OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
THURSDAY – 06/03/2014
IN THE WARMTH OF TEMPTATION?
BY PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
3 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
4 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
When the Bible enjoins us in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to abstain from all appearance of evil and we keep to this biblical injunction, we are spared the calamity that would have befallen us if we did otherwise. We may not know the great dangers our adherence to this instruction has saved us from until we see the suffering of someone who did not pay attention to it. The Bible in many instances warns us against keeping company with the ungodly so that we are not entangled in their wickedness (1 Corinthians 15:33). The story was told of a sparrow which kept company with destructive ravens on a rice farm. When the owner of the farm caught the ravens in his net, the sparrow was also caught. In his plea, the sparrow told the farmer that he was not among the birds that destroyed the farmer’s rice farm and that he was not a raven. The farmer replied the sparrow: “Too bad that you are not a raven, but you shall be judged according to the company you keep.”
Peter in the Bible reading of today did three deadly things that fostered his denial of Jesus Christ. First, the Bible says he was following Jesus from afar off. Probably he might have received courage from the Master if he had followed Jesus closely. Secondly, he went as far as following Jesus to the palace of the high priest. Following Jesus from afar was bad enough but following him to the palace of the high priest was just too bad. It could have paid off if he had backed out with the other disciples; after all, Jesus had told the soldiers to allow his disciples go while he volunteered His arrest (John 18:8-9). From this event, we can see the reason why Jesus told the Laodicean Church to be either cold or hot (Revelation 3:14-16). The third thing Peter did was that on getting to the palace of the high priest, he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire (Mark 14:66-67)! One would wonder what Peter was still doing in that place after he had been confronted not once but twice about the fact that he had been with Jesus. The answer is not far-fetched; he was enjoying the warmth of the fire in that environment. Beloved, let us beware of comfort zones in life; they may be physically comfortable but not spiritually ideal. When a Christian lady is squatting among four male counterparts because of accommodation problems; she is playing with fire and it will soon burn her. Likewise when a young man is putting up with three to four female counterparts because of accommodation problems, he will soon be affected by the fire of lust. Let us be careful.
Study your environment and see whether or not it is conducive for your spiritual wellbeing and take wise steps to avoid the warmth of temptation.