Notes on Message preached 31 May 2009 at PCF :”Help for the Battle”
“Lead Us not into Temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One” Matthew 6 v.13
In this petition Jesus encourages us to come to our Father and to ask for daily help in the battle against the enemy and all his forces. The word translated “temptation” refers to any trial that a Christian experiences. It can also be translated “trial” or “test”.
1. The Cosmic Background
At some point in eternity in the past a created angel, Lucifer, led an angelic rebellion against God (Isaiah 14 v12-15),was thrown out of heaven (Luke 10 v18, Revelation 12 v 7-9) and set up his “centre of operations” on earth to re-launch his claim to God’s throne. Deceiving Eve, and causing Adam to sin, Lucifer (or Satan) caused death to come to earth and now “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (I John 5 v.19). Starting at the fall of man, God launched his rescue plan, first through a family (Abraham) then a nation (Israel) and finally through the Messiah, Jesus, culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus, where Satan’s defeat was total and sentence passed. Today Satan awaits final judgement and God waits to bring about his final victory. We are therefore in days when “he knows that his time is short” .In this context that Jesus exhorts us to pray for help, protection and support in battle.
2. The Changing Battlefield
Throughout the Scriptures we can see Satan attacking believers in every circumstance:
1. Adam – Genesis 3 “Did God really say?” “God is lying” “God doesn’t love you” “You can become like God”
2. Job – Job 1-3: Satan is “roaming the earth”. Every test has to have the specific permission of God. And because we know that God loves us, every situation that he allows into our lives has a higher good, even if we do not see it. And Job’s trial end, and he is doubly blessed. (I Peter 5 v8-11)
3. Jesus – Matthew 4v1-11 – Again the temptation is to doubt the word of God(“If you are the Son of God”.)And the offer of goodies if Jesus will only abandon his plan.
4. Paul – Romans 7 v14-25. Paul describes his daily battle with temptation
5. You. We are all experiencing these battles day by day.
3. The Constant Battle
So how do we face this daily battle?
1. You have an advocate – Jesus prayed for you and is still interceding for you. (John 17 v 15)
2. You have a Champion – Jesus understands every battle that we face (Hebrews 4v14-16)
3. You have Armour – God does not send us into battle unprepared (Eph 6 v10-18)
4. You have Daily Victory (I Corinthians 10 v 13) – every battle can be won. (James 4v 7,8)
5. You have forgiveness (I John 1 v 9) When we fail we can go to our Father for forgiveness
6. You have eternal victory. Jesus has won for ever!
“Hear O Israel: today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted or afraid. Do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory”(Deuteronomy 20)
Questions for Discussion
1. How do we come to be in this conflict?
2. What kind of tests, trials and temptations do we experience day by day?
3. How can we respond when under attack?
4. What examples can you give from your own life of when you were under temptation, trial or attack and you experienced God’s help?
5. Is there any trial in you life now that you would like prayer and support for?