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Let’s Run Away!

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Gwen Smith

February 14, 2014

Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, God's Promises, Temptation

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  Smith dogs

It was a windy winter day. Our three dogs needed to stretch their legs and get a bit of outside playtime, so I let them out to roam freely in our fenced-in back yard. An hour later, my husband asked me where the dogs were.

“Out back,” I replied.

“Honey, the wind blew that gate wide open and only Rocky is on the deck! How long ago did you let them out?” He asked.

“An hour ago!” I exclaimed, as feelings of unease crept into my heart.

Grabbing our jackets and shoes, Brad and I bolted outside and began to scour the neighborhood looking for our two runaway dogs.

Roman

Steeler

“Roman! Steeler! Come!” We yelled endlessly into the biting wind.

After covering several blocks of our neighborhood, having seen no traces of our dogs, I ran home to get my car. While Brad continued to search on foot, I began to drive around and call out for Roman and Steeler from my car. My stomach was in knots, my heart was gripped with ache, and my mind swirled with longing and prayers for our very-much-loved pets to come home. Please, be safe doggies! Please, Lord, help us find our dogs.

We searched and searched. No dogs.

Our phone number is on their I.D. tags! I thought. Maybe someone saw them wandering and took them into their home to call us.

I drove home quickly to check our voicemail. No voicemail.

I decided to stay by the phone in case someone called. Brad continued to search, driving through our development and the surrounding neighborhoods. After a long while, he returned… without Roman and Steeler. We were crushed. Though we had been praying for the Lord to help us find our dogs the whole time, with heavy hearts we prayed some more.

And we waited.

More than three long hours after the dogs had run away, our phone rang. Hope sprang to my heart as I heard the question from the other end of the line, “Do you have two missing dogs?”

“Yes, ma’am! Their names are Roman and Steeler! We’ve looked everywhere for them! Are they with you?”

“Yes they are. I saw them playing outside by the street and thought that they must belong to somebody, so I called them over. They ran right to me and I’ve got them in my house. They are both a good bit dirty and a little bit scared, and the small one is limping slightly… but they are safe,” she said.

The skies parted and angels appeared in the clouds singing, “Hallelujah!” as I jumped up to grab a pen to write down her address. They were safe! Thank You, Lord!

Roman and Steeler had wandered over a mile away from our home.

Over a mile!

We scooped them up from the kind woman’s house as fast as we could and rejoiced in their homecoming. They needed to be cleaned, cared for, and held. And that’s exactly what we did: cleaned them, cared for them and held them. Oh, how we held them! And as I spoke with gentle, reassuring words to my small, limping dog it wasn’t lost on me… the parallels between them and me. Between them and all of us wanderers.

God has established boundaries in His Word. They are beautiful boundaries surrounding wide-open spaces of His blessing, purposed to bring Him glory, allowing us to thrive in life and to keep us safe from harm. Yet we wander. Oh, how we wander… through so many different gates of temptation.

What is your open gate of temptation? Is it worry, fear, or doubt? Is it food, alcohol, shopping, money, or a good-looking guy who needs to be off your radar? Everybody faces temptations, and while being tempted isn’t a sin, giving into temptation is. Jesus himself faced temptation and He demonstrated that we are to ask God for help. And don’t let us yield to temptation. (Matthew 6:13, NLT)

Steeler 2013

Promise of Deliverance

What should we do when we face temptation? We should call out to God. He promises to give us a way out of any temptation. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Because he himself (Jesus) suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

The wind had blown hard on the day of our doggie drama. Our two furry friends had been allured by the temptations of an open gate. They gave in – disregarding the boundaries that had been established for their safety and wellbeing – and ventured out into dangerous territory where cars wisped by and other dangers loomed. Thankfully, they made it home safe. We are fully aware that the outcome of their rebellion could’ve ended horribly.

Friend, we need to be on high alert. Gates are going to fly open. Temptations are going to come and we need to be ready to run from them. God will give us the strength to resist each one – if we will only ask for His help.

