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  • Chris Werre

One-a-Day...for the Heart: If You Smell Smoke, RUN!


It’s wise to locate the exit signs in public places, whether in a mall, a movie theater, a restaurant, or wherever, in the event of fire or emergency.

Nothing is more annoying than setting off a home fire alarm by burning a piece of toast, but the shrill, piercing noise it makes effectively gets our attention to deal with potential danger.

The Word of God warns of danger, too. Giving into temptation and sin leads down a pathway to destruction, so the Lord has strong words to keep us on the “straight and narrow” way. When temptation comes near us, we should be able to readily detect it much like we do when we smell smoke. I’m reminded of a time when my grandson was very young. As he walked into our living room where a fire had been burning in the wood burner, he stopped in his tracks and said, “I ‘mell ‘moke!” Yes, the smell of smoke was a sure sign of fire, and he recognized that caution must be taken.

Getting close to temptation is like getting too close to a fire. When we “’mell ‘moke,” the Bible tells us to flee from it—especially sexual sin. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim 2:21-22 NKJV). The word “flee” means to run away, to vanish from the scene. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 NLT explains why sexual sin is so damaging: Run (flee) from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. The same Greek word for “flee” appears in several other verses, where once again, we are advised to flee other types of temptation or sin:

1. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols (1 Corinthians 10:14-15 NLT).

2. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run (flee) from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness (1 Tim 6:10-12 NLT).

When we “‘mell ‘moke,” the Lord is ready to help us! If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure (1 Cor 10:12-13 NLT). The literal meaning of “a way out” is an exit. The Lord will provide an exit out of the temptation, so you can run from the smoke and fire of sin. Something pretty amazing happens when you resist temptation, for James 4:7-8 says, So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and HE will flee from YOU! When confronted with temptation and sin, look for God’s exit signs, and RUN! Vanish from the scene. Before too long, the sin that enticed you will fade away, as righteousness and godliness shine brighter and brighter in your life!

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