Formación Espiritual

“Deliver us From Evil”

Rely on your Father’s protection... by Captain Alan J. Gonzalez

The world is full of threats to the human race. As a result, millions of people spend their entire lives filled with fear. They are afraid of financial ruin, of terrorist attacks, of global warming, of infectious diseases, of divorce, of loneliness, of being discredited and slandered, of vandalism, of death, and of the unknown. Although many fears are unfounded, many real dangers exist and cannot be ignored. But is it right to call all these things evil?  

What is evil? It is anything that is harmful in its influence or impact, whether physical, emotional, moral, or spiritual. Some evils attack the body. Some evils attack the emotions and the spirit. There are evils that weaken our sanity and evils that undermine our relationships with others. And there are evils that harm the environment, both local and worldwide.

What is the source of evil? Satan is the ultimate cause of all evil. In fact, nearly all modern translations of the New Testament render this line from Jesus’ teaching on prayer as follows: “Deliver us from the evil one”(Matthew 6:13). When Eve and Adam made the choice to obey the devil instead of God, the curse of evil descended on the world. And human life, which God had intended to be never–ending, now faced the inevitable destiny of death. Satan had won the battle and claimed his place as the prince of this world. 

We should never underestimate our enemy’s great power to do evil. However, neither should we exaggerate his abilities or think that he can do whatever he pleases. He has power to harm, but God, who created him, set limits to his actions and can undo his work. God sets limits for Satan, hinders his plans, and sends angels to oppose him, especially in support of those who have claimed Him as their refuge and hope.

Some people think that one of the limits on the devil’s power is the believer’s immunity to most of the world’s troubles. Since the middle years of the 20thcentury, false prophets have arisen in the Church teaching what the Apostle Paul would call “a different gospel”(2 Corinthians 11:4)—one according to which the children of God are entitled to material prosperity and a life of endless miracles, including freedom from injury or disease. Many people who have accepted this teaching eventually come to the conclusion—because they are not experiencing this “divine health and divine wealth”—that they have sinned in some way or that they just don’t have enough faith to please God. They become confused, discouraged, frustrated, and resentful, and some have even been known to return to the world. 

However, Jesus gave His disciples a warning that also applies to us: “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Sadly, for some believers, that warning from Jesus virtually becomes a “life Scripture verse.” They labor under a delusion that God has destined them to a life of suffering and that they must resign themselves to their fate. With each tragic situation, they are quick to say, “It’s God’s will, so I have to accept it.” “I resign myself to whatever God sends my way.”

In many cases, a better first response might be: “Do I bear any responsibility for what is happening to me?”

Satan delights in seeing human beings suffer evil. And he delights even more when he can persuade them to act in such a way as to create evil, to make themselves and others suffer.

Read the Spanish version.

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