Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Keep Away Means Keep Away

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“Keep Away Means Keep Away”

1 John 5:21 NLT

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.


Many of us, if not most, probably remember the famous game of keep away when we were kids.  We all most likely remember times at recess or in gym class when we had a game of keep away with other kids.  If we were the ones trying to keep the ball away from the person in the middle, we recall doing all we could to keep the ball away from the person in any possible way.  If we were in the middle, we were determined to stop that ball by reaching quickly or reaching up high enough to catch it.


Another idea of “keep away”, we remember being told by adults to stay out of something that might be harmful or something we just were not supposed to touch.  For one reason or another, we were commanded to keep our distance from a certain area or certain things.  I remember how it drove me nuts to not touch or go near something or an area that I couldn’t access.  The more I was told I couldn’t touch or go near, the more I wanted to!!!


As I consider these ideas of keeping away from something or some area while growing up, I think about how it still applies even today as an adult.  There are still many things and places I have to remember that I shouldn’t go near, whatever it might be.  I might be able to access a certain area or touch a certain object, but the consequences could very well be disastrous if I don’t heed the warning to stay away. 


God commands us to keep away from anything that takes His place in our hearts. I want to emphasize “ANYTHING”.  When He says “ANYTHING”, He means “ANYTHING”.  If it doesn’t encourage our walk with Him, it will most likely take us away from Him.  Day after day, we need to take into consideration anything and everything we encounter to determine if it will steer us nearer to Him or take us away. 


So often in our lives, we find ourselves running to things that will not help us at all. As Zach Wlliams’ song “Chain Breaker” says, “We’ve all run to things we know just ain’t right”.  We spend each day of our lives making choices that will either draw us closer to God or pull us away.  I so often find myself going after worldly things and thinking somehow they will bring me joy or happiness, but instead I just feel more and more empty, longing for fulfillment even more.


God promises that if we keep away from things that take His place in our lives, we will experience true fulfillment. 


Let us not forget, when God says “Keep Away”, He has something so much better for us if we turn to Him instead. 

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