simply results in a list of don’ts. It feeds the avoidance ethic.”  

The most terrifying evil doesn’t exist “out there.” It’s not the pedophiles and sex traffickers that keep me awake at night; it’s not the rapists, murderers, abortionists, or crooked politicians. Emerson wrote: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” Of course, that can point to the wonderful things of which we’re capable, the inventions, ideas, resources we can pour into making our world a better place to live.

But what frightens and begs my dependence upon the Lord is the evil that lurks, of which I may not even be aware. Do you realize what you’re capable of in your darkest moments? Anything! The greatest potential for evil may be masked by our religiosity, but without Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit guiding and protecting us from the evil one, we can’t even imagine what we’re capable of doing or being.

Why is this even important for us to consider? Because we have the tendency to coast, to rest on our laurels, to become satisfied with what we’ve done, been, or have become. We begin to believe the lie of Satan that we’re “a good person.” That we’ve actually earned or deserve the accolades of others; that we’re a notch above those poor saps who can’t seem to get their act together. We become the Pharisee at the temple praying, letting God know what a good catch He made when He got us.

Should the fact of our propensity to evil alarm us? Absolutely, but only to the extent it drives us to the arms of our Savior. Fear is for those who haven’t yet met or wander away from the Savior, Jesus. In His care we have no need to fear anything or anybody. Remember David’s words: “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.” When our heart and life are tucked safely and securely in the protective custody of our Savior it’s not us who need to be afraid, but Satan and his devilish emissaries.

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊

2 thoughts on “The Evil We Face

  1. Just want to let you know you’re doing a terrific job, and I’m proud of you. Does it ever feel like cheating tho . . . . . . . ..with all the help you’re getting from Him? 😉

    We love you guys.



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