Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Danger of Distancing Yourself

 Tuesday, April 19, 2022

And Peter was following Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Matthew 26:58

One thing that sin causes us to do is to distance ourselves. We distance ourselves from friends - ones who don’t know about our sin, and especially ones that know and are trying to hold us accountable. We distance ourselves from church. We distance ourselves from family. And most of all, we distance ourselves from God. 

The Danger of Distancing Yourself 

When Jesus was arrested, He was taken to Caiaphas’ house for trial. Peter followed, but at a distance, because he was afraid, they might mistake him for being a follower of Jesus. Peter had just woken up in a panic in the garden and cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest. Then they arrested Jesus. All the things that Jesus had been telling them would happen were happening and Peter’s emotions and adrenaline were running high. 

Earlier he had promised Jesus that he would never betray him, and keeping his distance was the first step down the slippery slope of betrayal. It started with the thought of “I am going to hang back a little, stay in the shadows and see what happens - and hope no one recognizes me…” to warming himself at the enemy’s fire and denying he had every known Jesus. 

That is how it may start with us too. We may be struggling with a “little” sin in our lives, but it is making us uncomfortable. So, we stay away from our friends, from church, from Bible study, and especially from anyone who wants to really talk to us. These are the first steps of wandering away from Jesus. 

First, there is no little sin. It is all the same to Him, and any sin we let sit in our lives will eventually begin to consume us. It is so important for us to deal with sin in our lives immediately. When we don’t, and we intentionally let it stay in our lives, we are warming ourselves by the enemy’s fire. 

Second, go back. Go back to church. Go back to Bible Study. Go back to coffee with a mentor or discipleship partner. Go back to the Lord. The farther we wonder and the longer we stay away, the harder it will be to go back. 

Maybe you haven’t left church. Maybe you aren’t dealing with “sin”, but there is a void in your heart between you and God. Maybe you are just distracted by circumstances in your life. Maybe you have not spent any time with God in prayer or studying His word in a while. You may think you are okay. Satan wants you to think you are okay. You may not realize that you are walking away, one step at a time. If you have any distance in your heart between you and God, I urge you to do something about it today. Do not be drawn in by the warmth of the enemy’s fire.

Paul tells us in Colossians 2:7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

If we let our roots grow down into Him - by reading and studying His word, and by prayer and relationship with Him, then we will be much more likely to hold firm in the truth and overflow with thankfulness. If we are doing these things, we will be much less likely to distance ourselves from God. 

Make sure you are rooted firmly and not keeping your distance. The price is so great, and the consequences are never worth it. The enemy’s deceitful promise is empty, but God’s promises never fail. 

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