Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Put on Your Running Shoes

Our neighbor had warned us. It was an unusually good year for copperheads. Several had been spotted in our neighborhood, and our neighbor’s dog had run into one of the slithering reptiles, that landed the poor animal at the vet with a snake bite.

When we walk our dogs now, we take extra precautions to keep them out of ivy and other areas that the snakes might frequent. Last week, as we walked the last few blocks to our house, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Joe, bounded over to explore something in one of the neighbor’s yards. The lawn had been freshly mown and he was in a mood to explore.

His sudden leap backwards, caught us by surprise. As we walked over to take a closer look, there it was. A copperhead coiled up in the grass, ready to strike. You better believe we hightailed it out of that yard in seconds flat! We sure hadn’t expected to see a snake out in the open like that. Fortunately for Joe, he was able to move quickly enough to avoid danger.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible warns me of the dangers I will face in life. Some of the temptations lurk in the shadows, beckoning me to come take a closer look. Others, are out in the open, but attempt to blend in with the surroundings. No matter how the temptation appears to me, God’s word gives me a clear directive, ‘Flee.’

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians spells out some things I’m to flee, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18; KJV). A few chapters later, he warns, “…flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14). Paul was very familiar with human nature. He wrote a letter to a young preacher, Timothy, and his congregation, and included a strong admonition to avoid worthless arguments and the longing to be rich.

Get the picture? Temptations come in all shapes and sizes. As I walk through this life, am I alert to these pitfalls? Do I have my running shoes on so I can be quick to flee? Fortunately, Paul doesn’t only warn me of these dangers, he points me to help and hope. How encouraging to find that when temptations come calling, I don’t have to answer. God’s word assures me, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). An escape route DOES exist, I just have to look for it and make my exit!

When I’m aware of the pitfalls, and realize that Jesus provides a way to escape every temptation, I can stay on a path that gives me hope, allowing me to “…follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Timothy 6:11b).

In life, there are definitely some things from which to flee. But I love the fact, that when I’m careful to submit to my Heavenly Father, and I refuse to give in to the enemy, the word of God tells me that Satan has to flee! “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Picture the devil having to beat a hasty retreat as you deal him blow after blow with the word of God! Now that’s a picture worth remembering!

The next time temptation knocks on the door of your heart, keep those running shoes on, and find that way of escape - rejoicing in the One who is faithful to deliver you!


  1. We actually had a snake in our garage this weekend! I am not sure what kind...but it had a diamond shaped head! Yuck!!

    Anyway...it also reminded me of how Satan can sneak into our lives if we are not watching & protecting our hearts because I didn't even know the snake was out there...my daughter found it!!
    Great post!!

  2. Hi there, I loved this because I am a dog lover and so thankful that your Joe avoiding the snake but also because of the wonderful illustration to flee at all costs-and to constantly be on guard. Never know what sin is lurking just around the bend.
    Hugs to you today.

  3. Good advise and thank goodness we have a loving Father to restore us when we get bitten!

  4. Wonderful analogy! I love the way you share about GOd--very easy to understand and that is so important.

  5. I like the idea of running shoes. . . running away from some things and running to others. Thanks for your as always, great words, Maria.


  6. Copperheads--yikes! I am not a snake person. At all. This was a very good devotion, Maria. Thanks.

  7. Steph - And I thought frogs in the garage was a bad thing!! Not sure I would have avoided fainting had it been a snake! Hope your daughter was braver than I! Satan is a sly enemy, but I'm thankful for a God who is so much greater!! Blessings to you & your family! :)

    Noreen - I'll be sure to give Joe a hug just for you!! He is a sweet boy, & we were thrilled he has such quick reflexes!! It's so easy to get complacent in our Christian lives. Best to stay on the alert! Hugs and God bless!

    Jan - Great point! It's comforting to know that forgiveness is available when we've been bitten! Have a blessed day, my friend!

  8. Terri - What sweet words of encouragement! Sometimes I struggle so with phrasing things in a way that is easy to understand. I pray the Lord will use these posts to draw anyone who reads them, closer to Him!! Have a beautiful day, friend! :)

    Glenda - So good to see you! Praying that you're enjoying your 30 days of hearing God speak! It's truly amazing that the very God of the universe wants to speak to little old you and me!! Thanks for stopping by & God bless!:)

    Jill - I'm not a snake person either! I think Steve Irwin's show gave me an appreciation for them, but forget up close and in person!! Getting ready to head over to your blog - have a blessed day!! :)

  9. I have to lean hard on the lord trusting he will rescue me and my husband from temptation. God help us all, it's the only way we'll get out alive.

  10. Hi Maria -

    I don't even like seeing snakes at the zoo much less in the great outdoors. Yuck.

    God is so good. He warns us there's an enemy out there, who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He reassures us that if we're obedient to Him and savvy to the ultimate serpent's wiles, we don't have to be afraid.

    Susan :)

  11. I love this, Maria. You always inspire me. And you're so right. The enemy comes in all shapes and sizes and we must flee.

  12. Wonderful encouragement to obey the Father's command to flee when He says so. What a blessing to have His Word, which gives us the best instructions for fleeing and fighting. No wonder we call it our sword!
    Dorothy :)

  13. So thankful JOE and you are safe, dear sister.

    Also thankful for the Word and the Holy Spirit to warn us of danger and rescue us from the enemy's strikes.

  14. I would like to invite you to visit my blog. I would love to get your comments on some of my recent posts.


    God Bless!

  15. Hi Maria,
    As always I loved your analogy here.
    I am so thankful for the reminder that when the enemy strikes-RUN! Great words Maria. You are inspirational.
    God bless you.

  16. What a great reminder to stay alert and on our toes. John 10:10 comes to mind; I am thankful we have His word to lead us.

  17. Yes, the analogy was great!! You are such an awesome writer...