Memorise: Abstain from all appearance of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Read: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Bible in One Year: Number 22, Jeremiah 21:11-22:10
Yesterday, we looked at some of the responsibilities of the children of God in ensuring that they finish the Christian race in triumph. Another of these responsibilities is that children of God must be on the lookout for whatever appears to be evil and run away from it. Anything that can lead to fornication or adultery, anything that has a shade of idolatry, or anything that has to do with love of money falls into the category of things you should flee from (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:9-10). Living a holy life is not automatic as some presume; we have to make a conscious effort to live holy. We wrestle not against flesh and blood; rather, we wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). To be effective in our warfare, our strategy has to be both offensive and defensive in nature. How do we engage in defensive warfare? It is by tactically abstaining from the world of darkness and sin.
In today’s Bible reading, we are exposed to the practical way of engaging in defensive spiritual warfare. The first thing is not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers because the Bible expressly says that friendship with the world is enmity against God, and that whosoever will be a friend to the world is an enemy of God (James 4:4). It is however unfortunate that some Christians don’t see this as an eternal truth. Even some pastors will tell you that we must be friendly with the world in other to win them. The question is ever since we have been making friends with worldly people, how many of them have we won? Instead, on arrival, they pollute the Church, and we end up becoming more like them! The problem is that the Church does not want to take the lonely stand for the truth anymore; we want to be world-compliant. Have we forgotten that the Almighty God assures us that even if the world forsakes us, He would be with us (Hebrew 13:5)? How happy our God would be, if His Church would take the stance that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego took in Babylon, when they were faced with Nebuchadnezzar’s great fiery furnace (Daniel 3:16-18).
Beloved, it is your responsibility not only to rebuke the works of darkness but also to run away from all appearances of evil when necessary. Joseph did this successfully, and although he suffered for it for a while, he was later exalted to become the Prime Minister of Egypt (Genesis 39:11-23). That will be your story in Jesus’ Name. As you separate yourself to the Lord in holiness, your purity will stand you out from the crowd and cause you to be exalted in Jesus’ Name.
Action Point: Read Psalm 1 meditatively and pray that God will help you to always shun the presence of evil and its agents.