Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Turn and Run

The apostle Paul urged his spiritual son Timothy (and us) to run from evil (2 Timothy 2:22), and the apostle Peter likewise warned, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8–9).

None of us is immune to temptation. And often the best thing to do is to steer clear of situations where we’ll be tempted—though they can’t always be avoided. But we can be better prepared by having a strong faith in God based in the Bible and strengthened through prayer. When we “[stand] firm in the faith” we’ll know when to turn and run to Him.
- Our Daily Bread for today, September 18th 2019.

There are a few whom I have confided in over the years about some deeper Spiritual matters that we have experienced.  Without specifics, I find it interesting that to turn and run is a Biblical concept. 
Look at the book of Genesis.  Abraham's relative, Lot and his family.  The Lord was telling them to run to where they had said they could make it to before judgment came upon Sodom and Gehmorrah.
Timothy is instructed to run from evil.
We indeed aren't strong enough on our own to take down many a temptation.  It's best if we run, not walk for the door.
As I eluded to a moment ago, there's been incidents where the Spirit has told us to run don't walk away from a church.  That it's implosion was coming.  We listened and left. From the outside looking in we can see it happening.  Had we stayed we wouldn't be able to see what we do now.
We are warned, many times, in advance of Spiritual battles.  The problem is taking God seriously and either preparing for it or avoiding it.  Knowing which is a matter of prayer.
I find it interesting also to both read of this, this morning as well as reading in Corinthians about false Apostles, false teachers. 

"But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds." 2 Corinthians 11:12-15

Jesus had another description of them. Hired hands.  All in all, people to avoid.  If you are there with them. You have a harder time finding them out.  If you distance yourself from them. Their deeds become more evident.

John 10:11-18 " “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters themHe flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

We, on our own, are not strong enough for Spiritual battles.  We need the full armor of God as described in the book of Ephesians.  The armor has all that we lack.

But go back to David getting ready to go up against Goliath.  Saul had him put on his armor.  He couldn't maneuver around in it.  It wasn't his. It wasn't made for him.

The armor of God is form fitting to the individual.   It's given to us by the Spirit to protect us.  But as it happens in any battle, the best way to avoid a hit is just not to be there.

The armor of God is there when God says to engage.  Else we are to, in prayer, call in for reinforcements and back off while God goes where we cannot and should not.

Some of my greatest mistakes in my life were seeing a battle as a challenge and hurriedly running into it without preparations.  It's taking decades to recover.  I wasn't ready for where God was showing me I was going to impact.  I insisted and have been paying the price.

So be alert.  Be aware of the things you face.  Run don't walk from temptations.

When prompted to run from someone or something by the Spirit.  Do so immediately.

The armor only works as intended when used as intended.

God may indeed show you what lay ahead for you in your life,  but stay your hands.  Wait for Him to lead. Psalms 23.

Life is full of Spiritual landmines.  Stop and pray before you act.

The greatest hindrance to prayer is you.

When confused, stop and pray.  Ask for clarity.  It's a Biblical concept. Daniel did. The Apostles did in the book of Acts when seeking a replacement for Judas.

We make the Christian life difficult. Jesus never intended it to be that way.  He also warned of false teachers who would come up among those in the church.  How to recognize them.  And to run from them.

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