Our Father, which is in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others their trespasses against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Like the rest of the prayer, this part of the prayer is deeper than what it appears to be on the surface. Most certainly all of us want to be delivered from evil, but does God really and truly always deliver His children from evil?
There have been many circumstances in the world that seem to say otherwise. For centuries, faithful lovers of God have been slandered, robbed, assaulted, raped, tortured, maimed, and murdered. So what was Yehoshua referring to when He told us to pray that God would deliver us from evil?
God does save people many, many times from danger and deliver them out of evil circumstances, but I am convinced that the most important aspect of deliverance is to be delivered from becoming evil. That is when evil triumphs over a soul. It is not when one is abused, but when a person lets bitterness take root in their soul, turns their back on God, and becomes an abuser.
This part of the prayer finds an echo in Jabez, the man who was more honourable than his brethren. The story of Jabez is widely misunderstood. Many have interpreted it as a prayer for prosperity, but more than that, it is a cry for purity. The prosperity aspect is valid, but it is not limited to earthly gain.
In fact, earthly gain can be completely forsaken for the sake of Heavenly gain, and the prayer of Jabez can be applied to acquiring much Heavenly gain through ministry. God never meant for the prayer of Jabez to be a formula to gratify a self–centred desire for success, which is what it seems many Christians have made it.
In 1 Chronicles 4:9 & 10 the Bible says, "And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."
Here we see a man who did not get a good start in life. His mother considered him a pain, and named him accordingly. She likely had a difficult pregnancy and a long, painful labour. Most women forget about the pain for joy that their child was born, but not this one. It is also likely that he was a sickly, whiny child who drove her nuts.
I am reminded of a lady I knew who periodically moaned to her rebel daughter about how long her labour was and how much pain she endured to bring her into the world, when she felt her daughter was not suitably grateful for what she did for her. It never seemed to move the daughter, and I couldn't blame her.
Who wants to be an exception to the rule that women generally are so overwhelmed with joy over the birth of their child that they consider it worth what they had to go through? Poor Jabez was never allowed to forget how much trouble he had inadvertantly caused his mother.
No, Jabez's mother did not value him or enjoy his childhood. He was said to be more honourable than his brethen. The Hebrew word for honourable can mean that he was a heavy burden, compared to the rest of his siblings. From Day 1, it looked like Jabez would be a loser all his life.
I deduce from his prayer that he was mistreated quite a bit, but there was something in him that made him stand out from his brethren in God's eyes. He lusted for spiritual things and had a passion for purity. Like his ancestor Jacob who was disdained when viewed through carnal eyes, Jabez appeared to be a weakling, but he had a humility within him that made him eligible for spiritual blessing. Like Jacob, he knew that he desperately needed God in order to amount to anything.
So he cried out from his heart, "Oh, that you would bless me indeed!" He asked God to make him a success in life. And he also asked God to keep him from evil, that it would not grieve him.
Maybe he was a simple–minded type of person, the Forrest Gump of the Old Testament, if you will. It could be that he was a semi–retarded person who had a peculiar gift upon his life, from that point on, of blessings falling into his lap and bad stuff never again happening to him.
I can be quite happy with that interpretation. When I used to go to movies, I enjoyed watching Forrest Gump. I kind of felt like a Forrest Gump myself, and I wanted to believe that God could make all sorts of blessings rain down on me. Actually, I still would like for that to happen.
What I think is more likely, though, was that Jabez was a quiet introvert who learned to stopped whining because nobody was interested in his pain, they found it annoying that he would not shut up, and they showed their resentment and contempt in various ways as long as he kept at it.
I think that he had a melancholy temperament, which would mean that he was deeply analytical. Perhaps he was crippled and/or deformed. Maybe he could not do hard physical work in the fields like regular folks, so he decided that he would have to use his brains, if he was going to get anywhere in life.
This would probably point him in the direction of being a trader or a tradesman who could sit while doing his work. But there was likely a another handicap that could have prevented success in that area. It could be that, though he was fairly intelligent, he was a bit clueless when it came to social skills. He had been rebuffed so much, and spent so much time being focussed on his hurts that he did not know how to do relationships.
Studies have shown that it isn't necessarily the people with a lot of brains who get rich, but rather those who have a lot of social skills. They draw people to them through their lovable personality and get sales more on the basis of what they are, than the quality of what they are selling, particularly if their product is as good as any other.
