How does one keep his heart from turning to temptation’s way? How do we keep from straying from the right path?
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.
The first thing we notice is that the writer is looking out from the window of his house–he was actually peeking through the blinds! He was where he was supposed to be as the day ended: At home, presumably with his family. The youth was out with other young men; also, he knew where the adulteress worked and when she worked. It was intentional.
Let’s be intentional about NOT sinning. We know that all sin destroys us, so let’s stay away from it. Andy Stanley says to set up guard rails away from the edge of our temptation, far enough away to keep us from even getting close. The placement of the guard rails may be different for each person, but the cliff is the same for everyone!
The second thing we notice is that temptation (in this case, in the form of an adulteress) comes dressed for the hunt. It (she) will grab us and get our full attention just like she did with this young man: She planted a big fat kiss on him. Then, she offered him a night full of fun and revelry. He may have fended her off if she hadn’t kissed him. We will never know. The best thing to do is to NOT let temptation kiss us. Tell your children, especially your youth, to never do something just to try it. “Just once” may end up an addiction–or even death. Ask the young basketball player who tried cocaine “just once.” He had a heart attack and died! Again, guard rails.
While we’re talking about guard rails, how do we know how to set them and how to live by them? We go to Proverbs 3:5-6,
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
There are other Scriptures that teach us:
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:8-10
The third thing we notice is that once he decided to follow her, there was no turning back. DESIRE took over and that was that. It’s like having a tooth worked on while using nitrous oxide (laughing gas). You know it hurts; you just don’t care. There’s a disconnect from you and your body. With sin, we can watch ourselves do it as if we are a disinterested party watching it happen. The problem is that WE are stuck with the consequences. Sin is fun for a season, but “in the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” Proverbs 23:32.
Let’s commit ourselves right now to the LORD and to His protection from the evil one. May we do everything we know to do: Read His Word, pray continuously, honor guard rails, hang with the right people, and be where we are supposed to be at the time we’re supposed to be there. We then trust Him to give us the power, discernment, understanding and perseverance to weather the storm.
Abba, I KNOW I’m not strong enough to stand close to the edge. Keep me far away from sin; I have enough trouble managing my mouth and my thoughts. May my heart be set on You and Your holiness, O LORD. I want to be just like You–much more than I want to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of this life, especially with the toll they take on a person. Your presence is exceedingly greater than anything this world has to offer! I love You. Amen.