SO… Let’s run away today! Not from the fence of God’s protection, but rather from the gate of temptation.

Let’s run away from any gate that flies open. And let’s pray that the Lord will keep us from yielding to temptation.

 Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times that I’ve wandered from Your plan for me and given into temptation. Teach me Your ways. Lead me to make choices that bring You glory and that allow me to experience the life You intended for me to live. In Jesus’s name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: Leave a comment below that fills in this blank: “Lord, Please help me to resist the temptation of _______________.” Then pause to pray for the three prayer requests posted above yours.

Ready to run away with God on a whole new level? Order a copy of our latest GiG book, Knowing God by Name, A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and an index of trust-building Scriptures, this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

 
  • JK

    So glad you found them!!

    • Cam

      Thank you so much for this message. I am a big animal lover and SO understand the terror you felt when your doggies were not where they were supposed to be. And Temptation is often in my life. This is a great comparison.
      I am so glad your babies are safe and happy.

      Cam

      • BUBS

        Praise the LORD…what a beautiful ending. Temptation is very often in my life too, could not stop at the barrier without GOD
        intervening ,I am so happy I found him and he me
        To LORD who led this lady to finding your babies, bless her…

  • Tucker

    Lord please help me resist the temptation of over eating.

  • Debra Speas

    Lord, this was meant for me. Not only did my dog, with cancer, get out loose and ran around yesterday in 16 inches of snow in the mountains, but I am trying to fight temptation of poor eating habits. This hit home!!

  • Debbie

    Lord, forgiven me of the temptation of not devoting more time to you.

  • Rachel

    wanting what others have, and forgetting how blessed I am

  • irene

    Thanks Gwen for this devotion this morning just at a time I needed to heard these words. Lord blessed me with your prayer at the right moment. Blessings your dogs were found safe. I have a little Bichon who ran away and I know how I felt at the time. Have a great day in the Lord. Irene from Canada – we are buried in snow here also.

  • Tammy Dyer

    Very sad that signed up for Gwen’s blog’s/newsletters around a month or so ago but have yet to receive any. Sorry…couldn’t find any other way to contact to relay my disappointment. About the article let’s run away…I can relate with this very well. I have recently lost my job after 15 yr of working with spec needs students because of back issues and being made to work in preschool room that caused me great pain and was causing more damage to my spine. I wasn’t dismissed for my performance but because it was crippling me so I had to do something else yet there were no other open positions. I felt betrayed at first…but realised God was opening a NEW gate for me for a purpose and I just needed to look for the new one to open. I was also struggling with fact that no one seemed to care so much after 15 yr of giving my all. But this article and God’s word reminds me not to let worry and self pity take hold and that I will be ok and I need to have faith He’ll take care of me and use me for His glory somewhere else. Amen!

    • sjl

      Hi Tammy – Had to reply to your note regarding teaching children with special needs. We recently moved to an area with a smaller school district, and after 20 years of experience, and with a good resume, have only been able to find a job as an assistant. It has been a humbling experience, but also I have been feeling so depressed about how little teachers care about their students. I pray constantly for the Lord to guide me and use me, but some days I feel so defeated when I know what should be done with the children, and sadly, the teacher does not care. My temptations are depression and anger, and I think also pride and focusing on others’ faults. I love Gwen’s devotions, they always speak to my heart, and I also share them with my sisters. I hope your back issues are resolved and you find work that is rewarding.

      • Tammy Dyer

        S I agreeThank you sjl for your kind words and God bless you. I am an assistant and have been all these years. I was a presch teacher/director before that so I know the humbling feeling you have experienced and the problems of feeling the teacher you work under doesn’t hold the same concern and philosophy you do but there’s nothing you can really do to change their ways. But I have found that no matter what I’ve been able to make in impact in a positive way with those awesome kids and I’m sure you do too. Remember that’d puts us in certain places for a reason and we can make a difference when we just look for those opportunities. You bring blessings to them every day I’m sure. So hang in there and be sure God has a plan to use you. I’ve had those prideful and judgmental feelings too about all this but I find when I spend time with the Lord he reminds me what to focus on instead…what I CAN DO!! God bless and thank you…I know He’ll use me in a new way.

