Don’t keep this in your house…

We have a rule here in our house. The kids are not allowed to have their electronics in their room at bedtime. They can read at night, but they aren’t allowed to play their games. And they’re pretty good about it. One night, I heard Mookie come into the kitchen about 15 minutes after bedtime. I got up to see what he was doing, and he was setting his DS on the counter. When I asked him about it, he said, “Mom, it’s too tempting. I just want to play it, so I had to get it out of my room.” What a smart kid!

We have a rule here in our house. The kids are not allowed to have their electronics in their room at bedtime. They can read at night, but they aren’t allowed to play their games. And they’re pretty good about it.

One night, I heard Mookie come into the kitchen about 15 minutes after bedtime. I got up to see what he was doing, and he was setting his DS on the counter. When I asked him about it, he said, “Mom, it’s too tempting. I just want to play it, so I had to get it out of my room.” What a smart kid!

Your Passover sacrifice …Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, as when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread—the bread of suffering—so that as long as you live you will remember the day you departed from Egypt. Let no yeast be found in any house throughout your land for those seven days. (Deuteronomy 16:2-4)

God’s talking about celebrating the Passover Feast here, and they were not allowed to eat bread with yeast in remembrance of the night they fled Egypt. Then He goes even farther and tells them to let no yeast even be found in any house in the whole land for those seven days. Not only were they not allowed to eat it, they couldn’t even have it in their house.

Now I bake, and I always have a stockpile of ingredients around my house. Flour, sugar, honey, chocolate chips, yeast….if it has to do with baking, I probably have it. And they couldn’t just run to the store and buy bread. Baking bread was a daily occurrence for them. They kept yeast on hand all the time. So what were they supposed to do with it? For one week they weren’t even allowed to have it in their houses!

When I read this all I could picture in my mind was the people making a HUGE mountain of yeast and stockpiling it right outside the camp. What else were they supposed to do with it?

And when I read this, I immediately thought of Mookie bringing his DS up to the kitchen. He didn’t trust himself to obey the rule and not play the DS with it just sitting there in his room, so he got rid of the temptation.

There was a method to God’s madness here. He understands the nature of man, and He was trying to safeguard them from disobeying. He knew their habit to use yeast, and some even without thinking might have used it just out of habit. If it wasn’t even in their house, they couldn’t possibly use it. Because He loved them, He was giving them tips on how to overcome the flesh and obey.

And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. (Mark 9:47)

Jesus was doing the same thing here. Because He loves us, He was giving us some advice on how to avoid sin. He was painting an extreme picture, for sure, but overcoming the flesh can sometimes take extreme measures. Like the Israelites removing all yeast from their houses for a week or gouging your eye out. Like Mookie taking the DS out of his room.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (Galatians 5:16-17)

We have the Spirit of God in our hearts and we also have a flesh, and the two are always in conflict. God has standards mapped out in His Word. He is not some big meanie trying to suck the fun out of our lives with His rules.

The lusts of the flesh bring only momentary pleasure but leave lasting destruction of shame and regret and angst. Doing things God’s way by His standard may bring momentary sacrifice of pleasure, but it leaves you with a fully satisfied life full of lasting joy and peace with no regret and shame.

And sometimes in order to do things God’s way, we fight against the flesh. And sometimes that takes drastic measures. Like turning the computer off or putting it in a central place in the house. Like turning the TV off. Like never being alone at home with someone you’re dating. Like walking away from certain people all together. Like _______ (you fill in the blank).

It’s so worth it to do it God’s way, even if it means sacrificing now. The peace and joy and blessing that abound are amazing!

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