When temptation comes, keep your running shoes ready
We were in seminary in Fort Worth when my second daughter, Rachel, was born. About the time my wife had to take a leave of absence from her RN position, the paper route in the seminary village became open. So I became a newspaper carrier for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for about nine months. Every day at 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. I threw the paper. I loved Saturday when the morning and evening editions combined. I dreaded Sundays because the paper weighed a ton. Since it was a walking route, I was loaded down.
One Sunday morning, I was beginning to throw the papers across the street from my apartment. Our apartment building was right by the railroad tracks. A fence with barbed wire across the top stood between the village and the tracks. It was twilight and shadowy. Darkness was slowly turning to daylight.
Someone on the other side of the fence yelled, “Hey!” I thought, “Who in the world is that and who are they yelling at this time of the morning?” I ignored it and faithfully delivered my papers.
Again a voice yelled “Hey, you!” I turned and saw the outline of three figures walking down the tracks in my direction and realized they were hollering at me to “Come here!”
I said, “I can’t. I have to throw my papers.” Such dedication I had.
My response evidently angered them and the next thing I knew, they had run down the bank and had somehow sprung over the fence, barbed wire and all.
There are times when you don’t have time to think; you just react. Psychologists tell us that in the face of danger, most of us will react in one of two ways. We’ll either fight or flee. There were three of them and one of me. I didn’t fight. I took flight.
My wife was on the porch bagging papers. As I turned to run, I hollered, “Get inside!” She dropped everything, dashed into the house, and I sprinted in right behind her. As soon as I got the door closed, they hit the porch and started pounding on the door and windows.
With adrenaline pumping and my heart racing, I grabbed the phone, but the only number I could think of was the seminary number, which rang security. That was like calling Barney Fife to bring over his one bullet. I did fumble through the phone book and call the Fort Worth police department and they sent two cars.
In the meantime, a neighbor upstairs heard the commotion, came outside and asked, “What’s going on?”
The three hollered something to the effect of “He’s been looking in my sister’s window.”
The seminary student upstairs said, “You’ve got the wrong man.” And with that, they took off over the fence and back to wherever they came from.
When the police arrived, they told me that there had been reports of a peeping Tom in the neighborhood on the other side of the tracks. I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
What do you do when Satan attacks? Too often we make the mistake of thinking we can stand our ground and do battle. But he’s too deceptive and too determined to trip us up.
I Peter 5:9 reads, “Resist him.” What’s the best way to resist? Keep your running shoes ready. Don’t hang around and flirt with temptation. Satan is too powerful and his snares are too deadly. Instead, run like crazy.
Run from sexual immorality (I Corinthians 6:18).
Run from idolatry (I Corinthians 10:14).
Run from temptations caused by materialism (I Timothy 6:11).
Run from the evil desires of youth (2 Timothy 2:22).
Run from Satan.
Run to Jesus. When temptation comes, turn to Jesus for strength. Before temptation comes, stay close to Jesus.
When Martin Luther was asked how he overcame the devil, he replied, “When he comes knocking upon the door of my heart, and asks, ‘Who lives here?’ the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door and says, Martin Luther used to live here, but he has moved out. Now I live here.” When we fill our lives with Jesus, there’s no room for Satan.
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road, just beyond the department of motor vehicles office, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.]