The Lord’s Prayer
How does the Lord deliver us from evil?
John 8:31-32. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, If you remain in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
SD 1878. Concerning Liberation from Evil. The Lord is never the cause of evil, consequently He never expels evil by evil, but does away with evil by good. This law, which is acknowledged in heaven, is difficult of comprehension to those who are not heavenly. This was given to me while engaged this day in praying the Lord's Prayer. - 1748, April 8.
DP 211. The Lord by His Divine Providence continually leads man in freedom, and the freedom appears to him to be none other than his own; and to lead man in freedom in opposition to himself is like lifting up a heavy and resisting weight from the ground by means of screws, through the power of which the weight and the resistance are not felt; or it is like what happens to a man in the company of an enemy who intends to kill him, an intention he is not aware of; and a friend leads him away by unknown paths and afterwards discloses to him his enemy’s intention.
AE 1164. With those about to be reformed, evils are removed by temptations, which are not punishments but combats. Such persons are not compelled to resist evils, but they compel themselves and pray to the Lord, and thus are delivered from the evils which they have resisted. Such afterwards refrain from evils, not from any fear of punishment but from an aversion to evil; and at length this aversion to evil is their resistance.
AE 803.2. When man begins to think for himself, which is the case after he has grown up, it must be to him the first and chief thing to refrain from doing evils for the reason that they are sins against the Word, thus against God, and for the reason that if he does them he will gain, not life eternal, but hell. And afterwards as he grows up and becomes old he must shun them as damned, and must turn away from them in thought and intention. But in order to so refrain from them and shun and turn away from them, he must pray to the Lord for help. The sins he must refrain from and must shun and turn away from are chiefly adulteries, frauds, illicit gains, hatreds, revenges, lies, blasphemies, and elation of mind.
So far as man detests these evils because they are opposed to the Word, and thence opposed to God, so far there is granted him communication with the Lord, and conjunction is effected with heaven. For the Lord enters, and with the Lord heaven enters, as sins are removed, since these and their falsities are the sole hindrances.... S o far, then, as man detests these sins, so far good affections enter. Then so far as he detests adulteries, so far chastity enters. So far as he detests frauds and unlawful gains, so far sincerity and justice enter. So far as he detests hatred and revenge, so far charity enters. So far as he detests lies and blasphemies, so far truth enters. And so far as he detests elation of mind, so far humility before God and love of the neighbor as oneself enter; and so on. From this it follows that to shun evils is to do goods.
AC 1740. As evils and falsities are dissipated, goods and truths take their place; and the greater the horror that is conceived for evils and falsities, the more of love for goods and truths is insinuated by the Lord. And further, the greater the horror for evils and falsities, the less do evil spirits dare to approach, for they cannot endure aversion and horror for the evils and falsities in which their life consists, and are sometimes seized with terror on their first approach. And the more of love there is for goods and truths, the more do the angels love to be with the man, and together with the angels, heaven; for they are in their own life when in the goods of love and truths of faith.
Questions and Comments
- What do you think of the Lord’s description of leading a man in freedom against himself in DP 211?
- What does it mean to resist evil from aversion to evil as stated in AE 1164?
- How does shunning evils result in doing good?
- AC 1740 describes horror for evils and falsities. What evils and falsities horrify us? What evils and falsities do not horrify us? How does horror at evil and falsity help deliver us from evil?