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by Skip Heitzig |
As I write this, space shuttle Discovery is preparing to leave orbit, where it's been docked for ten days with the International Space Station. On this mission they've had three close encounters with "space junk," pieces of satellites or rockets from previous space launches. On one occasion, Discovery fired its thrusters to move the station out of the way of a piece of an old Chinese rocket that measured only about four inches long.

Pieces that size may seem insignificant, but they travel at thousands of miles an hour. At that speed, even something very small could punch a hole straight through a spacecraft--or an astronaut. So it's a real hazard. The Air Force and the space authorities track hundreds of thousands of the largest pieces, but there are millions out there. The only way to be safe is to get out of their way.

As Christians, we are called to avoid temptation, to run from it. In 2 Timothy 2 we're told, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity...Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (v. 19, 22). It would be foolish to remain when a temptation threatens. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39), he didn't try to reason with her, or to convert her to faith in God. He refused her. And when she persisted, he ran. He knew his limits, and he wisely didn't stick around.

When the devil tempts you, don't carry on long conversations with him: "Now, Satan, I bind you..." Instead, run! And as you're running away from the devil, you should run toward God. James 4:7 says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you," but the first part of that verse says, "Submit to God." And verse 8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

When you run from temptation, you are resisting the devil. And when you run to God, you are running to your source of strength. Only as you rely on the power of God can you gain victory over sin.

So avoiding is the wisest choice. Just like the shuttle changed its orbit to avoid debris in space, you should run from temptation. If you have friends who draw you away from your relationship with Jesus Christ, it's time to get some new friends. If certain TV shows, movies or websites cause you to stumble, steer clear of them.

You could say, in the case of temptation, that the best defense is a good pair of track shoes!

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

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