You can live in denial and believe that evil doesn’t exist, but at some point, reality will crush your naivete’. Accepting that truth could lead to despair, or make you search for help. That is where the final portion of Jesus’ words in the Lord’s prayer can offer some hope. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that they would “not be led into temptation, but be delivered from the evil one.” Those words give us a succinct answer about dealing with temptation and the existence of evil. The solution is to ask for God’s help. We can’t do it on our own. We need divine intervention. How exactly does that happen? The next portion of the Teach Us To Pray curriculum is designed to provide some answers to this critical question.
Kingdoms In Conflict is the third of three books in this 35-lesson curriculum. The ten lessons in the Kingdoms In Conflict manuals will help young people understand how God provides for them in the battle against the evil one. The unique challenges of the teenage years make some young people especially vulnerable. The design of the Kingdoms in Conflict lessons is to help them discover the critical elements involved in the spiritual challenges that they will face.
Jesus instructed the disciples to pray that they wouldn’t be led into temptation. What kind of things will lead young people (or any of the rest of us) into temptation? There will be a myriad of answers to that question, and the particularly challenging temptations will vary from one person to another. What will work in everyone’s life is God’s protective shield. Some people call it the armor of God. Some young people would relate this to putting their protective “gear” on before getting into the game. Another critical element would be entering a “safe zone.” You could describe that as a protective fortress that limits the enemy’s access into our lives. Adequate preparations to defend ourselves is important, but we should recognize that many battles are won by advancing against the enemy. That is where intercession comes into play. We can provide protection for ourselves and others with our prayers, but we can also destroy the efforts and strongholds of our enemy by moving forward on our knees. Don’t be afraid. The Spirit of the Almighty God resides within us. Our enemy is a defeated foe. Jesus made an open display of that defeat through His victory on the cross. Recognizing our position and our enemy’s position will make all the difference. Yes, the battle is unending, but the victory has already been won! There is one more weapon that we must pick up and be ready to use at a moment’s notice. It is best represented by Jesus’ response to Satan’s attacks against Him in the wilderness. We need to always be ready to tell Satan…It Is Written. The Spirit-led quotation of Scripture spells certain defeat for the enemy. As with any weapon that is going to utilized in battle, we will need to make sure that our ammunition is readily available.
When we go into battle, we must have confidence (faith) in our commander in chief. It’s not our kingdom that we are building. It’s His kingdom. He’s got this. Victory in these battles doesn’t depend on our efforts, intelligence or abilities. His kingdom is going to be built through His power at work in our lives. One final thing. Let’s check our motivations at the door. If we have any motivation other than that of bringing glory to God, we need to hit the reset button and start all over again.