Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Distance Yourself From Danger

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez was an honorable man of God that prayed a bold prayer and God answered.  This week we are looking at the last part of that prayer…and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.
Distance Yourself from Danger  
The blessings of God are not intended to make us think we are invincible.  We are to be seeking God in the blessing. When it comes to praying for divine protection the answer may come in the simple command of "don't do that" … or "don't go there." 
By far our most important strategy for defeating the roaring lion is to stay out of the arena.  - Bruce Wilkinson
When God answered the first three requests of Jabez, Satan got angry.  When we're blessed so that we expand our ministry and trust the open hand of God, we begin to invade Satan's turf. Since Satan doesn't want us serving, he begins to send temptations our way.
You see, it is one thing to pray to God to help you resist temptation, but when you keep walking toward the door of temptation, you really don't want God's help. Instead, God tells us to run.  2 Timothy 2:22 says Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  Job says it is just plain smart to run from evil.  Job 28:28 - And to man He said, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding."
This begs the question, were you redeemed from something or to something? Turning from sin requires turning to righteousness for success.  Those who have left their friends and turned to loneliness have not lasted long. We need learn that God has given us the ability to say "no" to sin and to distance ourselves from the things that can cause us harm:
• Psalms 34:14 - Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.  
• 1 Corinthians 15:33 - Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.
• James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  
Did you catch a difference there? Look who is doing the fleeing now!!  When we draw near to God and submit ourselves to Him, we will resist the devil and HE WILL FLEE FROM US. That's great news
If you're struggling with sin and are tantalized by temptation on a regular basis, join the club. But, you don't have to settle for sin dominating your life. Claim Paul's words from 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Could it be that God is more interested in keeping us from temptation than we are? Ask Him to show you the way out when you're in a slippery situation. Ask Him to keep you from sinning. Plead with Him to take evil away.
We make a huge spiritual leap forward … when we begin to focus less on beating temptation and more avoiding it.  Bruce Wilkinson

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