Keep Me from Evil, that I May Not Cause Pain - Part 2
"Keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain." This portion of the prayer of Jabez brings to our attention a subject that is often misunderstood if not over and/or under emphasized. Where is the appropriate place for evil in the Christian life? Some would argue that there is no place for it because to give it attention is to give it power and greater existence. Others would argue that to ignore it is naive and makes us very vulnerable to its influence. There are people who are concerned that many Christians relate to evil in a way that diminishes personal responsibility. And many Christians believe that the most important paradigm for their faith is that of war, a spiritual battle with evil in which knowing and overcoming the enemy is the purpose. Over the next two weeks we will be addressing these concepts and hopefully giving you the Good News about evil.
This week I would like to focus on how the prayer to keep us from evil is answered. What is our part to play and what is God's part? How is evil overcome or conquered? What is the strategy for combating evil? And once again, what is evil? As we have noticed the Jabez prayer was the result of learning to trust God above anything else and to get his deepest needs met from the awareness that God was with him always no matter how bad the outward circumstances were. This is also at the heart of how this part of the prayer is answered. The good news is that God is greater than all evil and He is in us!