God's Leading in Life
Text: Matthew 6 : 1 - 18
As Jesus continued to teach His disciples how to pray, He focused on the role of God’s leading in life. This is something that is not to be taken for granted at all. Thus the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to desire God’s leading.
“And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
It is so important to be conscious of the Lord’s leading in our life. We have an example of God’s leading in this psalm.
“I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons;
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
You will show me the path of life
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:7-9, 11
God’s leading is to be very much desired. The psalmist offers a quick list of the way in which God leads. Three things may be highlighted.
1. God gives counsel .
2. God will show the path of life.
3. In His Presence there is fullness of joy
The psalmist did not take God’s leading for granted. Instead, he wrote of how he set the Lord before him at all times. Even as God led, so he made sure that he learned how to receive His instructions properly. Yes, God’s leading is to be desired very much.
COVETING GOD’S PROTECTION FROM THE EVIL ONE
On the one hand, there is God’s leading. On the other hand, there is the subtle but deadly influence of the evil one. Jesus was most conscious of how the evil one worked. The Scriptures contain many examples of how the evil one sought to lead men astray from God!
The evil one would do his utmost to confuse the believer in every way possible. Consider how he trapped Eve and then Adam through his wiles (Genesis 3). Consider again how David was subtly urged by Satan to number the soldiers he had.
“Now Satan stood up against Israel, and
moved David to number Israel.”
1 Chronicles 21:1
Jesus was absolutely right to raise the level of consciousness of His disciples of the existence and the influence concerning the work of the evil one. In this light, it would be important to pray that God would indeed grant His special protection.
“Deliver us from the evil one.”
(The translation in the NKJV of the phrase “tou ponerou” as “the evil one” is certainly better than that found in the KJV which translated the text as “evil”. The use of the article “tou” points to a person rather than an abstraction).
It was the evil one who mounted a series of attacks upon Job and his family members. He caused Job to lose everything and everyone he held dear. He did not even spare his health as he attacked viciously (Cf. Job 1-2). Of course he could not go beyond the bounds God set. However, one can be sure that the evil one would go as far as he can to inflict suffering where it suits his fancy!
How did Job sustain himself against the onslaught of the evil one ? The Scriptures record God’s approving words concerning his integrity.
“Have you considered My servant Job,
that there is none like him on the earth,
a blameless and upright man, one who
fears God and shuns evil? And still he
holds fast to his integrity…”
Personal integrity, strength of character and an unfailing sense of trust in God is vital in the battle against the evil one. But human strength is insufficient by itself. Thus Jesus taught His disciples how they must seek God’s grace and power. The key word in this instance is “deliverance”.
ASSURED OF GOD’S POWERFUL PROTECTION
How thankful we must be that we have God’s protection from the evil one. Let us consider this precious word from The Traveler’s Psalm.
“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”