Avoiding a Fall On Slippery Ground
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Our area had never seen anything like it. It was a thick, almost unbreakable sheet of ice that covered much of our state. And it wasn't just here for days. It was here for weeks. Two consecutive storms actually created a double and triple freeze situation that made walking as treacherous as anything I have ever experienced. We've got a couple of horses that needed hay and grain and unfrozen water. It didn't matter how dangerous it was to get to them. I tried to reason with them, but they just wouldn't listen. So here was a city boy carrying two heavy buckets of water at a time that no one should have been trying to walk on this ice. I have never walked so carefully or prayed so continuously in my life! And while local emergency rooms were jammed with people with broken limbs, I didn't fall!
I learned some valuable lessons during our Ice Age - lessons about how to walk and not fall, even if the ground is treacherous. It's lessons we all need at one time or another to avoid a spiritual fall. Because if you've ever tried to live for Christ, well then you know we all walk on ground where it's easy to fall.
Ephesians 5:15, our word for today from the Word of God, sums up how to avoid falling. "Be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise." The King James Version uses a word here that we don't hear much anymore, "Walk circumspectly." That means walk with your eyes wide open, looking around, paying attention...walking carefully.
That has new meaning to me since I had to walk as carefully as I've ever walked in my life on that ice. And no matter how many times you may have fallen in certain areas of your walk with Christ, there are some "careful walking" tips that can help you walk without falling.
I learned first to plan your steps. When I was navigating that ice, I had to think about exactly where I could step and where I couldn't; I had to decide in advance where to walk. So many times when we fall spiritually or morally, it's because we don't think about where we're going. As you meet with your Lord in the morning, you need to anticipate your day and the temptations you might expect. Then pre-plan your walk...anticipate where you're going to be walking and plan how you're going to resist or even avoid the temptation to be the same old you. Pre-choose where you're going to walk and where you're not going to walk.
Which leads to a second tip for avoiding falls: don't get in a position where you're likely to fall. If I got my feet too far apart or took big steps or didn't keep my feet straight, I could feel myself starting to slip. You will, too, if you allow yourself to get in a position where you could fall - like being with people who bring you down, watching or listening to input that brings you down, getting in situations where you're tempted, or letting yourself believe lies about yourself or about God. Those things set you up for a fall. Concentrating on actions or attitudes that have always brought you down - that will do it too. See, those kinds of things get you in a position to fall.
One other thing that kept me from falling on slippery ground: praying continuously. I literally found myself praying as I walked, "Lord, hold me up. Please don't let me fall." And He answered that prayer. He will for you too as you walk carefully on the slippery ground you have to cover. Remember, many spiritual falls have one simple cause - carelessness. You have to pay attention where you're stepping. And in Jude 24 you also have an awesome promise of God to claim wherever you are. "He is able to keep you from falling."
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