    • Carol Carman

      Tammy, you might want to check your spam box. Sometimes newsletters and blog posts end up there.
      Having back problems is very difficult to deal with. I know. But more people than you know really do care, and many more people than you know deal with back problems, too, which probably means chronic pain. How my heart goes out to you. Pray for THEM and you’ll be surprised what God will do for YOU! Be blessed, dear one.

      • Tammy Dyer

        Thank you for your kindness and the reminder to pray for others with same pain. I do keep reminding myself that there are so many who have it so much worse and look at all the blessings I DO HAVE! God is awesome and really does work in miraculous ways doesn’t He?!? God bless and keep you Carol.

    • Debra Speas

      Remember we are not after praise from others. God will reward you for all your devotion to his special children. Remember what you do for others you do to God.
      Your reward will last thru eternity and will be seen and celebrated by all of us!
      Now rest in his grace and see what new ministry awaits you….
      Love in Christ

      • Tammy Dyer

        Thank you Debra for your kind words and reminders about others praise. You’re right…that’s never why I did what I did and somehow plan to continue doing! Again thank you and God bless you.

  • Carol Carman

    Thank you so much for this devotion. My biggest temptation is to go back through that tempting “Gate of Guilt” that the enemy of my soul dangles in front of me for my past sins and wrong choices, instead of ignoring that and remembering and KNOWING that God has forgiven me because I believe His Word and His promises and enjoy His sweet Presence….when I am not dwelling on ME! God’s Word is true, and when He says He has forgiven me and remembers my sins no more, who am I to doubt, and who am I to judge myself for my past, when God has already forgiven me! By His grace, I will remember NOT to go through that gate again. There is VICTORY in Jesus!

  • Donna

    BEAUTIFUL doggie!!! Great encouragement this morning because I have been struggling with an issue and this was a reminder to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. He is an on time GOD!!!

  • Laura

    Thank you God and thank you Gwen for the reminder. My biggest temptation is my attitude, worry and fear. The last few weeks we’ve been trying to plan our home and construction. The project hasn’t even begun and I so easily let myself get down by things that don’t work the way we want and just overwhelmed. I HAVE to remember to praise God for what he’s given us. A new home will be a blessing no matter what it turns out to be. I need to praise Him for his Provision and trust Him to lead. I’ve also fallen some with my prayer time again. I really struggle with that. It grew wonderfully with the prayer journal of Psalms adventure and more. But now I rely on that journal and I have to learn to pray without it too. I am finding it takes a lot of time to write but I can’t concentrate very well in my mind. I’ve got to dig back in to my focus and prayer to keep that temptation at bay.

  • Julie

    Thank you for this today! I had never thought of “worry” and all that goes with it as temptation! I guess that would be my main gate, although there are a couple others. Love the dogs! Mine wander too from time to time causing me to go through that very familiar “worry gate”. Happy Valentine’s Day! Blessings to you

  • KY MOM

    It’s still amazing to me that God knows exactly what I need to hear and when! I don’t have a runaway pet, I have a runaway son. He hasn’t ran away in the usual manner, but there was a open gate…I’ve never really thought of my circumstance from this angle but this message really seems to fit. We’ve raised 4 children all beautiful and healthy but all unique in their own way. One son has drifted from us and has been consumed by people that tell him how wonderful he is. To me he is wonderful and I love him so much. I’m having a difficult time with his relationship with these people. It’s very hard for me to stay silent, but I try (sometimes unsuccessfully). I feel like I can see what is happening and others see the same thing, but he doesn’t see. Two days ago I read a devotional about The Prodigal Son and today I read Let’s Run Away. I know God is speaking to me through these messages. Please pray that I will have the patience to wait for His timing. Thank you

