"And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered (allowed) I thee not to touch her." Genesis 20:6
Kate and I recently went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the valley to meet my parents there and reunite with my dad who had been out of town for a few weeks. We decided to arrive before them so we could put our name on the list due to the long wait at this popular restaurant. We checked in and were told we would be texted when our table was ready. We were not given a specific wait time, but were just told it might be awhile before we get seated. The weather was quite beautiful so we settled into a spot on their large patio and awaited the goodness that was sure to come.
As we sat there, we started to people-watch as many entered and exited the restaurant. We saw some little kids running around in the middle of the patio, causing a mild disturbance to those who came and went. I noticed the kids were both wearing glasses, but I don’t think they were much use as they grabbed the lenses with their dirty fingers as they adjusted them on their face. I lost count of how many times they dropped their glasses or barely missed running into the door or one of the other patrons. The people smiled at them as they narrowly missed them and their mom tried to lasso them into siting down, but her words meant very little to the little boys.
The boys grew bored with just running around on the patio and they decided to expand their boundaries. One little boy went past the door and was bound for the main road that went into the parking lot. The mom, who had been pretty passive this whole time, sprung into action, but she too slow to keep up with the speed of a two-year-old boy on a mission. Kate saw the little boy heading for disaster but we were too far away. The boy had no idea of the danger that was before him. There was someone there who stopped him just prior to the street, and the mom let out a sigh of relief.
I explained to Kate that this is where parents come in to try and help their kids avoid the dangers of running into the street. The kid does not always understand why he cannot play in the street, but the parents see the danger. I told her the older you get, the more you begin to see why your parents put restrictions and guardrails in your life. You see the fun of playing in the street, but they see the dangers of getting hit by a car. I bet, like all teenagers, Kate thinks we are no fun at times, but our hope is that she will come to appreciate that we worked to keep her from danger.
We often look at our sinful past and we glamorize it, not realizing the harm we could have done to ourselves if not for the grace of God. We should thank Him for keeping us from running in the “streets” of sin, and for putting His Holy Spirit in us to warn us of the danger of sin. We may not understand why we are not allowed to do certain things, but we must obey in spite of our lack of understanding. This story in Genesis tells us that God kept Abimelech from sinning because of the integrity of his heart, and He will do the same for us if we will walk in the Spirit.
What are you entangled in that God has warned you about? Do you keep trying to do that which He has said “no” to? Do you listen to the Holy Spirit when He tells you “no” and warns you of the sin ahead, or do you go full bore into the sin anyway? Are you reading His Word which warns you as well, or do you think you know better and think you are able to avoid the consequences you have been warned about? May we be thankful for the stop signs God puts in our lives, and may we stop at them when He commands us to do so. We see the fun of the street, but He sees the pain and anguish that await us when we pursue the "fun" of this world. May we not be a casualty of sin, but may we live with godly integrity.
Stay in the fight!