“Abstain from all appearance of evil”
There was a story of a man traveling through the desert. He noticed that it was getting late and needed to bed down for thenight. The dessert night can get pretty cold so he hurried to set up his tent. The winds were blowing across the desert but once his tent was set up, he went in to sleep. In the middle of the night, he was rudely awakened. Apparently his camel was getting cold so the camel stuck his nose into the tent to warm up. This man must have thought it was okay and went back to sleep. Before long, he was awakened again. This time he noticed the camel had his head and front shoulder into the tent. Again, the man must have thought it was okay and decided to go back to sleep. The next time the man was awakened, he was outside of his tent. The camel had taken over the tent.
There is a lot of truth to this humorous story. This man knew his camel had no business being in any part of his tent, but he allowed it to happen. Why would such a man do this? Was he too lazy to stop him? Was this man too comfortable in his surroundings to move? Or did the situation seem to have the appearance of being insignificant?
This is a good example of how sin can creep into our lives if we are not careful. The Bible says for us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil”, 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Anytime we see evil (anything that will separate us from God) we should abstain from it totally! It should be a warning sign for us to beware of our situation. Did this man see the camel? Yes, he did! But he decided to do nothing about it and it eventually took over his possessions. Sin will always take us further than we ever imagined.
Satan often reveals himself a little at a time through temptations or trials. It is up to us to stop him from coming in any further. The Bible states that we are not ignorant to Satan’s devices and it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. When Satan tempts us, there should be warning signs going off in our heart and mind. People use to describe deceivers as saying, “Give him an inch and he will take a mile.” All Satan wants to do at the present time is to “take” an inch of your life. Then he will try to “take” a mile later on. If we allow Satan to have any part of us, we are not ignorant to his devices, we are plain stupid because we allow it to happen in plain sight! James 4:7 reads, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We probably have heard this quoted our whole life, over and over again, but may have forgotten to read the whole scripture. The first part says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” In order to have the power to resist the devil (ie. temptations, emotions, sin), one must submit their lives wholly over to the Lord. He is our source of strength. We are definitely no match for the devil, but we have power through Jesus Christ to overcome the evil one!