Preserve can be define as “to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction; to keep alive, intact, or free from decay; to maintain something in its original state; to keep or save from decomposition or rotten; to keep up and reserve for personal or special use; etc
Who is the Evil One? The evil one is called Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, the Deceiver.
He is also called the ‘Dragon’ and ‘Old serpent’, Accuser of the brethren, etc. This very wicked spirit is the enemy of God’s people (his first reaction – Job 1: 6-12; 2: 1-7).
He also has a very organised army that work for him, comprising of evil spirits and wicked human beings; they form His kingdom of evil.
May Jehovah keep you safe from being injured, harm or destroyed by them. May God keep you alive, keep your life intact and free from any decay in Jesus name.
May God maintain your life in the original state. Your life shall not rot. May God reserve your destiny for His special use in Jesus name.
When Jesus came to this world, he selected some people as His apostles and disciples. For all those that walked closely with Him; He protected them. None of them was lost, except the son of perdition – Mr Judas Iscariot (John 17:12).
As Jesus was rounding up His ministry, He prayed profusely to His Father for His disciples, during His last hours (John 17: 1). His prayers cover many areas of their lives:
That they would not abandon the faith (John 17:9). Not Abandon gospel…
That they will be joyful regardless of whatever they face (John 17: 13).
That they will be sanctified (John 17: 17).
That they will be united in a special way (John 17: 20-23). See answered in Acts 2:1-4
That all the blessings and prayers will transcend them to later believers also (John 17: 20-26).
A very crucial part of Jesus prayers before the cross is in verse 15, which says:
John 17: 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Jesus knew He was soon going to be physically away from the disciples; He therefore committed His disciples into God’s able hands for preservation. Here, Jesus specified exactly what He wants His Father to do. It is to keep His disciples from the Evil One.
Jesus asked that His Father should not take His disciples away from the world; meaning that they were to remain after He must have gone; as their work was here on earth; and all they needed was strength to do the work and not freedom from the work.
He did not pray for them for freedom from temptations; but for power to not fall but overcome, as He overcame.
He did not pray for them for freedom from suffering, but for the joy of the Lord to be our strength; and for patience to endure.
So, as Christ’s disciples, we have our own share of affliction (Psalm 34:19). Our share of sufferings (Mt. 5: 10-11). Our share of temptation (Rev. 2: 10; 3:10).
Though we will have to go through these challenges; God has however promised to preserve us from:
Cruel control of Satan (John 8: 36). If Son of Man set you free…
Overwhelming temptation (I Cor. 10:13). common, bear; way out
Overwhelming afflictions (Isaiah 43: 1-2). When you pass through water, rivers fire
Overwhelming power of sin (Rom. 6: 12-14). Sin shall not have dominion over us…
Curse and condemnation of the Law (Rom. 8: 1). Now there is now no condemnation..
Overwhelming pangs of death (I Cor. 15: 55). O death where is your sting?
We have several examples of those that enjoyed Divine preservation in the bible. Since God has done it before. He can do it again. He will do it for you too. Some of them are:
Jacob’s family when they were very tiny, living in Canaan, surrounded by many hostile nations, tribes and clans. God put His terror on the people for their sakes (Gen. 35: 1-7).
The Children of Israel while they were on the journey to the Promised Land. They had to weapon of war. God did not let the powerful nations on the way to touch them. The Amalekites that laid ambush for them, paid dearly with their lives after the Israelites settled in Canaan (Psalm 105:9-15; I Sam 15: 1-3). He suffered no one, Touch not; Utterly destroy…
King David was preserved severally by God:
When looking after his father’s sheep (lion and bear).
When faced with Goliath of Gath (I Sam. 17: 17-51).
While King Saul was chasing him, first in the palace and then in the wilderness.
While Absalom – his son chased him away from his throne (if Ahithophel’s counsel was taken?).
When the Amalekites raided Ziklag (I Sam 30: 1-19).
Numerous contexts with the Philistines
King Hezekiah was preserved. When Sennacherib King of Assyria came and besiege Judah. He had already overrun The Northern Kingdom which was huge; the Southern Kingdom of Judah did not only withstand him; but humiliated him greatly (2 Kings 18:33-35; 19:32-37). 33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand? 35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?
Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego were preserved by God from the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3: 13-15). They came out of the fire unharmed. You too shall come out of any ‘fire’ unhurt in Jesus name. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
In Acts 12: 1-17, we read how God preserved the life of Apostle Peter miraculously. King Herod Agrippa was brutal and wicked to the Early Church. He had already killed James. He then seized Peter. He was weakening the church power that Jesus had prayed for. God showed Herod that He is the One that reign in the affairs of men.
Peter was released from prison, though all gates and guards were still intact!
It was unfortunate that Herod had to kill innocent people who were guarding Peter.
An angel of God later struck Herod and he was eaten by worms alive and died (Acts 12: 20-23).
May God preserve you from the Evil One. The bible says that the Evil One is ubiquitous. He is always going to and from looking for who to attack.
Job 1: 6-7 – go to and fro; walking up and down in it.
I Peter 5: 8 – Be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, looking for whom it may devour
He will not get to you. God will preserve you from him.
In I Chro. 21:1-27, the Evil One moved David to sin against God that loved him so much. David already knew from a young age that it was God that was giving him victory in all his battles. If not for God that had mercy on David and forgave him. Things would have gone way out of control.
I Sam. 17: 34-37 – I was looking after my father’s sheep…
Psalm 20: 5-9 – Some trust in chariot and horse; but we in the name of the Lord
But on this day, the Evil One tempted David, such that he gave orders to conduct a census of the men in Israel, to know how many people could go to war. Even when Joab advised against it; he went ahead. Little error it seemed; but it had grave consequence. About 70,000 souls died as a result!
No wonder, Jesus add this line to the sample prayers he taught His disciples “Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Mt. 6: 13a).
May God deliver you from evil.
What must I do for God to preserve me from the Evil One?
Prov. 26: 6 Evil people are trapped in their own sins, while honest people are happy and free.
Zech. 3:1-4 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Pray and pray some more (Mt. 26: 36-46). Watch and pray, that you will not fall
Know the word of God and use them (Mt. 4: 1-11).
Be alert always (I Peter 5: 8). Be sober and vigilant…
Resist him (I Peter 5:9; James 4: 7). Resist him steadfast in the faith, same suffering are experienced by other believers…
Trust in unfailing promises of God (Deut. 31: 6-8). Be strong and be of good courage; God with you; and before you. He will not leave nor forsake you.
Father, help me to stay holy
Father, help me to watch and pray
Father, help me to study Your word and use it appropriately.
Father, help me to be alert against the enemy.
Father, help me to submit to You and resist the evil one.
Father, help me to keep trusting in Your unfailing promises.
Sermon delivered on November 8, 2020.