1 THESSALONIANS 5:22
“abstain from every form of evil.”
I love to dig in and discover what words really mean in Scripture. A lot of the time the English translation just doesn’t do it justice. Today’s verse is an example of that. The word “abstain” seems to imply to just not do something, to keep yourself away from evil. But look at the definition of the Greek word. It means “to have one thing by separating from (letting go of) another.”
You can’t have that which is good if you hold on to the evil stuff. You can’t live in the flesh and the spirit at the same time. The two just don’t co-exist. Also, this word is in the middle voice which means YOU have to do this. No one is going to do it for you. So, I must let go of the evil, fleshly stuff in my life in order to fully embrace the godly things the Lord has for me.
This can be a fun verse to illustrate to your children. Get a bunch of their toys or stuffed animals. Load their hands and arms up with them to the point that they can’t hold anymore. Then place in front of them their favorite candy bar or dessert. Tell them they can have it, but they can only use their hands to get it.
I bet they will literally drop all that stuff in their hands, lol. Who doesn’t want their favorite dessert, right? Now, explain to them this verse with that illustration fresh in their heads (and the treat fresh on their lips). God has such wonderful things for us, but we can only access them when we let go of the worldly things that we are holding on to. We can’t have the peace of God until we let go of the fears in our life. We can’t experience true joy until we abandon our will for His.
What do you need to let go of today in order to obtain what God has for you? It may be a job that you KNOW is holding you back from following the Lord. It could be a person whom you KNOW is holding you back from living for the Lord. Whatever it is, let it go. Let the Lord give you the BETTER thing. But you have to let go first. It’s your choice.
Lord, I am so thankful that whatever I let go of is replaced by something so much better by You. I will abandon the fleshly for the spiritual. I will trust You to give me exactly what I need for this life.