11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Doesn’t that sound like a good word? If you ask me if I want provisions for, well pretty much anything, my answer would be yes. Provisions supply us with what we need.
When a hurricane hits, provisions are brought in so the storm victims can live! When school starts, we need provisions in the classroom to help us educate.
Provisions PROVIDE! We know that God provides all we need. He has provisions for us, and they are good! But on the other hand, there are times when the provisions are provided by us, and these are not so good.
What provisions am I talking about? The provisions for the flesh. Let me break this down a little. Let’s say my wife and I visit the doctor only to find out that sugar is absolutely killing my wife. It’s so dangerous that she’s been given a 100% chance of death if she doesn’t stop eating it.
We have a few problems here…
- First of all, she likes it! I mean it tastes so good right!
- Second, it’s tough for her to be around it without eating it.
- And finally, we have all kinds of sweets in our pantry at home.
As a loving husband who does not want my wife to die, what should I do? I’ve got to clean out that pantry! I have to remove the provisions that would lead to my wife’s demise.
The Bible tells us that we too need to “clean out our pantries” of all the things that cause us to sin by feeding the flesh. We all have that struggle we know is sinful. We know we shouldn’t do it. We know the Lord says to turn away and we know it’s a death sentence…after all the wages of sin is death! (Romans 6:23) But we just can’t stop. We keep that “bag of cookies” in the back of the pantry just for special occasions or when we really need one. That’s not going to work! God is calling us to completely clean house! To completely get rid of all the provisions that are allowing us to sin.
If you’re falling back every time you’re with a certain group of friends, you need to cut the provision. If you’re looking at junk on your smart phone, get a phone without internet access. If social media is filling up all your spare time, put limitations in your settings. If you’re slacking off in an area at work, add some accountability and cut the unaccountable time. If you can’t keep your hands off of the person you’re dating, stay in public or around people and eliminate alone time.
Every temptation has a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), but it also has a way of access… a huge key to freedom is to eliminate the access points that we have control of.
Today I challenge you to take a deep inventory of your life. Talk to the Lord and ask Him to show you the doors that need to be closed and trust in His amazing grace to guide you and strengthen you along the way!