Sunday, June 06, 2010

I was driving home last night from a graduation open house, minding my own business, when a deer jumped out into the road. Living out in the country like I do, this is not an uncommon occurrence, so I know how to react - hit the brakes, slow WAY down and look for another deer - one of the things that I taught my kids (where there is one deer there is usually another).

Sure enough, another deer popped out of the tall grass on the side of the road. Only this one was a bit different - it was a fawn. It stood about 18" tall and looked like it hadn't grown into its legs. As soon as it saw my car, it stopped and then did something wild - it laid down, drew its legs in and put its head down on the road. It looked like it was trying to curl up into a ball and make itself as small as it could so that it could hide (probably pretty effective in tall grass, but not so much on asphalt).

The fawn's reaction was instinctive. Laying down is what it was wired to do when it sensed danger. It's mom did not teach it that; it's dad didn't draw a diagram, paint a picture or make him practice that - he did it naturally.

It made me ask this question - what do I do instinctively when danger comes? Where do I go mentally? Where do I go emotionally? Where do I go spiritually?

God has hard wired some mechanisms into us to deal with danger. Way back in high school, I learned that when danger comes, human instinct is to either fight or run.

The scripture talks about both of these responses. Paul, in one setting, told Timothy to "flee" from the love of money and youthful desires (I Timothy 6:11, II Timothy 2:22). In another, he told the people of Corinth to flee - to run away from sexual immorality and idolatry. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14). These are dangerous things that we are to run from. (You probably want to read the context of the references I gave above so you better understand what Paul was driving at.)

There are other times when we are to stand and fight. James, one of the early church leaders, told us to resist the devil. Paul wrote a complete section of a letter to the church in Ephesus about the armor of God that we need to take on so we can resist the attacks of the devil.

Paul placed dangers into two camps - those that we are to run from and those that we are to fight.

The things we are to run away from are, quite frankly, sins. We are not to dabble in them; we are not to become friendly with them; we are to run away from them - get as far away from them as we can. There is a challenge for me - are there areas in my life that I am flirting with sin? Kind of toying with it? Not being in too deep, but not really running away from it (doing WHATEVER I need to do to stay away from it)? Yeah...............somethings I need to work on there. The Psalmist said it this way - Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me... Psalm 139:23-24

The things we are to fight are attacks from the devil. They will come. Satan is like a roaring lion seeking who may he devour (I Pet 5:8). Doubt, fear, guilt, accusation - these are all attacks from the evil one. We are to fight these given the defensive and offensive weapons God has given us. (Spend a little time in Ephesians 6, in particular verses 10-18. Also take a look at Matthew 4:1-11 and see how Jesus faced the attacks of the Devil.)

As you walk through your day, begin to realize the things that you are to run from and the things that you are to fight. Run hard and fight hard today!

1 comment:

  1. I've learned throughout my career as a State Trooper that courage to fight in the midst of danger is something we learn. I think more and more people have grown comfortable with standing idly by watching as others need help.

    That said, doing little courageous things one after one creates in people the desire to do courageous things.

    I have seen the same is true in my Christian walk. I wasn't born with the innate ability to flee or fight against sin and the Enemy's attacks. Instead, my flesh is drawn to surrender to them. But when I fight little battles courageously, my courage to fight future battles grows. Which, in turn, directs my wisdom in learning over the years about when to run.

    Great post. I love connecting life-situations to scriptural truths.