Flee from the midst of Babylon, and each of you save his life! JEREMIAH 51:6
Centuries ago, a popular queen was interviewing applicants to serve on a six-man team responsible for carrying her on a portable throne on long journeys. As she interviewed each man, the queen asked, “If you were bearing me along a mountain path, how close would you go to the edge of a cliff?”
Some men would answer, “Your Royal Highness, I am so strong, I could go within a foot of the edge of a cliff.” Others would boast, “Not only do I have superior strength, but I have almost perfect balance. I could go within six inches of the edge.” But a few declared, “Your Highness, I would go nowhere near the edge of a cliff. Why would I want to imperil your valuable life by leading you so close to danger?” Guess who earned the job?
We live in a cultural landscape where it seems there are more cliffs than clearings. We spend large parts of our day within easy walking distance of all kinds of sharp drops and perilous dangers. Sexual temptation. Financial greed. Immoral entertainment. Emotional affairs. Addictions galore. Ethical compromise. Rather than stay as far as possible from these obvious threats to our families, we often allow the enemy of our souls to lure us closer for a better look. We sample just a bit too much of what the world has to offer. My friend Josh McDowell says, “I would rather build a rail at the top of the mountain than have an ambulance service at the bottom of the valley.” I agree. But I’d suggest we take it a step further. I would prefer not putting myself in position to find out whether or not that guardrail would hold me! Safety rails aren’t meant for pushing on but for steering away from.
Looking back over your life, what “cliffs” draw your curiosity? Which avoidable ones do you have the hardest time keeping your distance from now?
Ask the Lord to help you not only spot spiritual danger, but also to have sense enough to run from it.