The Sphere of Growth: Avoid Wrong Places

Activate: Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Ps. 1:1-2

Elevate: I once heard a children’s story about a sheep who was tired of grazing in the field of the good Shepherd. She wanted to graze in the other fields and be free to live however she wanted. As she moved away from the safe place into dangerous territory many difficulties began to happen. Ultimately her choices began to stifle her freedom and harden her heart.

While this is a simple illustration of obedience it’s important as followers of Jesus that we avoid wrong places. Much like when Adam and Eve found themselves in the middle of the garden. Out of all the territory the Lord had given them there they are with the forbidden fruit in their hand. They became deceived and think that they could disobey the instruction of the Lord and it not cost them. I’ve heard story after story of grieving people who found themselves in the wrong place, standing and sitting with people with hearts that were cold to the ways of God.

Our growth is not automatic just because we love the Lord. We have to be smart and recognize the plans of the enemy. No one decides to blow it and go sin happy. People fall by degrees. Just a little slip over a long period of time begins to harden that once soft heart. We have to stay alert to where our emotions and desires position us. Temptation affects all of us and its goal is to move us to sin. But we have a great God who has provided a way of escape for all of us. We are not destined to live broken lives. He has given us everything we need to live free. Be the One to avoid the wrong places and keep moving forward.

Cultivate: Is there an area that you are tempted in? If so write it down and come up with real boundaries that distance those temptations. Then begin to allow God to strengthen your commitment to Him.