This past week, I got out of my car to walk to the front door. This is something I do every day when I get home from work. My arms were loaded with items I was planning to take into the house.
As I walked down the sidewalk admiring the recently trimmed shrubs, my right foot stepped on the edge of the sidewalk sending me into a headlong fall. My left knee and left arm hit the sidewalk hard breaking the fall and helping me avoid hitting my head on the ground. However, I was shaken to say the least. I felt like I had just been in a car accident. My neck hurt, my arm was bloodied and my knee began to swell. While I now laugh at myself, my first thought was did any of the neighbors see my graceful fall to the ground? I know. How silly can I be, but nevertheless it went through my mind.
Of course, I never planned or even thought about the possibility of falling down while strolling up the sidewalk to the house. It is the same way in our Christian walk. Most of us do not set out to step off the edge of godliness into temptation and sin. However, it can happen to anyone unless we remain vigilant. All we have to do is remember David and Bathsheba or even Samson. Both men toyed with sin thinking that no one would know about their actions. Yet, we know that David fell into adultery and then murder in order to satisfy his sinful nature. Samson, likewise, did not keep his Nazarite vows. His sinful lifestyle led to Delilah's betrayal (Judges 16) and eventually his death in order to save Israel. We may not be a King David or a Judge of Israel such as Samson, but we are called to live a life of godliness that glorifies the Lord.
Peter warns believers in his letter: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8). Anyone familiar with the hunting prowess of a lion should be on guard for anything or anyone who tries to lead us astray. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God in order to resist the enemy in Ephesians 6:13-15. To my way of thinking, these men of God would not have warned us if the danger of our wandering heart was not real. Herein lies the problem.
Most often, we get relaxed concerning sin and temptation. We tell ourselves, "I've walked down this road many times and know my way around. I have nothing to fear." It is at moments like these when we can be our most vulnerable especially if we are leaning on our own understanding and moving in our own will power. Just like I did, we can step off the edge of the walkway and fall. To be certain, God is there to pick us up when we do fall, but the goal in Christian living is to walk in His power daily so we do not get injured or injure others with our sin.
Though I have stated this advice in many of my devotions through the years, it bears repeating. We need to be people of the Bible. We need to read it, chew on it, digest it and make it an integral part of our daily walk. This coupled with God's armor and being alert to the wiles of our enemy will do more to keep us on the path of a life set apart and sanctified for God.
While we can recover from a fall, wouldn't it be better if we did not have to go through the pain at all? God has provided for us His Spirit to teach us, His Word to direct our steps and His Son to serve as our foundation of faith. We have all we need for life and godliness. Therefore, let us be careful how we walk each day avoiding the pitfalls that surround us. Trust me, one little misstep can really
be bone jarring. May God help us stay the course and walk in His light so we will not stumble in the darkness of sin. Selah!