I was speaking at a winter conference in Canada - and the word cold took on a whole new meaning to me. The temperature was minus-40 Fahrenheit - literally the coldest temperature I had ever experienced. When I walked in the room, people stood and sang, "Freeze a jolly good fellow." I really don't like to wear hats or hoods, but I learned to do it that weekend. One Canadian teenager told me he had been outside on his farm, in this cold, for 30 seconds and his ear literally froze - and part of it broke off. That is cold. I had about a five-minute walk ahead of me - believe me I had my parka hood on! I didn't realize you can do permanent damage in no time.

Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "It Doesn't Take Long To Freeze."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Samuel 11:1. Some of the sorriest verses in the Bible - about King David, the man God Himself described as "a man after God's own heart." "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army...but David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing...Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her."

It hurts even to read those verses again. Before this adulterous night, this man after God's own heart enjoys one glorious victory after another. Then suddenly he freezes spiritually. And it didn't take long to freeze. Later, David repents and he is forgiven by God. But the glory is never the same again. His life from this point on is married by the deaths of family members, guilt, a prodigal son who tries to take his father's kingdom, a litany of heartaches - and the fall didn't take long. Just one spiritual day off.

If it could happen to David, it could happen to me. It could happen to you. Now it may or may not be a sexual sin that could capture you - though that has been one of Satan's most powerful temptations to destroy God's leaders. But for you the temptation could be to act on your bitterness and anger, maybe a dishonest deal, or a relaxing of your convictions just once, or what looks like a harmless flirtation.

But a lifetime of honor can be lost in a nighttime. What took years to build can be torn down in moments. The moral is simple - you cannot afford any days off spiritually. A little carelessness in how I dressed for the cold could have cost me dearly - and it wouldn't take long. A little spiritual carelessness - for just a little while - can have consequences you could never imagine.

Could it be that you've been taking too many days off spiritually? Maybe this is God's wakeup call. The source of our strength is beginning each new day in Jesus' presence - you need to be with Him no matter what kind of day it is - a busy day, a boring day, a down day, a day on the road, a vacation day. And we protect ourselves from a fall when we confess our sin on a daily basis, when we consecrate our weaknesses to Christ that day.

When I went out in the cold without my hood, I was asking for trouble. It didn't take long to freeze. When you head out without your spiritual armor on, you're risking what you can't afford to lose. It doesn't take long to do serious spiritual damage.



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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