Monday, June 30, 2008

Deliver Us from Evil

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).

In Bible days, a ferocious lion was among the most feared dangers, as a quick search of any concordance will verify. A modern equivalent might be the terrorist awaiting an opportunity to strike, or a Category 5 hurricane turning toward land. Whatever the analogy, the devil bides his time until he sees a chance to do as much damage as possible.

And like most hunters, he knows that the best time to catch prey with its guard down is while it's concentrating on satisfying its appetites. The "self-controlled and alert" are less vulnerable to Satan's schemes because they are less likely to be lulled into a false sense of security, or to insist on walking into obvious trouble in the name of reaching something that looks luscious.

Ultimately, though, we are all too weak to remain self-controlled and alert on our own. We can only stay safe from sin by keeping in close touch with God and fighting battles in His strength.

From the roaring lion who would devour,
From our own weak hearts, from enticement's power,
From the world and all who would see us sin,
Lord, protect our souls that You died to win.

That we grow in You and in Your strength,
That we be adorned with Your crown at length,
That we honor Your great and holy Name,
Lord, keep us from all that would bring You shame.

Let us seek Your will through all our days;
Let us live for Truth and delight in praise;
Let us find our strength through the Life You bring--
Lord, may we forever proclaim You King.

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