Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walking Away

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
– 1 Peter 1:13-19

Many times we find ourselves in places we don’t want to be in or with people we don’t need to be hanging out with. In those times we know we need to walk away but it can be hard. I recently went to the movies with my boyfriend and a group of friends to see the movie Watchmen. We discussed the movie afterwards and decided that we had just wasted three hours of our lives. The movie was blasphemous as it attempted to portray an image of God that was wrong and deceitful. It had nudity and detailed sex scenes. After the movie we each talked about how we wanted to get up but for some reason we never did. I felt uncomfortable throughout the whole movie and wanted to leave but the thoughts of how much the tickets cost, and the snacks, and what the others would think all popped into my mind. When we discussed how we felt after the movie we pointed out how we needed to be stronger as Christians. We are supposed to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:16).The discomfort we felt throughout the movie was the Holy Spirit telling us to get up and leave.

You may think that watching movies you shouldn’t be watching or listening to jokes you shouldn’t be listening to is not going to do anything to you, but it does. When you open your mind to these things you give the Devil a foot into the door of your mind. You can usually tell when you are doing something you’re not supposed to be doing if you start trying to reason with the Spirit. For example, you feel inside that something is wrong and you shouldn’t be listening to it or watching it. Then you start trying to reason, trying to justify your actions. You can also tell if what you’re doing is wrong when you read God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible is a blueprint of how God wants us to live our lives. He tells us things we shouldn’t do because He loves us and wants what’s best for us. God’s will for our lives is in His Word. He wants us to live righteously. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

God wants us to have pure minds and hearts. If you find yourself doing something that would not please God, ask yourself, is it worth disappointing God? Ask yourself, what’s the least I can do to honor what Jesus did for me? And, yes, there are temptations out there, and, yes, we will fall. This doesn’t give us a right to sin. Jesus reminded the disciples in Matthew 26:41 that “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that when we are tempted, God will always give us a way out. It’s hard to stand up to friends, or family who will make fun of us because we choose to honor God instead of pleasing the flesh, but it’s a comforting reminder to remember that God became a man and endured all the temptations that we have. Jesus Christ understands what we are going through and how hard it is to walk away from something that seems good but isn’t. He was tempted and endured and came out blameless (Hebrews 4:15). Through Christ we can do anything (Philippians 4:13), we can even get the strength to walk away from something we shouldn’t be around.

We should live to honor God. God has a plan for us better than anything we could ever come up with. Stick to His perfect will, seek Him in everything, read His Word, and talk to Him. He knows your heart and He will love you no matter what. Let’s not only honor and proclaim our love for Him with our mouths, but with our actions as well.

Read John 17

References: The Bible, NKJV

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