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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Paralyzed by Pleasure

"By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin."1

Some time ago I read the following story taken from The Prairie Overcomer magazine.

The man huddled on the cabin floor was slowly freezing to death. It was high in the Rockies in southwestern Alberta, and outside a blizzard raged. John Elliott had logged miles that day through the deep snows of the mountain passes. As he checked for avalanches and as dusk and exhaustion overcame him he had decided to "hole-up."

He made it wearily to his cabin but somewhat dazed with fatigue, he did not light a fire or remove his wet clothing. As the blizzard blasted through the cracks in the old cabin walls, the sleeping forest ranger sank into oblivion, paralyzed by the pleasure of the storm's icy caress.

Suddenly, however, his dog sprang into action, and with unrelenting whines, finally managed to rouse his near-comatose friend. The dog was John's constant companion, a St. Bernard, one of a long line of dogs famous for their heroics in times of crisis.

"If that dog hadn't been with me, I'd be dead today," John Elliott says. "When you're freezing to death you actually feel warm all over, and don't wake up because it feels too good."2

How easy it is for those of us, especially in the West, to get lulled into sleep by the pleasures of this world's riches and what money can do for us ... or for others who get lulled into sleep by the pleasures of sin, which as today's Scripture says, all pass away.

Sometimes God sends or at least allows and uses setbacks or problems that come into our life to awaken us out of our sleep to the reality of the situation we are in—to save us from spiritual bankruptcy and for some, to save from eternal death.

Whenever I am going through difficult times I ask God, "What lesson is there in this experience that you are seeking to teach me. What is it that I need to learn?" I encourage you to do the same.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if I am asleep in my complacency to the reality of my spiritual condition, please send into my life whatever it takes to awaken me to reality, help me to see exactly what I need to do, and give me the good sense and courage to act accordingly. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

Note: If you have never accepted God's forgiveness be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. Hebrews 11:24-25 (NIV).
2. The Prairie Overcomer, published by the Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta Canada.

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