Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002

Subject: Protect Your Blackboard

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

It is my desire that our studies on temptation this week have been helpful for you…in a very practical sense.  We have talked about “running away” from temptation and “using Scripture” to defeat Satan’s attacks…but a third and very important ingredient in our strategy is “avoidance.” 

By this, I mean that we must be on guard and aware of what our weaknesses are…and then be alert and take the initiative to avoid looking at…or putting ourselves in a situation where we will be tempted.  On many occasions this has spared me a “struggle” with temptation….because I have avoided and deliberately not looked at something…or someone…or put myself in a situation where I know I have a weakness or tendency toward some sin.

A very interesting verse in Isaiah 55: 7 with good insight says:  “Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. (How?)  Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong!”

Good advice…if you don’t put anything on the “blackboard” of your mind and life, you won’t have to worry about dealing with it or erasing it!

Also in Romans, we are commanded:  “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”  (Romans 13:14)  “Make no provision” means just what it says….and again we need to take the offensive as we “work hard” at living a godly life that rewards us with blessing and victory.

There is a saying:  What you don’t know won’t hurt you.  And it is so true with regard to temptation:  What you don’t see…or what you don’t do…or what you don’t think…won’t hurt you.  If you refuse to entertain thoughts…or refuse to look at something…or restrain yourself from getting into any situation that might tempt you to do wrong or sin against God, you are fighting the battle against temptation…and you will keep it from “attacking” and possible “defeating” you.

The blood of Jesus has given our “blackboards” an eternal cleaning but we temporarily dirty it up with stray marks and unnecessary clutter as we give in to temptation.  We can keep our “blackboards” nice and clean as we take the initiative each day to guard our senses, emotions, and actions.

Keep your life “blackboard” clean from stray marks, and you will spend more time enjoying life and less time with an eraser trying to clean it up!

Have a great day,