July 23rd 2010

Spiritual Risk Assessments

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’”
Matthew 16:23 (NIV)

In western society we are surrounded by Health & Safety legislation.  The culture of compensatory litigation is on the increase—the only real winners are lawyers and insurance companies.  In the workplace, shopping mall, or any other public place, a Risk Assessment must be completed by the person responsible.  It all sounds good and proper—except that we have, following the way of man, gone to extremes.  For example, we are warned as individuals not to proffer a Band Aid should someone have cut themselves—no, they may be allergic and sue you when they have stopped haemorrhaging!  Risk Assessments pervade our world and, to be fair in the main, serve a worthwhile purpose. Oh what a different world it would be if we had spiritual risk assessments!

We are tempted constantly by this world of ‘must have’ and ‘want it now’.  Too often we tiptoe to the edge of the precipice of sin and peek over.  No risk assessment here!  The earth crumbles beneath our feet and we topple over into the quagmire of transgression and misery—the consequences of which are often painful in every sense not only to ourselves but also to others.

Jesus Christ was also tempted.  How did he deal with these spiritual risks?  He saw that Satan, the tempter, was a stumbling block and ordered him to go.  No messing, get out of the way!  He did not call a meeting; neither did He form a quorum or a committee to discuss the said ‘stumbling block’.  Without hesitation Christ recognised, rebuked and removed the spiritual risk.

Christ has given us the 3 ‘R’s to follow when it comes to temptation—recognise, rebuke through prayer and remove.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be alert to the enemy, and in James 4:7 we read, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Our first-aider is the Holy Spirit—He will do the work if we follow the spiritual risk assessment.  Inasmuch as we are alert to potential hazard in our daily lives, so too should we be in our spiritual lives.

Holy Spirit, we ask you to help us recognise the pitfalls and temptations that confront us every waking moment.  By your power we will rebuke them and remove them that we may be spotless before our God.

Study by Irene Wilson 

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