“I pray that God would keep me safe from the people who crashed the planes,” says Cassidy, 10.
September 11 changed a lot of people’s prayer lives. Many Americans, including myself, had a sense that our country was insulated from attacks. Now, we realize that we need to pray for God’s hand of protection against terrorists and evildoers. Everyone who doubted the existence of evil came face to face with it on September 11.
Our prayers for protection from evil might begin a little closer to home, says Lance, 6: “I pray God would protect me from bad guys coming into my house.”
“I will pray that the tornadoes don’t get me,” adds Connor, 7.
When we see the destructive power of tornadoes, there’s a sense that even nature has been affected by evil. The Apostle Paul presents the created world as a woman in the travail of birth pains until the time when God’s new creation will be fully revealed (Romans 8:18-25).
God’s new creation is already evident in Christians who live by the Holy Spirit who indwells them. But even they are waiting for a greater glory yet to be revealed. Evil and its effects will be totally absent from God’s new creation when it’s fully revealed.
Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a world and people free from the effects of evil because that’s all we’ve ever known. The challenge is to bring the grace of the new creation into the environment of the old creation. Every time we return good for evil, we testify to the power of God’s new creation. Heaven invades Earth.
Andrew, 11, provides us with an example of how living by God’s new creation keeps one from evil: “I would pray that God would keep me from drugs. The Bible says that our bodies are temples of the Lord, and I don’t want to ruin it.”
Christians who realize that God himself in the person of the Holy Spirit indwells their bodies have a sense of stewardship. We should be careful what we put into our bodies because God lives there. Think of the respect, reverence and detail that went into the care of the temple in Jerusalem. Should Christians be any different regarding their bodies?
The abuse of drugs and alcohol will quickly quench the Holy Spirit’s life in a Christian, but what about the abuse of food? When I worry about something, it’s so easy to eat instead of taking my problem to the Lord. I have to remind myself that self-control is an evidence of living under the Holy Spirit’s control.
Meghan, 10, offers us a proven strategy for avoiding evil: “I would ask God to keep me from picking the wrong friends.”
Would you like God’s blessing? The Psalms promise God’s blessing for anyone who refuses to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. It also warns against standing in the path of sinners or sitting with scornful people.
Avoiding the wrong people is half the battle against evil. The other half is adopting God’s word as your standard. God promises a productive life for anyone who will focus on his word as the guide for life, says Psalm 1.
Think about this: God wants to protect you from evil.
Memorize this truth: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
Ask this question: Do you face life with boldness because you have a sense that God is protecting you from evil?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING