And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:13

Have you ever prayed this verse before? You probably have. I know I have.  It’s a part of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” By the way it’s worded in the King James Version, it  sounds kind of like God would lead us into temptation. Not so! The Bible plainly tells us that God tempts no one…“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” (James 1:13 NLT)

The verse from Matthew 6 in the New Living Translation reads this way, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” And listen to the verse in The Message Bible…“Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.” I kind of like that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed, “Father God, save me from myself!”

I know you’ve heard the old saying coined many years ago…“The devil made me do it!” Well, for one thing, it’s not very likely that the devil or anyone else could make you do something that you sincerely didn’t want to do. Now you may know that it’s not the best thing for you. You may WISH that you didn’t want to do it. You may even pray for the strength NOT to do it. But if you don’t exert some restraint on your part, it’s likely that you WILL do it. Even the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest men of all time, who wrote most of the New Testament said this...“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25a)

Don’t get me wrong, God will help you if you really rely on His strength and draw from the power of His Holy Spirit within you. Paul plainly says so. But the fight between good and evil is an age old battle that will not be abated until the end of time, when Satan’s ultimate defeat is enforced and he is banned from roaming the earth.

But Jesus didn’t leave us defenseless when He returned to heaven. He gave us weapons of warfare that we can use very effectively. “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT)

We definitely are in a consistent battle with a very persistent enemy every day of our Christian lives. Some days maybe more so than others. God’s Word tells us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NLT) Then He gives us the antidote in James 4:7, “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 AMP) We resist him by putting on our armor and “having done all to stand, we stand firm!”




(Oops! Did I say that out loud?!)

No weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the LORD.
Isaiah 54:17 NIV

“Liar, liar…pants on fire…hanging on a telephone wire!” Have you ever heard that saying? If you live in the south you have. I know we used to chant it as children when we thought someone was greatly stretching the truth.

There is speculation that it originated from a version of the 1810 poem “The Liar” by William Blake. Although some people dispute that fact, I read the poem and there certainly are a number of similarities. The phrase itself sounds a bit like a perverted nursery rhyme, but the message is universal. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well what in the world even brought this to mind?” Think again and you can probably guess. Right! Someone blatantly lied to me…straight-faced! (It also reminds me of a verse in an old Bob Dylan song (I’m aging myself now!)… “♫ You lied, straight-faced while I cried; still I look to find a reason to believe. ♪”

I just don’t understand it! Completely aside from being a Christian…why do people lie when they know that there’s a very strong possibility that they will be caught? Maybe they just sense that there’s a “patsy”…uh, I mean a naïve or trusting person around. Maybe they just don’t care if they get caught or haven’t thought that far ahead. Maybe they just enjoy fabricating things. Either way, lies are always perpetrated with a self-serving motive and total disregard for the person being lied to! Believe me…I’ve had plenty of personal experience in this area…on the receiving end!!!

Now I know the Bible tells us to “think the best of every person,” but surely the Lord draws the line somewhere! Actually, this is what Proverbs, the Book of Wisdom says about Iying…“There are six things GOD hates, seven which he detests: a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet swift in running to do evil, a false witness who lies with every breath, and him who sows strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19 Complete Jewish Bible) Did you realize that God hates lying? It is mentioned twice in this passage. But how many people think nothing of telling “a little white lie” or even a “black one” for that matter! The only time it bothers them is when they get caught and I know people who are not even bothered by that. They just tell another lie to prop up the last one or make excuses for it. And it is absolutely NEVER their fault!

One time I asked a lady who had blatantly lied to me…“How can you just lie to me straight-faced and with no conscience?” Her reply was, “It’s easy. I just pretend the thing I lied about never happened.” I was dumbfounded! But the Book of James does tell us…“But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. (James 1:22 AMP)

I could give you many more examples in my own life of people who are apparently self-deceived, because they believe their own lies. It is incredulous, but is a serious matter indeed. Anything that God hates is not to be taken lightly!  Don’t get caught in the world’s trap of thinking it’s no big deal.

As Christians, how do we handle someone deliberately lying to us or about us? There is only one way… pray for them and ask God to be your vindicator.