But there are also people who are nasty as anything, yet they make a lot of money. It could be that they are dishonest and/or very manipulative. That is not always the case, though.
I met a young man who was quite well off; he earned his money through playing the stock market, and his regular job had something to do with computers. He probably worked on contract and off site. He could earn lots of money because what he did to earn it involved very little contact with people.
He was quite a disaster when it came to interacting with people. One time, just out of the blue, he told a waitress, "I don't care squat about you, and you don't care squat about me." She fled to the back of the restaurant in tears.
I wondered what she was so upset about. Everybody knew what kind of guy he was; why was she taking it so personally that he didn't care about her, especially considering that it was true that she didn't care about him? If a total stranger told me something like that, I would just think to myself, "Okaaay," and then put a wide space between us. I think the guy said that to her because he liked how that word "squat" sounded and he probably thought that the statement made him sound blasé. The waitress's feelings about being the recipient of his vocalization did not figure into his equation at all.
Jabez wasn't like that. He had sensitivity about what was pleasing to the Lord, and he wanted to please the Lord. There were not as many opportunities in Jabez's day to earn lots of money without contact with other people. But however he was going to gain wealth, in spite of not having good people skills, he did not want to prosper through dishonesty and manipulation. This is why he prayed and asked God to be with him, like He was with Joseph and prospered whatever came under his hand.
It could be that Jabez realized that his personality needed a make–over. He needed to learn to be friendlier, more interested in others than remaining focussed on the past and its hurts and how he had been shortchanged. His prayer was likely a cry that God would teach him how to be attractive to people, in spite of his liabilities, and help him to have stronger character.
If he was a reasonably intelligent person, he probably figured out ahead of time that when he became rich, many of the people he currently knew were going to get really jealous. They would probably think that they were far more entitled than him to be blessed. The Bible asks in Proverbs 27:4, "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?"
Jabez knew that prosperity has its own peculiar trials. In fact, the Bible says in Proverbs 24:10 that it is harder to stand strong for God and be faithful to Him in times of prosperity than it is in times of adversity. In times of adversity, we have no else to turn to for the strength we need to get through it, so we give God a lot of attention.
It is when we are surrounded with blessings that there comes a very great danger of being distracted from working on our relationship with the Lord. As Yehoshua said, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle (a small gate in the walls of Jerusalem), than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but with God, all things are possible.
Even if things went tickety boo for long stretches of time, Jabez was going to have to deal with people who would try to steal from him, or cheat him, or slander him, or snub him to show that they were not impressed with him, whereas before they did not consider him worth the effort to disparage. Maybe some of those people who would cut him down were people who stuck up for him in the past, because it made them look good to be benevolent to such a pathetic creature.
Having wrestled long with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, he knew that he would be hugely tempted to take offenses personally. And having wrestled with self–pity and bitterness, he did not want to have to go through that again and again. It was so exhausting. So, he asked God to help him so that opposition would not bother him.
More perilous than being a target of envy and of predators, is the depravity of our own flesh. Jabez realized that there was also the danger that when he got the upper hand, he would not be such a meek and caring guy any more. He might start throwing his weight around and behave obnoxious to people because he could get away with it.
He might make snide, cutting remarks to an employee who had a family to support, and had to take the abuse because no other jobs that paid as much were available to him. It would not be wise to treat the rest of the employees like that; it would hinder progress and profit, and also destroy his reputation, but perhaps he could make sport of one, just to amuse himself and enjoy that he was now the bully, instead of the bullied.
Maybe he would gloat over his siblings about how he was now much more successful, and glower at them when they voiced their honest opinions, if they differed from his. Perhaps some of them would clam up because they depended on him to supplement their income.
Maybe he would demonstrate through gift giving what behaviours pleased him, compelling needy or greedy people to keep up the flattery and fawning, never daring to disparage him to his face like they used to.
Maybe he would become so rich that he could ask for the hand in marriage of a beautiful girl who detested him because he was not handsome, nor particularly charming, and her father would force her to marry him because of his money. She would have to be civil to him because otherwise he would divorce her, and men would envy him because he had such a beautiful wife.
Perhaps he would buy property and be harsh to his tenants, forgetting how downtrodden he used to be, and could have really used a break back then. There are a lot of temptations that go along with being rich and having the upper hand. It is tragedy when one starts off with good values and good character, and lets themselves become jaded, cynical, and cruel.
