In a letter to his mother, George Washington spoke of a early battle in which he escaped uninjured, but had four bullet holes in his coat and two horses shot out from under him. Talk about close calls!
There is a sense in which shots are being fired at us everyday. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he told them to put on their spiritual armor that they might be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. The armor included the shield of faith, that is to be used to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:10-17). Makes the world seem like a very unfriendly and dangerous environment with these flaming darts coming in our direction.
Spiritually speaking there is certainly much that surrounds us that can be fatal. The shield of faith is more than adequate for protection, but not if it left at home or at the church building. Remember that "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10;17). We are to walk (live) by this faith (II Corinthians 5:7).
Like our first president, there are going to be some close calls, but there are some things we can do.
1) Desire to succeed and build moral character. No one is without flaw, but such knowledge should not be used as an excuse to lower standards. We should use as models those that have integrity and righteousness.
2) Eliminate that which leads to temptation. A fellow was on diet, but brought a dozen donuts to the office. When questioned, he said, "I prayed that if the Lord wanted me to stop at the donut shop that the parking space by the front door would be empty. Sure enough the third time I drove by it was empty! We usually know of our own weaknesses and should not put ourselves in a situation where can be easily overcome.
3) Above all else seek God's truth in your life. The truth of the matter is that many abstain from the Book because they have already made up their mind and they don't want to know. Seek His truth (John 8:32).
Lift up your shield and don't go outside without it.
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