Today, as I begin my weeklong partial fast, I go back to the mount to pick up nuggets of blessings. For they’re just scattered about there, exactly where the Lord Jesus left them. Walking in the plains where temptations abound (Internet, TV, and other worldly pleasures) can spoil us and draw us away from the light of Christ. Engaging our hearts and minds too long in them, sometimes without even realizing it, can numb our senses until the line between holiness and compromise becomes so blurred we can’t see the difference.
But what does the Lord say?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God. (Mat. 5:6, 8)
Walking in the Spirit brings a world of difference. We don’t always think about Him or are even conscious of His presence, but He’s ever faithful to make His presence felt, especially when we’re veering away from the narrow road. The still, small voice of God whispers and tells us to follow where the Spirit leads us. More than a week ago, I rose up from my nap desiring to go back to the mount and let the words of the Lord be steeped in me, cleansing me.
For you see, even our innocent (or often times, aimless) browsing on the Internet can sully our otherwise pure hearts and minds. Without warning, we can stumble upon a cuss, a dirty word, or a video our eyes are not supposed to see. How many times have I been victimized by the enemy just because I didn’t tread carefully! Before, there were the comments in news articles – oh, they’re just full of dirty words and ugly complaints that I ceased to read them altogether (I don’t go to the comments section of any news articles anymore). Then there were the videos that suddenly popped up on my FB newsfeed (I’ve long learned to block such and I’m not one who just opens a video shared on FB). Even a book that one might think is a good enough read will later turn out to be nothing but the enemy’s snare.
Again, what does the Lord say?
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mat. 5:29-30)
But we can’t gouge out our eyes or cut off our hands just to evade sin, can we? But we can turn our heads the other direction, close our eyes, shut down the page, turn off the video or TV (or don’t open it at all!), throw away the book or delete it completely. And the best thing of all, walk away from anything that can ensnare us or defile us. This is the thing:
Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thess. 5:22)
ABSTAIN FROM ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL. This is not an easy task. Sometimes our good judgments are clouded, or we love to compromise, or we simply can’t know what’s detrimental to our salvation. But soaking up the Word everyday and spending time in the presence of the Lord in praise and worship and prayer will protect us from the evil one.
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18, emphasis mine)
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Journey with Jesus,