To avoid becoming a jerk, Jabez had to develop his intimacy with God and get his ability to receive love from God increased. The more secure we are in the knowledge that God loves us, the less it bothers us when other people don't. Also, the more love we are able to receive from God, the more love we have to give others.
Jabez really wasn't asking God to keep him from having to deal with people doing nasty stuff to him. He was asking Him to keep him from being sucked under by evil, from becoming bitter, and from losing his trust in God, turning his back on Him, and thereby becoming an evil person who does bad stuff to others.
It is a much worse thing to be a victimizer than to be a victim. The more a person victimizes others, the more dehumanized they become. They open themselves up to becoming demonized and turning into monsters. If they continue on that track, they end up going to Hell, where they are irrevocably locked into their sin nature and must forever bear the filth and heaviness of their past deeds.
Just every day life in a just and prospering nation holds challenges to one's character. In Jabez's day, the bigger challenges may have been due to raids from Philistines. In that case, he would then be faced with having to help his neighbours fight off attack and recover from their losses afterwards.
If the Philistines triumphed and managed to put Israel under their rule, Jabez would then have to contend with the kind of nightmare that Europeans found themselves plunged into in the 1940's, when a demented, totalitarian regime came into power and persecuted the Jews.
It was usually not simply a matter of the Israelites paying tribute to the Philistines when they regained territory. Like the Turks did to the Armenians who lived among them, the Philistines probably kidnapped Israelites' daughters for their harems and brothels, and there was no recourse.
If they were passing through an area, the Philistines likely swooped down on farmhouses, demanded food, raped the wife and daughters, maybe even raped the sons, confiscated whatever took their fancy, and possibly burned down the house just for fun before they left. When they had the power, the Philistines abused it. They wisely confiscated all the Israelites' weapons, knowing that they gave them good reason to want to overthrow their rule.
1 Samuel 14:21 indicates that when the Philistines were in power, some of the Israelites went over to their side. They must have figured that it was hopeless to try to fight the Philistines, and they did not want to be subjected to the abuses that were visited on those whom the Philistines kept under tribute.
Even when it meant that the people they fought against for the Philistines were their own brothers, the Hebrew mercenaries did as they were told. When they were present in raiding parties where the Philistines abused the Israelites, they looked on and did not interfere; some of them may have even joined in. Mercenaries tend to be a callous lot.
In our world today, it is a very real possibility that North Americans could lose their freedom overnight, and face something very similar to what Europeans went through when the Nazis came into power.
When the persecution of the Jews ramped up at that time, their Gentile neighbours now found themselves facing dire choices. If they helped their Jewish neighbours, they were likely to get arrested, tortured, and shot, or sent to a concentration camp.
There was also the choice of turning a blind eye, of closing their ears to cries for help. That was an evil thing to do, but maybe it was the best that they were capable of doing. At least they did not approve of or participate in the crimes. Afterwards though, they had to live with the shame of their cowardice.
The third choice was to take advantage of the situation, to join the persecuters. There were plenty of opportunities for profit from all those houses that it was now legal to plunder. There was opportunity to party hardy, to join a gang vandalizing, raping, and torturing. There was opportunity to take control over other people's lives, to hold a gun to their head and make them beg for their lives, and then shoot them anyway, just on a whim, like a god.
For some, the latter option was a temptation that they had no intention of resisting. It was an opportunity that they heartily welcomed. In saner times in society, they had concealed their secret inclinations, as they would have been met with strong disapproval and legal consequences.
And then there were those who had thought of themselves as honest, upright Christians. Perhaps they resisted temptation for a while, but the stress of oppression wore them down, and they began to resent God for their suffering and became apostate in their heart.
Maybe one day (a very real possibility), an apostate Christian, who had formerly been a very nice guy (just playing a role), saw a beautiful Jewish girl he knew scurrying through the alleys, trying to get home without being noticed. It came back to him about how stuck up she had been a few years ago and would not even look his way when he said hello to her. This was his chance to show her who had the upper hand now.
Because it had been more important to him to be delivered from outside evil, than from the evil inside his own heart, the apostate raped that girl that he never could have had any other way. The opportunity was there; nobody was going to lay charges against him. Sadly, this was a scenario that has been played out many, many times in real life, when the circumstances allowed it.
