Lent III

Theme: Deliverance from our Enemies

The Lord’s Prayer… And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…

How is your Lent going?

Have you been able to be faithful to your discipline? If so, then great. But if you are having trouble or have not chosen a discipline yet, then these words are for you. What is keeping you from it?

Today’s readings call us to focus on the spiritual battle. Jesus heals a man who is dumb! He is dumb because of a demon, an evil spirit, which has taken away his ability to speak. Think on this. The man is unable to say his prayers out loud, he is unable to make his will known, and he is set apart from the “faithful” folks because he “isn’t quite right.” He isn’t right with God or with man. He is under the spell of the evil one.

No one would touch this man as he is unclean spiritually. Jesus, who is the Son of God, can see the spiritual problem here and He heals the man of his spiritual malady. This seems to bother the folks watching. Some are amazed that He has the power to remove the spiritual impediment from the man. Others speculate on the HOW he does it. Did He call off the “dogs” as a crime boss calls off his minion when fear of harm has done the trick? Some think an evil leader is the one in control. They miss the whole point.

When in the Gospel Jesus speaks to those in the crowd about the possibility of Satan’s kingdom being divided and not being able to stand, he knows the truth. He knows that Satan is the “King” of this world. Satan has all the resources and power of the evil in it. He knows power stronger than Satan’s. He knows what happened to Him being tempted after the 40 days in the wilderness. He knows about the spiritual battle in Heaven between the good and bad angels. He also knows the result of the challenge in Eden. And thus He knows why He is standing on earth IFO these people.

He came to repair the relationship. We have no ability of our own to fix things. Only God, in His infinite love, power and mercy towards us, could fix things. He knows that God is stronger than Satan. He knows who wins in the end too.

As Christian men and women sitting in the pews this morning, we need to know a few things. We tend to avoid Satan. We know too well that he torments, seduces, hunts and destroys life, relationships, and we know we help him in this venture. When we continually think of our self, keep our selves at the very center of our thoughts and acts, we participate in the destruction of this world. We continue in the fall beyond Adam and Eve. We are enemies of God. By avoiding to think about evil, the power of the devil and the darkness, we can forget that we have no personal power over it. We will never come to a place where we think we need God’s help. Or else Adam and Eve would have been victorious. They were smart, but no longer innocent. We are to be innocent as children, wise as serpents. Instead people today tend to be smart, but without real wisdom and innocence. That is why this morning, we pray for God’s intervention and deliverance. We ask Him to deliver us from our enemies, both foreign and domestic, both outside and within us. When our eyes are focused on God, He will take care of our enemies and He will take care of us too.

Seeing a God that has unlimited power over evil, being able to remove it as in the gospel, seeing Jesus triumph over Satan in the wilderness, and knowing what happens in the end, we can come with confidence to God this morning. He has power over all that we fear. And all that Satan could do to us.

What must we do…

1. Keep our eyes on God, pure, single-minded
2. Have the desire to follow His commandments, desire to please him
3. Remember we have a spiritual relationship with Him and with each other.

If we just did these three simple things, then we would be living Kingdom lives, and we would be delivered from our enemies by God!

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