In the movie, The Patriot, Mel Gibson's character, Benjamin Martin, does everything he can to avoid entering the war for independence; until the war comes to his front yard. When his son is killed in front of his house, his resistance to fight recedes and he enters the fray. The farmer becomes a warrior.
At the end of the Lord's Prayer, Jesus reminds us about the fray we find ourselves in. He begins His model prayer teaching us to look at the world from the perspective of the Father's character and His Kingdom: His name is hallowed and His Kingdom is coming. He then shows us life through the lenses of the Father's provision and His forgiveness: He gives daily bread and extends forgiveness as forgiveness is extended. Finally he addresses the Father's guidance and His protection with these words in Matthew 6:13:
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
In the battlefield of life there are internal battles and there are external battles. First, Jesus tells us to pray for the Father to lead us through the war zone, and in the course of His leading to lead us away from the things we may fall prey to from internal weakness. He also tells us to pray for deliverance from the attacks of the evil one. We can't avoid entering the front line. Like Benjamin Martin, the war has come to our front yards. Its time for farmers to become warriors again!
There is a real conflict and a real enemy. There has been enmity between Satan and humanity (Gen. 3:15) from the beginning. Satan hates everything that God loves and he has a mission to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn. 10:10). He is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for a victim to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Internally and externally, you are in his crosshairs.
This means you and your family are in a war. Satan hates you, your children, and your grandchildren. His desire is to afflict, accuse, deceive, discourage, scare, and steal from you and those you love most. He is actively looking for every opportunity to tempt you and lure you away from Jesus. You farmers, teachers, moms, dads, business owners and truck drivers need to become warriors.
CS Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, says
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors..."
Let's avoid these two equal and opposite errors and face the reality of our warfare through the lenses of Jesus.
Pray with me:
~ Jesus, as you guide us through life, protect us from the temptations to lie and gossip and flatter in order to look good in front of others. May the people in our cities be known for the relationship values of Your Kingdom.
~ Jesus, protect us from the temptations we face to medicate our lives with food, alcohol, attention, material wealth, and all the others things we turn to. May the people in our city know and be fully satisfied with the peace You alone give.
~ Jesus, deliver us from the fear of letting our facades down. May we be known in our cities as Your disciples by our love for one another.
~ Jesus, deliver our marriages and our families from selfishness, debt, illness, and apathy. May we know the rich and satisfying life you purpose to give us.
~ Jesus, wake up the warriors!