Proverbs 22:3,5: The prudent foresees evil and hides, but the simple pass by and are punished… Thorns and snares are in the path of the wicked; he who guards his soul will be far from them.
This is an interesting statement made by the author of Proverbs. The prudent or discreet man foresees evil and hides. The man who guards his soul will be far from thorns and snares. It is important for us as believers to guard our souls and sanctify ourselves for the Lord. To sanctify means to separate oneself from the world.
— Living Bible
Proverbs 22:5 The rebel walks a thorny and treacherous path; the man who values his soul will walk away from him.
It is very important that we realize that in our Christian walk there will be evil, temptation, and “thorns and snares.” We all have weaknesses and it is important that each of us identify these obstacles in our lives and guard our spirit and soul from them. The enemy knows what our weaknesses are and exploits them daily to cause us problems in our lives and cause us to stumble in our walk. If the enemy causes you to lose your testimony, then he, not God, has the victory in your life!
Matthew 5: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Everything we do in our life should glorify God. Every action we take, decision we make, deed we do, or thing we say should glorify God. We as believers must live a life that glorifies God before the world, so that others will see God in our lives and want what we have! Amen?
If we constantly live a “double life” of sin and doubt, then we are not glorifying God.
It’s the everyday things in your life that really speak to your testimony. It’s not how much you talk about God, and what Jesus has done in your life, but how you live it! Amen!
Talking and sharing about Jesus is important, but as the old saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.”
So how do we protect ourselves? It is incredibly simple but difficult. Amazing, in that God has provided a way through our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. Simple, in that it is explained very clearly in the Word of God. Difficult, in the sense that it takes commitment, dedication, and a willingness to relinquish our pride and control and surrender to God and his will in our lives.
Giving up control is probably the hardest thing we do as believers. It’s part of human nature to want to be in control all the time, some more than others, but just like driving a car, only one person can drive at a time. In your life, only one person can be in control and that should be the Lord Jesus Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit, not you.
Jesus, when he taught his disciples how to pray, told us a very basic truth as he began this process.
Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Jesus told us to pray not to be led into temptation, but to be delivered from evil.
— New King James
Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
We must make praying for deliverance from the enemy a part of our daily prayers. We must also pray not to be led into temptation. Trials and temptation are not the same. Trials come into your life, to test your faith. Temptations come in the form of a stumbling block, to make you fail and lose your victory. Know the difference and as Proverbs 22 tells us, foresee evil and hide from it.
James 1:2-5: Count it all joy, my brethren, when you find yourself in various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But be patient in his perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives abundantly to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.
When you come to a situation that tests you, remember that you can ask God for wisdom on how to overcome it and he will give it to you. Lean on the Word of God and not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-7: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Don’t be wise in your own opinion; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This is an important statement, don’t be wise in your own opinion! Worldly wisdom will always lead you down the wrong path. It’s not what some afternoon TV talk show host or your best friend tells you, but what God’s Word says about your situation. Amen?
Staying away from evil is what I really want to talk about. I think I need to define what evil is. Webster’s II New Riverside Dictionary defines evil as something morally wrong or bad, wicked; causing harm, suffering or injury.
This can be different things for different people. In today’s society so many things are taken for granted as acceptable that we don’t even think twice before doing something that is clearly defined in God’s Word as sin. When watching many of the television shows that are broadcast today, you will see one show after another about sex, infidelity, murder, rape, robbery, and homosexuality. These things make our hearts harden. We unflinchingly accept drug use, alcohol abuse, and sexual relations outside of marriage. We go movie after movie where God’s name is taken in vain. This is a sad comment on us as Christians. We think, “I’m not a bad person, I don’t kill, curse, cheat on my spouse, abuse alcohol or use drugs. I haven’t held up a bank or stolen anything.” We have become so accustomed to sin in our lives that we have classified them as small and big sins. It’s okay to tell a “white lie,” but not to rob a bank. It’s okay to think someone is “hot and sexy” but not to sleep with him or her. Believe me, sin is sin in God’s eyes and unless we are willing to come close to him, lay down our lives and change our thinking, we will fall prey to the “thorns and snares” the devil throws our way.
James 1, 13-15: When someone is tempted, do not say that he is tempted by God; because God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn. by his own lusts and seduced, then lust, once conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, having come to its fullness, gives birth to death.
The enemy knows your weaknesses and uses them against you. The small and the big.
Do you like to gossip about your boss or your job? Do you have a weakness when it comes to drugs or alcohol? Are you driving too fast, not obeying the speed limit? Are you constantly late for work? Do you constantly criticize others? All of these things are ways the enemy drags you down and makes you lose your way. You speed on your way to work and receive a speeding ticket. Then you get angry, lose your temper, and take God’s name in vain. Everything is a downward spiral if not protected and can lead to destruction.
You sit at work, listen to others complain about the boss, work, and your coworkers, before you know it, you’re angry about your job, unhappy, and constantly complaining about yourself.
“Yes, but these are just little things,” you say.
Song of Songs 2:1: Hunt us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, because our vines have tender grapes.
It’s the little things that trip us up in our walk, not the really big things. You probably won’t go out and plan to rob a bank, but you might not tell the cashier at the grocery store when you get too much change back. Both are equally bad in the eyes of God.
2 Timothy 3:1-4: But know this, that in the last days dangerous times will come, because there will be men who love themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, impious, without love relentless, slanderers, lacking in self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, stubborn, haughty, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,
This is what is happening in today’s society, and as a believer you cannot be a part of it.
There are some simple things you can do to protect your soul and spirit.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, brothers, I beg you by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your rational service.
And do not conform to this century, but transform yourselves through the renewal of your understanding, so that you may verify what is the good will of God, pleasing and perfect.
We need to spend time in God’s Word, studying it, learning about it, meditating on it, putting it into our hearts and minds so that we are not conformed to the way the world does things. And we will be quick to lean on God and his wisdom and not our own. If we do not spend time in God’s Word, we will not know his wisdom. If we don’t take time to pray, we won’t recognize the direction of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let me leave you with this Scripture.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-23: Now we exhort you, brothers, admonish the rebellious, comfort the faint-hearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil to anyone, but always follow the good for yourselves and for everyone.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in everything; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the prophecies. Try all things; retain what is good. Abstain from all forms of evil. Now may the same God of peace sanctify you completely; and may all your spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The first and foremost way to protect your soul is to know Jesus as your personal Savior.
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, I urge you to fervently pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says: “…and whoever comes to me, I will not cast out”. (John 6:37),
So I know you won’t cast me out, but take me in, and I thank you. You said in your Word: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I call on your name, so now I know that you have saved me, you also said: “…that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, because with the heart one believes in justice, but with the mouth one confesses for salvation.” (Romans 10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe he rose from the dead for my justification. And I confess it now as my Lord, because Your Word says: “… with the heart one believes in justice…” and I believe with my heart, now I have become the justice of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21),
And I’m saved! Thank my Lord!
Now I can truly say that I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.