By Stephanie Parker
My 3 year old son, Maverick, went to the dentist recently. The dentist told him, “if you eat sugar, you get ‘sugar bugs’ in your teeth. If you don’t brush, your teeth could fall out.” Well, my son more than took this little piece of advice to heart. If a piece of candy even looks at him the wrong way, he asks to go brush his teeth! Yesterday he brushed his teeth 4 times. That dentist deserves some sort of award!
The Bible says that we are to have faith like a little child (Matthew 18:2-4). I wonder what would happen if we believed God and applied His Truth to our lives like Maverick believes that dentist? When God’s Word tells us to flee from sin because it causes death, destruction and separation from Him, what if we actually listened and obeyed that command and fled from sin with the same kind of fervor and determination that Maverick has when he flees from ‘sugar bugs?’ Do you know what would happen? I do, because I’ve tried it!
I thought I’d share what I’ve discovered. Keep in mind, I am by no means perfect, and God still has a lot of work to do on me… BUT, one day, about six years ago, I made a decision that changed everything. I decided if sin causes separation from God, I wanted to stay as far from it as possible.
I started praying some verses over my life, “Search me and know my heart God. See if there is any unholy way about me and lead me to the way of everlasting. Keep evil far from me. Remove anything that’s keeping me from knowing you and experiencing the freedom, peace and life you promise for those who love you. Help me be more intentional about starving my flesh so that nothing can hinder me from falling deeply in love with you. Let love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control become more apparent in how I live my life. Help me decrease so that you can increase, Jesus. Create in me a new heart, oh God. Remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Let me live to seek glory for your holy name all the days of my life.”
(Psalm 139: 23-24, Matthew 6:13, John 8:36, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 32:17, Isaiah 48:17-18, Galatians 5:1, Isaiah 61:3, John 10:10, Romans 8:5, Galatians 5:22-23, John 3:30, Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 36:26, Psalm 86:12).
Do you want to know what happened when I got serious about the ‘sugar bugs’ in my life? When I became diligent about brushing my spiritual teeth and seeking holiness and oneness with God above sin, complacency and convenience, I discovered three things:
1. If you ask God to show you your sins and are serious about getting them out of the way, God is happy to oblige! Don’t pray that prayer unless you mean business! It won’t be fun. Confessing and eradicating sin from your life can be painful at times (like removing a rotten tooth) but it will be MORE than worth it! I had to come face to face with pride, selfishness and quite a few idols I had placed above God in my life. But when God started plucking them out of my life, one by one, I began to taste the peace, freedom and joy that I so longed for.
2. Being intentional about seeking God every day will eventually lead to a deep desire to stay as far away from the “sin bugs” as you can. I realized that it’s much easier to deal with sin before it’s gotten a foothold in your life. Resolving to seek God when the distractions and responsibilities of this world are calling your name isn’t easy but it is imperative if you really want to break free from strongholds, experience a peace this world cannot give, an ability to love others with a love that’s not your own, and live a life of abundant purpose. God truly does bless the obedient and faithful with blessings that I never imagined possible.
3. Brushing your teeth is never a “one and done” deal. When you get sin out of your life, you better be ready for the enemy to stick another cookie in front of your face. So put on your spiritual armor, “take up your shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). Daily prioritizing time in God’s Word and prayer is your best defense. Load your, “shotgun” with God’s Word so when Satan comes knocking, and you can be sure he will, you can shoot him down before he even opens the door. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he used God’s Word to shoot Satan down (Matthew 4:1-11). If you haven’t memorized scripture, now’s a good time to start.
Candy is great until your teeth start falling out. Sin is appealing until your life starts falling apart. My prayer for you is that you adopt a childlike faith in your own life, that you become as adamant about fleeing from sin and into the arms of God as Maverick is about fleeing from “sugar bugs!” It will be a process but if you don't give up, I promise you won't regret it!
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods. With singing lips, my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:3-5).
Stephanie Parker has 3 main loves: God, her husband, Brett and her kids! When Stephanie created the Zipadee-Zip in an effort to solve her daughter, Charlotte's, sleep issues, she never imagined that it would become a business. She is incredibly grateful to God for how Sleepingbaby.com has grown and how it has enabled other families to get the restful sleep they need. Stephanie's husband, Brett Parker assumed the role of CEO which has allowed Stephanie to focus on what she loves which is the creative side of the company, like product and print development. After the Zipadee-Zip was featured on Shark Tank, Stephanie went on to create the book Shepherd's Treasure, a Christian alternative to Elf on the Shelf. In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include acting, singing, painting, learning and speaking foreign languages and going on adventures with her family! You will find her all summer waterskiing, fishing and laughing with her family on the weekends.
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