During that war, there were people who were quite decent at one time, who managed to hold on to their decency for a good long while, through many temptations, but finally caved in and gave themselves over to doing evil. Some of them were in the camps, suffering the same stuff along with everyone else, but then joined the oppressors so that they could lessen their own suffering, receive more food, and get less beatings. To prove their loyalty to their bosses, they jumped on other prisoners for the slightest excuse, beating them or applying tortures.
Brothels were kept in the camps. Girls and women were forced into prostitution. Prisoners who could keep up with the work assigned to them were given tickets to get into the brothels for some recreation. Prisoners themselves, yet for self–gratification, they consented to degrading and abusing other prisoners. If we should ever find ourselves in such dire situations, how would we behave?
What are we doing now to prepare ourselves for such possibilities? Are we burying our heads in the sand, praying "deliver us from evil" only in the sense that we will be spared having unpleasant things happen to us? Or are we praying also in the sense of looking to God to not let us be tempted beyond what we are able to endure, so that we do not become evil?
The Bible says that God granted Jabez what he asked for. How could He not? The man had a humble heart. He recognized that he desperately needed God, if he was going to get anywhere in life. He wanted to prosper honestly and decently, not through deceit and manipulation; therefore he asked that God's hand would be with him. The man wanted to have a pure heart. God is always glad to answer that prayer. Jabez did not want to become evil; another request that was according to God's will.
The core truth of the part of the Lord's Prayer that He deliver us from evil is that God will deliver our souls from becoming evil, if we truly do not want to be evil. If we truly do not want to ever become evil, we need to put some work into prevention, which means gathering the extra oil of the wise virgins. It is an anointing to be faithful to God in our soul's darkest hour.
To gather that oil, we first need to face up to the possibility that we might be subjected some day to horrible circumstances. If we think that it is our right as Christians to always be delivered from such circumstances, we set ourselves up for failure.
I read a book many years ago about some Allied soldiers who were captured by the Japanese and transported by ship to Japan. They were crammed in there and it was worse than the Black Hole of Calcutta. Men went insane because the conditions were so bad.
To digress a bit, the Black Hole of Calcutta was a tiny jail that could hold only 30 or 40 people in a tight squeeze. In 1756, Calcutta was besieged and the British colony there was defeated. One hundred and forty–six prisoners were jammed into the jail, and by morning, 123 of them had died of suffocation.
Among the victims were a father and his son, both Christians. They were not afraid to die. In fact, they were both happy that they were going to die together. They loved each other so much that previously they had said that they hoped that when they died, it would be together. They could not imagine being able to live without the other. They sat peacefully side by side holding hands, waiting for the end to come, instead of joining the struggle to get to the only window in that cell for a breath of air.
On the Japanese POW ship, there was another father and son who had both been in the services, in different troops, and ended up in the same camp. They were glad to be together and were a great comfort to each other. On the ship, though, the suffering was so terrible that the son's mind snapped and he strangled his father to death with his bare hands. The author said that the father did not resist; he just kept looking at his son with love and compassion pouring from his eyes until he died.
The prisoners were put in a prison camp when they arrived in Japan. The conditions were nightmarish. When they had still been in the Philippines, a kind–hearted Filipina had given the author a baked egg when he was being transported on a train. The egg had a baby chick inside. This was considered a delicacy in that country, and it also was a very good source of protein. Though he was ferociously hungry, the author gave it to another prisoner because he could not stomach the idea of eating a baby chick; it looked gross. In Japan, he became desperate enough to eat rats, and to eat them raw.
Of all the prisoners who came over on that POW ship, only one survived. The last prisoner who died in the author's barracks was a Christian. When they were in the Philippines, this young man kept on praying and believing that God would rescue him and he would be repatriated home. He refused to accept that he could die in captivity. His hopes got thinner and thinner as time went on.
As his hopes faded, his love for God and his faith in God's goodness faded away, too. The prisoners died until, finally, there were only the two men left in the barracks, the author and the young man. The young man was very ill when he finally gave in totally to his bitterness. He said to the author, "There is no God." Those were his last words, and he stopped breathing the very next moment.
Did he go to Heaven? The author thought so, but he wasn't a Christian and was not versed in sound doctrine. Or if he had studied it since then, he did not hold to it. He said that he did not believe in God until he went through that Hell. And then he believed.
