1 John NLT
Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
When we were all kids, we probably remember seeing signs different places and being told certain things were off-limits. It probably drove most of us nuts and just made us want to go to those places and behind the closed doors even more! I know it did for me. Any sign reading “Keep Out” or “Keep Away” or having someone tell us that we can’t go somewhere or get into something just made us want to get into even more. We are curious, right???
Children are often told to “keep away” or “keep out” because it is for their own good. As adults, we are responsible for teaching them because they need to learn and we can’t just let them go wherever and do whatever. They want to, but adult supervision is to help teach them right and wrong. If kids went anywhere and did whatever, they would get hurt and terrible things could happen.
Even as adults, we often have many areas of life that God tells us to “keep out” or “keep away”. There are many directions we could go in life and some of those will no doubt do nothing but hurt our relationship with Him and with others. God is serious about wanting us to stay away from the things that will do no good at all for our lives. However, no matter how much He tries to steer us away from bad things, we just continue to be curious and we follow temptation right back into those directions.
God’s heart breaks when we allow anything from the world to take precedence in our hearts over Him. We often end up forcing Him out when we think something better comes along. It’s not that we purposely want to hurt our relationship with Him, but we get just get so consumed with what we want that we throw Him off the throne of our heart.
So, there is a very good reason why God tell us, as His children, to stay away from things that will corrupt our lives. God should always be the center of our lives and bad things should be kept out. It’s a daily struggle. Just as we teach our kids and other young people to stay away from bad things, God teaches us as His children and so often we don’t listen. We want to go where we shouldn’t go and touch what we shouldn’t touch. Often we have to learn the hard way.
When God says to Keep Away or Keep Out, He means it and it’s definitely for our own good. When we obey, we discover an even more fruitful and satisfying life!