“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
The Christian life is a battle that is fought on two fronts. There are temptations that lurk within us, and there is evil all around us.
That’s why Paul says, “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn— fighting without and fear within” (2 Cor. 7:5).
If we are to honor God’s name, advance His kingdom, and do His will, we need not only to be sustained and forgiven, we need to be delivered from evil in two spheres—the temptations that lurk within us, and the evil that is all around us.
We need to ask God to deliver us from evil not only because its fruit is all around us, but also because its root lies within us. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Why are we tempted? Why does sin have a landing place in our lives? “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (Jas. 1:14-15).
So, we can never look down on the world from a position of superiority. Sin is like a fountain within us that constantly throws up temptations with which we have to contend.
J. I. Packer has a great picture of this in his book I Want to Be a Christian: “Can you see your own life in terms of being threatened and endangered by evil of all sorts and so of needing God’s deliverance every moment? You are like a person wandering blindfolded and with ears plugged in the middle of a city street with traffic coming both ways.”
Identify a time when you were aware of dealing with a temptation within, and another occasion when you were aware of an evil around you. In either case, did you go to the Lord and ask Him to deliver you?