daily devotional

Just how strong are you to resist temptation? How long can you stare down the chips and not eat them? How big can the sale be and you walk on by without buying what you know you shouldn’t be buying? How much can he flirt and you stay true?

We are using up our limited sources of willpower on things we shouldn’t be putting in front of us. Then we wonder why we screw this thing up … it’s because girl you’re in places you shouldn’t be!

The enemy prowls around like a … what? Like a squirrel? Like a rabbit? Like a deer? No … like a freaking LION.

1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Imagine if you had a lion prowling in your backyard on the hunt, you wouldn’t dare step foot in that backyard now would you? You would never knowingly put yourself in that dangerous position. So why are you willingly putting yourself in dangerous positions daily? You play with fire, you spin the wheel of disaster, and you tantalize the lion with your recklessness. You can only remain strong in the face of temptation so long, then you have that moment of weakness. And guess who pounces the moment you are weak … the one who is here to kill, steal and destroy every ounce of goodness in your life.

You must be VIGILANT in protecting your precious things. I’m talking about your health, your relationships, your dreams and goals. They’re all under constant attack and danger is near.

Proverbs 4: 25-26 “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”

What God is saying here is, LOOK WHERE THIS WILL WILL LEAD YOU. Don’t just go where everyone else is going, it may not take you where you want to go. Are you being tempted continually in your environment … then girl, get yourself a new environment.

If doughnuts are your weakness and you often find yourself mindlessly picking up a dozen on your way to work, FIND A DIFFERENT ROUTE TO WORK. Afterall, where do all those doughnuts lead you? Is that a place you want to go?

If you’re trying to quit smoking, don’t hang around on the patio where the smokers gather. Think about where smoking will lead you? Is that a destination you want to arrive at?

Going to the club and dancing the night away is for the single ladies. You can’t go there with your girlfriends, have a few drinks and tell yourself you would never fall to temptation. There’s a freaking lion there waiting to devour you … in a moment of weakness you may do things you can’t take back.

So, here’s the simple solution … don’t put yourself in those environments.

There’s a poem by Portia Nelson which describes it perfectly:

Chapter 1:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

Chapter 3:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5:
I walk down another street.”

Get yourself a new street! Don’t keep falling in the same dang holes. Don’t waste your precious energy trying to avoid the holes. Go down a different street. Remove the temptation and remove the obstacles.

This is as simple as asking the waitress at the Mexican restaurant not to bring chips and salsa to your table. Not doing the things that make you want to have a cigarette. Not having Facebook conversations with men. Period. Not going to the club or girls night out dancing.

This is not denying yourself … this is protecting what’s important.

You may say you will only eat one chip, but how dangerous has that proven to be in the past for you? You may think you can resist all temptation, but girl you’re not that strong. You may consider it harmless, but if it threatens to derail you, it’s dangerous. Why willingly battle a lion whose single intention is to destroy you and every good thing you have going?

Remember the game Hungry Hungry Hippo we used to play as kids? Well we’re playing a dangerous game with a hungry hungry lion!

On a curvy mountain road, where do you put the guardrail? Do you put it 20 feet down the cliff to pass as you’re already falling? No, you place a guardrail on the road where it’s still safe to drive. The guardrail keeps you in the safe zone because it creates a line where danger would be on the other side.

We all need guardrails in our lives. If you ever want to fully experience the life God created you for and Jesus came to give you, then you must stay on the path. That narrow path that few find. That path that requires hard choices and discipline. That path that is protected by guardrails that you don’t go barreling through.

A guardrail keeps you from waking up one day and looking in the mirror to not recognize yourself. It says “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

A guardrail keeps you from screwing up your most valuable relationships. It says “sure you’re committed and strong, but a moment of weakness is all it takes, so don’t put yourself in a place of possible temptation.”

Just don’t. Don’t go there. Don’t tip toe through fields you darn well know the lion lives in.

Create some God directed guardrails in your life. Protect yourself from the tail spin that will send you over the edge. Because honey, when you’re falling it’s already too late. When you’re fingers are covered in Cheetos orange powder, you’re already falling. When you’ve hit the snooze for the 5th time, you’re already falling. When you’re drinking the drink the stranger sent your way, you’re already falling.

And here comes the lion.

Lord, help us to see where our paths lead. Open our eyes to the deception of the enemy. Give us the strength to create guardrails to keep us from falling. We need your help in this.