But what god did he believe in? I concluded that he believed in a god of his own making. He was confronted with the reality that there is a God, but he still did not want to submit to Him. He still wanted to live his life as he pleased, but with the comfortable feeling that there is a God and that He cares, even though we live in a cruel world. His views sounded like universalism, though he may have thought that really bad people ought to go to Hell.
The author's conclusion about the final destiny of the young man was that God surely took into consideration how extreme his suffering had been, and let him into Heaven, in spite of the fact that in the end, he cast away all his faith in God, even in His very existence.
Yehoshua said in Matthew 10:22, "And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved." He didn't say that if we endure up until the last five minutes before the end, that we would be saved. He stipulated that we have to continue to confess Him before men, right to the end.
It is in the darkest hour that we find out if we truly love God and trust Him, or if we have just latched on to God for what we can get out of Him. God did not live up to the young man's expectations, so he turned away from Him in a sulk. Heaven was not a reality to him. God wants it to be a reality to us. Yehoshua specifically told the apostles that He was going away to prepare a place for us, and if it was not so, He would not have told us.
The young POW wanted Heaven, but only in some far off future. There were earthly things he still wanted to experience and enjoy. Maybe he was still a virgin, and wanted to marry and find out what sex was like. Nobody has sex up there in Heaven. He did not trust that what God had in store for him there was way better than sex, many times over.
I think that is likely that he was a virgin, or at least very inexperienced in that line; he seemed somewhat self–righteous and it may have been based on having lived a very wholesome life. He felt that he had a strong basis for believing that God owed it to him to deliver him from captivity.
The young man possibly was raised in a really good home, and longed to see his loving family. He probably thought of the Christmases he had celebrated with them in the past, and other family celebrations, and dreamed of the day when he would be with his family again, in the living room of the beloved home where he was raised, opening presents Christmas morning, going sledding or skating with nieces and nephews in the afternoon, sitting around the dinner table in the evening, and eating turkey until he was stuffed. He would not accept that he could be denied the fulfillment of his fantasies that had kept him going all that time in the midst of that prison Hell.
The young man loved this world and insisted that God must help him stay in it, and make his dreams come true, or he would refuse to even believe in God's existence. What was he asking for, after all? He wasn't asking for God to make him rich. He wasn't longing for things that were illicit. He wanted to meet a nice girl, marry, and have kids, and raise them in church, not get released so that he could head for a brothel or a bar. He wanted to be able to get a job and be respected in society, rather than tormented and laughed at by prison guards. What was wrong with that? He wasn't planning to make a career out of being a crook.
His dreams were denied; he did not accept that God could have a higher purpose for his life in allowing him to go through this suffering and letting him die of illness and starvation in a dingy, prison barracks. He did not want to be a Job, if he did not get the same resolution at the end as Job. Job regained his health and his wealth. He even doubled his wealth and probably married another wife, a much younger wife, with whom he raised another family of ten kids.
If Job had died, though, and died in faith, he would have still have proved the point that God wanted to make when He said to satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?" God restored Job, though, to vindicate the righteous who suffer to those who say they must have done something wicked to deserve it.
Well, it is up to God whether that young man went to Heaven or not. He only is capable of judging such a thing, but I would not want to bank on the opinion of the author of that book that we can deny Yehoshua with our last breath and still go to Heaven.
Contrast that young man's end with the story of another young man who was a Christian, and was also taken prisoner by the Japanese in the same war. He was forced to help build the bridge over the River Kwai, as well as work on other projects. The young man's surname was Miller, so he was called Dusty by his fellow prisoners who had standard nicknames to go with common surnames.
Dusty was a bright light in a dark place. He was starving, like the rest of the prisoners, but he shared what little he had to help others recover from illness, and he tended to them in their helplessness. Time and time again, he showed forth the character of Yehoshua, never failing to continue to believe in God's goodness. He was delivered from becoming evil.
He died a martyr, crucified on a tree and disemboweled because it infuriated one of the guards that Dusty continued to walk in integrity, no matter how much he suffered, whereas the guard had caved into his fears and lusts to let his character sink lower and lower into evil. Maybe the guard thought he had no choice but to become a brute, given the circumstances. It must have infuriated him that Dusty demonstrated that we do have a choice. To Dusty, life was not "all about me"; it was all about Yehoshua and glorifying Him in every circumstance.