    • Tammy Dyer

      Hi Ky. I’ve had a run away son since he was 12. Your journey touched my heart. He’s went a rough path…wanting things in life and associating with those who put things before people and making poor choices to get them. He’s went to jail a few times in his journey which broke my heart…but the Lord was working on him during that time too. In the long run its taken him quite a while to grow up, he’s 28 now. But I had to let the Lord take care of things and just let my son know I was there with unconditional love even when he made poor choices and not rescue him…the Lord was working on that. He may not be the perfect choice maker yet but he has grown and matured a lot and has started to recognize more and more what his choices have cost him and how my unconditional love has supported that journey. I know God has a purpose for my son and I just need to be be patient for God to see it thru. Stay strong and know that God has a plan. God bless and keep you both.

  • Lies

    Lord please help me to resist the temptation of lying. My income taxes are due and I owe $6,000. That is a lot of money that I don’t have. I am faced with the temptation to lie but I choose to trust God and he will provide. Thank you for the promise of deliverance.

    • Deborah Jackson

      Are you sure you owe 6000.00? To many time we miss legal deductions because we don’t know what we are entitled to. My peoples perish for a lack of knowledge. Ask God to direct you to a tax professional to help guide you through this.

  • Chris

    I have recently found the GiG website and devotions. Thank you for sharing your love of Christ with us! I turned our women’s Bible study group onto your site and I hope they are taking advantage of the daily messages.
    This one hit home for me. We are doing the Kelly Minter study of Ruth and have just gotten through the homework that focuses on our surrender to God, complete surrender. I have many temptations, some continuing from my past (well, a lot) but my biggest temptation is to live life my way. During the homework I completed today, Kelly asked what was standing in our way of complete surrender. Well, for me it’s impatience, control, and selfishness. We can lift our needs up to God, but we must make an effort, too. I find it a challenge to rein in my take-charge personality and “let go and let God”. Lord, grant me the profound importance of accepting the magnitude of You and the smallness of me.

  • Pam

    You know, I just put down my phone from texting a co-worker, chiding myself that even before I pushed send I new I was being ungracious. Not to the co-worker but joining her with a negative comment. Then I opened your email and it broke my heart. I have done it again. How can I reflect my Lord in the way my friend needs when I ignore the Spirit. He prompted me to push delete and I didn’t I skipped right over to send. I gave in once again. I think that is the fastest the Lord has rebuked me but I am so sorry and ashamed He even had to. Thank you for your story and challenge.

    • Junieb

      Pam, I just want you to know that this resonated with me. Sometimes I make comments before I think. Well, truthfully, a LOT of the time. God is working with us anyway! I bet He will help you use this situation as a way to speak into your friend’s life…because all you have to do is start a conversation with them about how that comment made you feel after you sent it. A good discussion and an open door can come from it! God can turn anything into an opportunity if we let Him help us. I am the world’s worst mouth-off, especially with my family. But God is helping me to control my words, and even though I mess up, I can then speak to them about why what I said wasn’t what I should have said, using it as a way to show them how God changes us. He is our Holy Father and teaches us through His love and Word. You are my sister in Christ, and I want to thank you for sharing your experience because that’s how we encourage one another. It’s great to be able to learn His will together! :)

  • kcp

    This devotion really blessed me today. I am a day behind reading my devotions, but the message was just perfect for a rainy Saturday morning. I am tempted to doubt God’s plan for my life because of all I’ve been through. Though I have prayed for guidance, sometimes it seems as if I’m fending for myself and trying to find my own way. I acknowledge that I need to read, pray, and mediate more so that God’s plan and instructions are realized in my life. Today, I will forgive someone that has changed the course of my life forever and trust that God will guide me according to his perfect will.

  • Rose

    This devotion came just at the right time in my life. It opened up my eyes to know that Gods boundaries for me are good! I have been struggling with many temptations in my life, from alcohol to a handsome man. I just realized today that those temptations are just my stubbornness and desires to please me not God. Thank you for your encouragement! Please pray for me to stay on Gods path and not my own!