We’ve been looking at Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His trial. Now, He’s about to be arrested. You may want to read Mark 14:42-51 before continuing with the rest of this article.
The Lord knew that His captors were approaching. He woke up His disciples and went to meet the officials. It’s interesting to see how the disciples reacted.
Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
We know from the other Gospels that this verse is referring to Peter. A fisherman wielding a sword. I’m surprised that he didn’t hurt himself! The best he could do was to cut the ear off of an unarmed servant.
When the other disciples saw the futility of resisting, they all ran away. One of them, when he was grabbed, left without any clothing. It was the normal, human fight or flight reaction.
The Lord knew where He was headed. He was looking forward to the victory He was going to accomplish on the cross. So, instead, I want to talk about what was happening with the disciples.
What they did was the normal reaction that’s built into all of us. When we see trouble coming, our entire being begins to prepare to either fight or run away. God placed that in our DNA in order for us to protect ourselves in emergency situations.
The problem is that there’s a spiritual side that many of us fail to grasp. In the spiritual battles that we face, there are times that we need to apply the lessons of “fight or flight”.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
I think Scripture is clear that the first choice is to stand your ground. We need to prepare ourselves spiritually so that we don’t fall back into our old ways. If you’re strong in the Lord and understand your place in Christ, then stand and fight that spiritual battle.
But what about those who aren’t in that position? They’ve tried to fight the enemy and merely “cut off a servant’s ear”. They haven’t put on their holy armor.
Many believers find themselves in spiritual struggles with no hope of victory. They’ve resigned themselves to falling backward for the rest of their lives. There is another choice.
Look at what Paul advised a young pastor who he was mentoring.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
Some of the worst problems we face are when the old man tries to reassert itself. The sins that we thought were long gone are suddenly calling to us again.
This is especially true of addictive sins. Drug, alcohol, and sexual addictions are a few areas that never seem to let up on their assaults. What do you do if your spiritual strength is not enough to overcome? Should you just give in? Absolutely not!
There is a time to flee. Get out of the situation that’s causing the temptation. You must leave the environment that weakens your defenses. There’s nothing shameful about a strategic retreat. It gives you the ability to strengthen your position for the next battle.
Question: When have you needed to flee from an overpowering situation?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi