“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it (do not travel on it), turn from it, and pass away (pass on). For they sleep not, except they have done mischief (evil); and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”Proverbs 4:14-19
I started my love affair with the Phoenix Suns when I was a little guy. My dad was a fan, which naturally trickled down to me, and I took it and ran with it. He would take me to games occasionally, and we would attend the NBA draft at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum. I would always ask for tickets for my birthday, and my dad would sometimes score some from his work. We did not have a television in those days, so I would listen to Al McCoy announce the games on the radio and sometimes go to my neighbor’s house to catch the games on his TV.
In those days, the Suns were pretty bad and we often received a great draft pick because of our dubious record. Whenever we made the playoffs, we would always be matched up with the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a best of five game series, and much to my chagrin, we would be swept out of the first round. There would be a game or two that was somewhat competitive, but the Lakers would make short work of us. I grew a hatred for the Lakers and despised them like I did liver and broccoli. I also hated Magic Johnson and felt he was called “Magic” because he could travel with the ball all the time and the referees were fooled to not see it or call it. Anyone who was a Suns fan had a disdain for the Lakers, and I was always excited when we played them.
One day my dad came home and he had received tickets from work to attend the Suns game that night against the Lakers. I became so excited and was hoping we would be able to pull out a victory against our rival. The game was an epic battle and we played them tough, but we again fell short when the buzzer sounded. There was a lot of tension in the air as there were many Lakers fans who attended the game along with the Suns fans. We began to exit our portal when there was a ruckus in front of us and a fight broke out. It began with only a few people, but it quickly escalated to include more and more. I was only about 10 years old, but I wanted to be part of the action and put a hit on a Lakers fan. I tried to get closer, but my dad quickly picked me up and took me in the opposite direction. I was disappointed as the fight went out of my view, and I only saw police and security scurrying past us to get to the scene of the crime. I just wanted to catch a glimpse of what was happening, but my dad wisely got us out of there as quickly as possible.
I have been this way in sin as well, only wanting to catch a glimpse of what is going on and quickly finding myself entrapped in the fracas. Doing something sinful “only one time” turned into strongholds of sin in my life. Instead of avoiding it and going the other way, I was encouraging others to do what I was doing. I was given a way of escape, but I thought I would stay a little just to check things out. I believed a lie that everything would be okay, and that there was no harm in just watching and getting close to sin, but I soon became engulfed in it myself. It is amazing what happens when you let your guard down for one second as Satan is playing a clever game of Red Rover and he looks for that weak link. One of Satan’s biggest lies is, “one time won’t hurt you”, and his next lie is just as dangerous, “you already messed up, so it’s too late now”. Get far away from sin as the Devil seeks to destroy you. I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Where are you today friend? Are you dabbling in things you ought not to? Are you playing with matches hoping not to get burned? Are you running in the opposite direction of sin or are you hoping to get a look at the “fun” times the world seems to be having? May we not even desire to look at the evil path, and may we not turn back to look for even one second at the sin God has delivered us from. Satan will take your one look and before you know it, he has turned it into a lifestyle. May we be like Moses as spoken of him in Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the (passing) pleasures of sin for a season;”