To avoid being overcome with evil, we need to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, so that we can escape all the traps that satan has set up to try to rob us of our faith in God, and thereby render us vulnerable to joining in the throngs of souls who have decided to be evil to relieve their suffering and have some wicked fun while it lasts.
It can be quite depressing to consider the possibility of having to pass through great suffering, and die far from home, with relatives and friends not knowing what became of us. The more of a hold that the flesh has on us, the more this thought depresses. However, the good news is that the more we crucify our flesh, the less it bothers us to think about these things.
We may as well move forward and crucify our flesh, because if we don't, worse things are in store. Suffering can come to anyone, whether they are Christians or not. If one suffers outside of Christ, then they suffer pointlessly and go to Hell where they suffer forever. If we suffer for Christ and remain in Him, we suffer with purpose, die victoriously, and go to Heaven where we will never suffer again.
Let's get ourselves ready to suffer victoriously, just in case. We can read books written by Christians who survived extreme persecution and learn from them how they did it. We can read stories about martyrs and how they were faithful unto death. We can make a deep study of what Yehoshua suffered for us, so that we never get the idea that we have suffered more than Him.
I read of a archbishop who was sent to prison in an Iron Curtain country. After being horribly tortured, he consented to serving feces and urine as sacraments to the Christians in the prison. He performed the whole ceremony, as if it was bread and wine that he was serving. When a Christian asked him in shock how he could possibly do such a thing after what Yehoshua had suffered for him, the archbishop replied, "I have suffered more than Jesus."
The man did not fully understand what Yehoshua had suffered. He did not look past the physical suffering of being beaten, whipped, and nailed to a cross. His understanding of the crucifixion was strictly traditional and did not rise any higher than a child's.
It was unutterably abhorrent to the sinless Lamb of God to have even the tiniest sin placed upon His soul. Imagine being totally immersed in a cesspool. It was worse than that for Him to have the tiniest sin come in contact with His soul. Now consider how He had ALL the sins of the whole world laid upon His soul.
Also, to one who had always been totally connected to the Father, it was torment beyond belief for Yehoshua to lose His sense of the Father's presence. We could try to look into that forever, but never understand how awful it was for Him. Only God Himself could have borne such pain. Entering frequently into God's presence, experiencing the exquisiteness of it over and over, will help give us a better idea of how terrible it must have felt for Yehoshua to be exiled from it for even a moment.
Meditating often on what Yehoshua did for us on the cross is a good way to prepare for any suffering that God may require us to undergo. We need to develop a deeper understanding of how bad sin really is, in order to understand better the enormity of the sacrifice that Yehoshua made for us.
One time God gave me a dream where I was trapped in a brothel. People were doing filthy things in there and I frantically ran through the rooms, trying to find a way out. I'd open doors and they only led into other rooms where foggy–brained women wearing garish make–up mindlessly engaged in perverse sexual acts without the faintest notion that what they were doing was wrong. It was just all part of survival to them. Sometimes it was a matter of seeking escape from squalor or monotony through sensual pleasure. I tried to get out of windows, but they just opened onto brick walls. It seemed like there was no way out.
Finally, I came to a central room on the top floor where there was a dome in the ceiling, with a small window in the centre of the dome. I was able to fly up there to break my way out. I was so desperate to get out of that evil place, that I did not care if I cut my skin to ribbons on the glass. Surprising, the glass broke easily and did not harm me at all.
When the Lord showed me afterwards what the dream meant, I was astounded. It related to a sin in my life that I had considered to be a very little thing. It was something that many people do, including Christians, and they easily justify it. It was a lesson to me that sin is a lot more wicked than what we realize; we become desensitized to it when we justify our actions.
We can practice being faithful in the small stuff so that we will be faithful in that which is great. We must not forget to enjoy our current blessings, but we do need to get serious about preparing for the worst scenario. We need to put our roots deep, deep, deep into God so that we won't be blown away by storms. It is better to be overprepared than underprepared.
Again, this prayer unites us in praying for our brothers and sisters to deliver them from risky circumstances. Also to sustain those who are in the midst of trial, such as Christians who are imprisoned for their faith.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
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Copyright © 2010, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on June 17, 2010
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.