Deliver Us From Evil

Daily Bread 2020 #7

A Thought To Ponder:

You probably immediately recognize the name of Sir Edmund Hillary.  In May of 1953, the New Zealand beekeeper and explorer became the first man to step foot on the top of Mt. Everest.  Often called the “roof of the world,” this peak sits at 29,029 feet above sea level and has claimed the lives of over 300 climbers that have attempted to summit. 

A large British expedition was launched in 1953 under the command of Colonel John Hunt.  Lacking the state of the art equipment of today, the climbers made use of specially insulated boots and clothing, portable radio systems, and closed-circuit oxygen systems. Accompanying the famed explorer step by step along the way was his Sherpa guide from Nepal, a man by the name of Tenzing Norgay.

On the way down from the 29,000-foot peak, Hillary slipped and started to fall. He would almost certainly have fallen to his death, but Tenzing Norgay immediately dug in his ice axe and braced the rope linking them together, saving Hillary’s life.

At the bottom the international press made a huge fuss over the Sherpa guide’s heroic action. Through it all, Tenzing Norgay remained very calm and professional. To all the shouted questions he had one simple answer: “Mountain climbers always help each other.”

Tenzing Norgay is a name mostly lost to history.  He’s relegated to be an answer to an arcane trivia question.  But, without his help the story of “the first man to conquer Everest” takes a tragic and cautionary turn.

I wonder as a fellow traveler, who is holding your rope?  Who is your constant support?  Who can you trust to dig in, hang on, and hold out a lifeline when you slip and fall? 

As we all navigate the narrow paths of following Christ, we need someone.  Sometimes they lead.  Sometimes they cheer from the sideline.  Sometimes they offer correction and hard advice.  But, making our way through this world like making your way up a mountain one thing is always true:  none of us climbs alone. 

I hope you have a voice that whispers in your ear.  A voice that keeps you honest.  A voice that keeps you safe.  A voice that tells you to keep climbing.  Everyone needs a Tenzing Norgay to remind us that mountain climbers always help each other.

Questions To Discuss:

1.  Scripture often depicts Satan as a ferocious beast that stalks and hunts his prey.  How does Satan behave like a predator?

2.  What are some of the lies you’ve heard Satan speak to you?  What are some of the lies we tell ourselves about our own sin?

3.  What are some the “weak spots” you have when it comes to temptation?  What are some things that don’t tempt you at all?  Why do you think some people find it easier to say “no” to certain sins than others do?

4.  Jeff mentioned that we often rationalize our own behavior.  How do we talk ourselves into believing that sin is “not that bad?”

5.  Francis Schaeffer once said, “Though we have stepped from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, we’re still surrounded by a culture controlled by God’s enemy, Satan. We live in it from the moment we accept Christ as Savior until judgment falls.  We are encompassed by one who was once our king but is now our enemy.  It is just plain stupid of a Christian not to expect spiritual warfare while he lives in enemy territory.”

How do you think Christians underestimate the power of sin and Satan?

6.  Who is holding your rope?  Who encourages you to persevere in your walk with Christ?  Whose rope are you holding?

7.  What are things that help you say “no” to sin and say “yes” to God?

A Prayer For Change:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.

Amen.

(prayer attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr, 1892-1971)

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