Thursday, June 6, 2013

Devotion: Jump As Far Away from Trouble As You Can

"My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor's control, here is how you get free. Don'g be proud. Go to your neighbor and beg to be free from your promise. Don't go to sleep or even rest your eyes, but free yourself like a deer running from a hunter, like a bird flying away from a trapper...You cannot carry hot coals against your chest without burning your clothes." Proverbs 6:3-5, 27

We all watched my sister's hand, holding our breaths, waiting. At first, there was nothing. No movement at all. Then suddenly the small, dried bean jumped. On its own. My sister was completely freaked out by it, she dropped the bean and ran screaming from the room. You see, my son was given a pair of Mexican Jumping Beans from his Sunday School teacher. None of us had actually ever seen one before, so it was a great source of entertainment for our family for days.

If you don't know anything about Mexican Jumping Beans, which, honestly, I didn't think were real, is that they truly do jump. Without going into the science of it all, basically if they get hot, they are designed to jump in order to get away from the heat. It's a survival technique for them. And it's really fun to warm up your hands, and then watch them jump around.

So this morning as I was reading today's Proverb {I'm going through and reading a Proverb a day}, I happen to see out the corner of my eye one of the beans, which was near my coffee cup, twitch. It was somehow fitting with this morning's devotion. The title of Proverbs 6, at least in my Bible, is "Dangers of Being Foolish." As I got to verses 3-5, God set upon my heart how important it is to get away from bondage, to be relentless about it. God hates sin and the hold it has on our lives. Verses 3-5 say to not even rest until you are free from the bondage. Don't put it off. Don't like pride get in the way of you apologizing to someone and don't let it stop you from turning away from activities that lead you to sin. I love how it says, "like a deer running from a hunter." You know that deer isn't stopping to eat some berries or refusing to leave its home because a hunter is coming. That deer RUNS and runs as far away as possible.

Verse 27 serves as a reminder that there are consequences to sin. Holding sin close to your heart is going to get you burned. Even if you do flee from sin, there are still consequences. The faster you get away from that sin, the less you are going to get burned. We are going through Hosea during church, and chapter 5 talks about how God will punish Israel for turning away from him and embracing sinful nature. Verse 15 says, "Then I will go back to my place until they suffer for their guilt and turn back to me. In their trouble they will look for me." Just as my children must face the consequences of their disobedience at home, we, children of God, must also face the consequences. We must understand that holding that sin close, whether it is pride, anger, gossip, jealousy, lust, or whatever else that replaces God in our lives, is going to affect your days to come. It's going to leave marks on you.

And I just love how much God desires so much for us to recognize our sins, release them, and turn back to him. Hosea 6: 1-3 says, "Come, let's go back to the Lord. He has hurt us, BUT He will heal us. He has wounded us, BUT he will bandage our wounds. In two days he will put new life in us; on the third day he will raise us up so that we may live in his presence and know him. Let's try to learn about the Lord; he will come to us as surely as the dawn comes. He will come to us like rain, like the spring rain that waters the ground." God loves us. He desires for us to be free from sin, from the bondage that holds us, from the burns that will be left on us because of our selfish desires. Just like those Mexican Jumping Beans are constantly testing the temperature and jumping as far away from the heat as possible, we, too, must always be assessing our lives, and jumping as far away from the heat and sin as possible.

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