Have you ever had the experience where you say to yourself “boy, I’ve heard that before”. Well, I have just had that “de ja vu” experience.
I’ve heard someone recently say in regards to them having some guns in their house that they are dangerous, so you need to respect them.
Shortly after that, I heard someone else talk about how dangerous doing electric work was, “so you need to respect it”, he said. By that, this person was saying that if you are not very intentional about what you are doing, the danger of being careless poses high risk.
So, as I’ve thought about this issue of respect, I remembered yet another experience. This past Summer, I had some people come out and trim a tree in my backyard. After seeing one of the guys way up high in the tree, I was so impressed by the way this guy maneuvered and did his job. When the guy came down, I told him how impressive it was to watch him. I said that I could never see doing what he does because I was scared of heights. He said that he too is totally scared of heights.
He said that the way he deals with his fear of heights is having respect for it. So because of this fear he gets extremely focused on every action he makes. By having this mindset, he is protected. His safety is his highest priority.
I love this important lesson about “respecting” something and responding to it in a very focused way.
Besides the examples listed above regarding guns, or working with electricity, or heights, I have one more topic to respect – sin and the spiritual battle we are in.
“Will not your face be happy if you do well? If you do not do well, sin is waiting to destroy you. Its desire is to rule over you, but you must rule over it” Genesis 4:7 – NLT
“be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Wow! Bible verses like this definitely add a sobering perspective to how I live my life each day. They warn me that there is a very real danger out there and if I’m not vigilant, great harm could happen.
Fortunately, when I do respect the spiritual battle I’m in, I can balance warnings like in the two verse above (and so many more could be mentioned) with the two verses mentioned below (and so many more could be mentioned):
“no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability , but with the temptation he will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
“who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword…no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Roman 8:35, 7-39 ESV
How careful are you about what you do?
How much do you recognize the spiritual conflict we are all in?
Is there anyone you could talk with about these things? Will you?
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