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ROLIM Devotionals

Faith Flees
by: Pastor Shane
date posted: 9/2/2008 3:03:02 AM

I often think of someone who is filled with faith as someone who can tough out any situation, who can stand firm in the face of adversity, who never walks away from a fight when their faith is at stake.  But as I read through the book of Acts, and other books in the Bible, I see that there are times when it's simple wisdom to walk away--or to run--when God wants to keep you from a dangerous situation.

For all the times when the Apostle Paul stood his ground, took a beating, and faced death, there were other times when he slipped away from those who intended to harm him.

When Paul first put his faith in Christ on the road to Damascus, the Jews there conspired to kill him.  But when Paul learned of their plan, the believers in Damascus "took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall" (Acts 9:25).

Paul had to flee again when he came to Jerusalem.  More than forty men had taken an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.  When the son of Paul's sister heard about the plot, he warned Paul.  Paul sent the young man to the commander of the centurions who immediately gave these orders:

"Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight.  Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix" (Acts 23:23b-24).

In cases like these, Paul fled for his life.  Because he did, God was able to use him for many more years to testify to kings, governors and even us today who still read letters that he wrote after he fled.

There are even times when Jesus fled from those who meant Him harm.  One day, when Jesus had so angered the Pharisees in Jerusalem, they picked up stones in order to stone Him to death.  But John tells us that "Jesus hid Himself, slipping away from the temple grounds" (John 8:59b).

On another occasion, Jesus' words so infuriated the people in the synagogue that Luke tells us, "They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But He walked right through the crowd and went on his way" (Luke 4:29-30).

While there may be times when your faith will help you to go to the cross like Jesus did (see 1 Peter 2:23), or face beatings and imprisonment like Paul often did, there may be other times when your faith will help you to flee from situations that are potentially dangerous, just like both Paul and Jesus did.

The key is to walk so in tune with God that you know when to stand and when to run.  There's nothing disgraceful about saving your life when God doesn't want you to die.  There's nothing cowardly about fleeing from a potentially harmful situation when God doesn't want you to be harmed.  Walking away, slipping through the crowd or fleeing for your life could be the most faith-filled thing you could do.

There may be times when it's more productive to walk away quietly from your boss who is treating you in a demeaning way, or to slip away for a time from an angry spouse while they take time to cool down, or to disengage from a conversation with someone that may be more destructive than constructive.

The ultimate goal in knowing what to do in situations like these is not to protect your pride or to defend things in which you strongly believe, but to follow God at every turn.

That's why it's so important to stay close to God, to cultivate your prayer life and to deepen your relationship with God and His Word.  By doing so, God can more clearly point you in the direction He wants you to go, whether it's to stand firm or to flee.  Whatever He calls you to do, know that He'll give you the faith to do it.

Let's pray...

Father, help us to stay so close to You that we can know which way to go every step of the way.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Pastor Shane, Sis. Rose and Kayla

 

 


 





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