A simple reading of Romans 8 or Genesis chapters 3-11 make clear that we live on a fractured planet. Life as God intended it to be for us is more than a little off center and we are the ones who made it crack and turn askew. But we had help in messing up what God so carefully and graciously crafted for us. We still have that same hellish help to ensure that our world is more than a tad warped and broken.
When we face times of trial, when the fractures of our world break our own hearts and crush our own hopes, is often when we can see Jesus come to us in our storm if we will only look for Him and ask Him to join us in the storm (see Matthew 14:22-33). Jesus taught His closest follower — and us as well — to pray, “deliver us from the evil one.” And in Jesus, we believe that this victory was ultimately secured, but the ultimate moment of realized deliverance hasn’t fully arrived for us so we keep praying the Lord’s Prayer and ask for that deliverance again and again. You see, “the evil one” of whom Jesus’ speaks, is a bit like an awful jack-in-the-box. After a few turns of our broken world, “the evil one” pops back out and leaves his hellish mark. So we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
But in addition to praying for deliverance, we also extend Jesus an invitation to join again in our storm and bring us to Himself. I talk about this in my heartlight.org article this week, Riders in the Storm. I encourage you to read that article and also look at the questions which follow.
At some time in each of our lives, we are all going to find ourselves as riders in the storm. How are we going to handle them?
- What are some of the storms you have faced in your life?
- So when you were in your storm, to whom did you turn for help?
- Did you trust Jesus to come and meet you in your storm even though you weren’t aware of his presence at first?
- Will you look to Jesus in your future storms instead of focusing on the winds and the waves?
- Will you take risks to find Jesus in your storms, even if those around do not?
- And if you fall in your storms, will you cry out to Jesus to save you?
- Do you think it is sometimes necessary to go through storms to discover that the presence of Jesus in your life is real?