Ready to Run

“I feel the need- the need for speed” is a famous line from Tom Cruise in his breakthrough film, Top Gun, which is popular once again with the newest film, Top Gun: Maverick. With his hair back and sunshades over his eyes, he drives a motorcycle, or with his pilot gear flies a fighter jet at breathtaking speeds. Maverick feels compelled for speed. True fighter jet pilots need fast and agile planes. In addition to precision flying and aeronautical skill, the speed of the jet can help the pilot not only survive, but thrive in battle. The Christian has a need for speed too, but not just for the thrill of the moment or an addiction to an adrenaline rush. Every Day Carry Christians are ready to run away from Temptation. When we stand against the Devil, He runs away from us according to James, the half-brother of Jesus. ​James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This is good news! Sometimes we need to take a stand, stay in place, and fight the spiritual battle we are in. At other times, we are to flee, to run away from the thing(s) that may be tempting us. Spiritual Survivalist, the Apostle Paul, told young Christian and preacher Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  (2 Timothy 2:22)  Your spiritual survival may count on your speed to run! When I am exercising, building something, going on a trip, or even merely walking through the house, I ensure that I have proper footwear. You never know what dangers there are for a stubbed toe, a punctured heal on the bottom of a foot, or a scratch from a brier when walking a trail. I like to have comfortable walking and running shoes on. Some of the best are the “trail shoes” that many sporting shoe companies make. I like to be ready to run (or at least walk fast) if needed whenever I go to a public space. You never know what dangers may be at the store, school, workplace, or just down the street! It’s good to be ready to move quickly. In a similar way, the Christian is ready to run spiritually. He/she is ready for speed in his/her life to run away from temptation; in particular, youthful lusts. Things we desire, crave, and want in disproportionate ways, can consume us. This “lust” is generally understood to be “things that are forbidden to us.” For example, sex is not forbidden in the Bible, just the opposite! Sex is encouraged. It is encouraged for those who are married to each other. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden and so the word “lusts” makes a lot of sense. Wanting things such as sex is normal and is a legitimate “need” that God instilled in His creation. However, sex becomes sinful when we want, crave, and take what does not belong to us. Temptation itself is not a sin. We are all tempted and even Jesus was directly tempted to sin by Satan. The problem is when we choose to entertain the temptation; then it is more likely to become a sin. I heard one man say, “Temptation becomes sin when we let it become a motion picture and not just a still photo.” When temptation is about to become a motion picture in your mind and you begin to act out on the temptation, run away!  Be fast.  Quick, turn and run!  Replace the things tempting you with the positives that Paul describes for Timothy to follow: righteousness, faith, charity, and peace. Follow What is Right (Righteousness). Most of life is not unknown as to what is right and wrong. You know it is right, or you know it is wrong. Some things are uncertain, on occasion, but in most situations, if lust is not consuming you, you know the answer. Follow Faith. Some people ask: “What Would Jesus Do?” Good question! What does your faith in Jesus say about the temptation? What does Bible Faith say about running away from temptation? What would a faithful man or woman do in your situation? Follow Love. Charity is a Bible term for love. It is the Greek word ἀγάπη (Agape), which is the kind of love God has for people. Agape love is selfless, giving, and sacrificial. It is the same love for humanity that compelled Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. The Christian running from temptation must be following after love. Why would a person want to run from evil in the first place? Because they love God. Why would a person deny what their flesh is screaming for? Because they love God more than they love themselves. Loving God and Loving Others will help anyone run from temptation and choose to do what is right. Follow Peace. While running away from temptation, it is a good idea to not start fights with other people – or start fights with God! Having peace in the heart is a hallmark quality of the Christian. If you are full of anxiety, angry, much of the time, depressed, and constantly discouraged, or if you do not have a clear conscience, you are likely losing some spiritual battles. The temptation may be winning and becoming sin in your life. Think about it. We tend to beat ourselves up when we lose struggles with temptation. Sometimes we take the pain of losing out on other people. Others become depressed and mope about because of the loss. Be encouraged to get back up and run away from the temptation, sin, or being spiritually defeated! Run to peace with God and find peace with others. The Every Day Carry Christian is always ready to run away from temptation. Are your shoes strings tied? You and I both have “a need for speed!” Are you prepared to go? Temptations will come. Be ready to run.

Published by Pastor Steve

Steve enjoys reading the scriptures and action novels, spending time with his family, listening to music, drinking Dunkin' coffee and watching New York Yankees baseball and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. He and his wife Natalie have been married over 20 years and are blessed with three children. Together, Steve and Natalie are thankful for each opportunity the Lord has given, and they desire to “serve the Lord with gladness” while seeing people trust Jesus and grow in their relationship with the Lord. The Lord has blessed Steve with several educational experiences including a Bachelor of Bible at Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Mid-America Theological Seminary, a Master of Ministry (M.Min.), and a Ph.D. of Religion (in Counseling) from Bethany Divinity Seminary. He is also a Board-Certified Christian Counselor (BCPPC) and a SYMBIS facilitator. He is available for special conferences and training sessions.

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