Have you ever noticed that Satan knows exactly where we are weak and how to tempt us to sin? As my friend, Chet Polson, used to say, “Satan knows where your goat’s tied.”
When we are tired, hungry, busy, or maybe haven’t spent as much time with the Lord as we want to, Satan will find the “opportune time” to sneak up on us with some temptation that we have probably faced before. He knows exactly what thoughts or situations will put us over the edge.
In my last post, we looked at the meaning of “abstain” – “to be distant, avoid, a way off, about seven miles” – according to The Strong’s Concordance. Part of dealing with sin is learning how to avoid triggers–those images, conversations, or situations that we know lead us astray.
Whatever we starve dies, but whatever we feed grows.
I find that I enjoy feeding my spirit infinitely more than starving my flesh. Maybe if we feed the spirit more, we will be satisfied and not crave as much of the desires of the flesh. So how do we feed the spirit? I’m glad you asked.
Fall in love with God’s Word.
Romans 12:2 tells us that we need to renew our minds in order to be transformed from the world’s way of thinking. That renewal comes from spending time in God’s Word.
If you don’t know where to start, read the Gospel of John. Just get into the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom and understanding.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He responded with the Word, our one offensive weapon in our battle with the enemy. We need the Word living in our hearts and coming out of our mouths when we are facing temptation.
Not only that, but when you read the Word of God, you are interacting with Jesus Himself.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14, NIV
Jesus IS the Word! I find it difficult to fellowship with Jesus and sin at the same time. The more time we spend in the Light, the less we are drawn to the darkness.
Fall in love with God’s presence.
I find that I am most aware of God’s presence and less aware of my own needs when I am in worship. I’m not talking about the 11:00 service on Sunday, although I hope you find His presence there as well. But I am talking about that intimate place with which David was so familiar and about which we can read in the Psalms.
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”Psalm 63:1
In His presence is fullness of joy, love, and peace. The more time we spend in His presence and meditating on His goodness, the less we feel drawn toward wrongdoing. We have an endless variety of Christian music today that can encourage, uplift, and inspire us to worship.
Fall in love with God’s people.
Fellowship with Christian friends is extremely important to our spiritual life and will keep us focused on the things of God.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”2 Corinthians 6:14
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17
Our close relationships in which we have most of our fellowship should be with other believers so that we can talk about Jesus and build one another up. These conversations will feed our spirit and help us to grow.
Separating ourselves from one thing, means receiving all of the fullness of something else, and, praise God, that “something else” is Jesus.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”James 4:7
So if the thought of staying seven miles away from the things that cause you to sin sounds too difficult, then just remember Who is on your end of that road. Seven miles from sin is seven miles closer to Jesus. There is no fellowship between light and darkness. Come into the Light!