“I can talk myself into anything, but if I have to explain to someone about my actions it brings me back to reality.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 21, 2022
Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two. Mark 6:7
Travel is meant to be together not alone. There are too many unhealthy distractions. Airports, conferences, hotels are noisy and sensual, cluttered with useless objects and mindless activity. People eating too much, drinking too much and looking around too much. Like a heat seeking missile the heart and mind are drawn to shiny objects. And when our surroundings are all new and interesting, we are tempted to let down our guard and not follow God with our whole heart. This is why we need another friend, colleague or family member to travel with us. We are better together, because we look out for one another. There is much less probability of misbehaving when someone we love is looking on. We don’t want to disappoint them and lose their respect! Most of all, we don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit with unwise choices and sin’s consequences.
Jesus knew, oh so well, this principle of how relational proximity promotes an accountability of love. His disciples were on fire for freeing people from their demons and watching God fill their lonely and lost hearts with love and forgiveness. The Lord in His wisdom, discerned that His new followers embraced a naïve faith that failed to understand the ongoing battle against the enemy’s temptations, lies and deceptions. The strategy of “two” may have been related to the Jewish tradition of the necessity of two witnesses to convict of a crime. Combined testimonies increased the credibility of their ministry, and morale was dramatically boosted by both.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard” (Matthew 10:16-17).
Sheep among wolves need to be reminded of the Shepherd’s care. Alone we are vulnerable, together we are protected by the loving staff of the Lord’s care and wisdom. I can talk myself into anything, but if I have to explain to someone about my actions it brings me back to reality. To say what I am thinking of doing to someone who loves me, protects me from foolishness. The Twelve were sent out in twos bound together in love and wisdom. God blesses serving together!
Be wise about how you minister to others. Teaching Sunday school or facilitating a small group with someone of the same gender takes away the temptation of spiritual intimacy leading to emotional and physical intimacy. Prayer is one of the most intimate ways to love on others, but prayer without the guardrails of another friend of the same sex can be distracting and lead to unhealthy affections. How can you modify your work and ministry to travel or serve with another, so you are protected from yourself and someone else? We battle better together—and lose heart alone.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Heavenly Father, lead me to be wise, by loving and serving others with another, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who do I need to travel with me, whom I can encourage and trust for loving accountability to what the Lord has for us?
Dante Bowe | Bethel Church: Abba + As The Deer
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