To flee means to turn from or run from. I am in the midst of a corporate Daniel fast with my husband and our church. For twenty one days we are setting aside a time of fasting. Fasting is when you abstain from all or certain types of foods and drinks. In this fast, we are abstaining for foods that contain sugar as well as meats. (And yes, there is still an abundance of what you can eat.) The purpose is not to starve our bodies, but to stop our cravings for the natural and divert that craving towards time with God. It is replacing Facebook time with prayer time; it is substituting chips and dips for a conversation with my heavenly Father. It is saying, “God comfort me when
I hurt, instead of Diet Coke.” This is not a a crazy, forced, legalistic religious act. Instead, this is very much a heartfelt decision to choose God, not food to satisfy deep hungers in my soul. A time to draw near to him.
Almost one week of the twenty one days are complete and I must say, that I am feeling good. I love fruits and vegetables and eat them in abundance. I am trying new recipes that do not have preservatives and added sugars, that in reality, are not great for my thirty something year old body. But, I will tell you, I miss my DIET COKE. Of all things, I miss my diet coke. A real eye opener for this mama of four! However, I do not sit here and think, “I want a Diet Coke.” I only really want it when I see it. Which made me think of the word, “Flee!”
The Bible says to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Meaning, run from committing a sexual sin. Turn, go, flee! Do not put yourself in a situation, lest you be tempted. I really have had this thought on my mind, when we have weaknesses, we need to stay clear of situations, places, people where our “temptation” may be. For example, at work, there is a case of Diet Coke. Granted it is mine. I had bought it prior to the fast because I keep the refrigerator stocked. I also share it with my co-workers. The point is, I never think about Diet Coke when I am at home or when I am in the car, but when I go to work and I see that case, I think about it. At lunch time, I really want to crack it open and take just a sip! Or when work becomes stressful and overbearing, I want to grab it and comfort myself.
It really revealed to me, that in my weakness or troubles, I do not always turn to God. Ouch. That sometimes, I find the comforts for my troubling moment in a soft drink. Ouch.Ouch. I have also found that I have to “FLEE” the room where the Diet Coke is. Out of sight, out of mind. There is truth to that statement. When a person has a weakness and they want to conquer it, they need to put it out of sight. The less you see it, the less you think about it. The less you think about it, the less you want it.
Here are a few examples that I thought about (other than Diet Coke!):
A man who has issue with pornography, may need to turn the television off during commercials. There are many commercials, especially during sporting events, with half naked women, enticing them by their sexual desires to sell a product. The problem is, after the commercial, a man with a sex addiction is not thinking about the product, but rather his sexual desire!
A woman who has a debt issue, but continues to order things via online, infomercials or shops at the local mall, Target or Walmart does not flee from her spending problem. Going to the mall, viewing magazines and surfing the web can be a stumbling block that trips her shoe buying spree self right back into the middle of her mess.
We have to find ways to “flee” and turn from the things that cause us to get woven back into our weakness.
A person who wants to give up smoking needs to surround him or herself in an environment where people do not smoke and find ways to avoid buying cigarettes. Sitting in a bar or at a home that has people smoking can fuel the craving to smoke.
“Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you…” (Acts 3:19, The Message)
We need to be wise as God seekers to set boundaries, create new routes and believe that God will reward us for our turning away from that which diverts us from him. He rewards those who obey him. While Diet Coke in and of itself is not a “sin”, it is a stumbling block for me. I am seeing that I find it not just an enjoyable drink but a sense of comfort. It is my “go to.” What is your go to? What are areas in your life where you choose something else other than God to bring you comfort? What is your weakness or wrong doing that you need to turn from and flee?
So, Lord thank you for revealing to me things I need to turn from and ways that I can come closer to you. For you are never far, but rather are ever so near. Even when I do not feel you, you are my ever present help (Psalm 46:1)! Lord, I believe that as I flee from things that satisfy my flesh and turn to you to satisfy me, that you will bless me and all those who choose you. You are a God of rewards and blessings for those who put their trust in you and follow your ways. Father, see this heart who desires to follow your ways. May I step back and see your paths and follow them all the days of my life.
“God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.” (Deuteronomy 28:9, The Message)