Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation. Proverbs 5:8 & 14
I selected these two verses out of Proverbs 5. The entire chapter is a warning against going after the wrong things in life. The focus is on sexual purity within marriage. However, I believe it can be applied to any of life’s struggles with sin. It says do not go the way of temptation, in fact it says in verse 6, don’t even think about it. This makes sense and is very good advice. Especially in areas of your weaknesses. Do not go where the things you may be tempted with are. Whether its sexual or substance abuse, avoid the places that cause you to stumble. It really is easier said than done in today’s world. Even in this time of pandemic, many (including myself) are struggling with simple addictions such as eating or tv and social media binging. With so many restrictions, I find myself determined to enjoy eating as comfort because of so many other activities in life being off limits right now. It is a struggle for sure, and it is wise to come up with a plan to combat these traps.
Verse 14 talks about being on the edge and what really stands out in that verse is this is someone that is a part of the congregation, the body of believers. How many people are we sitting right next to in church services not even knowing they are struggling with some form of addictive behavior in life.
So, what is the solution when struggling with life’s temptations, lures and even bad habits? Well, wisdom of course, but that doesn’t come automatically. It comes back to spending time with God and His Word. Getting to know Him and spending time growing closer and knowing Him personally. Replace those addictive habits with activities such as exercise and reading God’s Word or books on personal growth. Verse 21 in this chapter say: For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. God sees all these things and He has the answers. He knows what we face from day to day and has a plan in place for us to escape temptations and traps. The first place to start is to surrender every area of your life to Him and ask for His strength to empower you to overcome weakness. After you do that, don’t expect things to be perfect. You still may not get it completely right, but that’s ok. Like all things in life, in order to get good at something, it requires practice and consistency. Get up and do the same thing tomorrow and it won’t be long until you become a pro.
Today I want to encourage you to not go the way of temptation. Avoid traps that you easily fall into. Take a stand in your life with the power of the Holy Spirit against the things that draw you away from your relationship with God and purpose to spend more time with Him and His wisdom. Use this “distancing” time as a spiritual workout. Press into God and grow up in Him like you never have before. Connect with friends that you walk through life with and encourage each other through whatever you are struggling with. Do not isolate yourself, but become accountable to others.
Today’s scripture reading: Proverbs 5