Many times our case is one that the apostle Paul spoke of in Romans 7, how he found himself doing those things he would not, and did not do those things he would.  But some read what Paul said as an excuse for the weakness of the flesh and the tendency we have to sin.  That was not his purpose at all, but rather to show the power of the grace of God to forgive sin.  Therefore, being purchased by the blood of Jesus, another thing comes into play here, as it is written in 1John 5:18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God KEEPETH HIMSELF, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

    Here we see the heart of the matter, that whosoever is born of God KEEPETH HIMSELF from sin.  God isn’t going to baby-sit you.  YOU have a responsibility to conform your behavior to God’s word.  You see, that’s why people undergo so many trials, they don’t keep themselves.  Most people think that constant attacks from Satan is a result of their walk with God, and although we do get attacked from time to time, for the most part it comes from not walking in obedience to God.  As it is written in john 5:18, if we keep ourselves, the wicked one touches us not.  He may TRY to touch us, but he can’t.

    Don’t be deceived.  If you are taking constant hits from the devil, you need to get on your knees before God and ask Him what you need to be changing in your life.  God’s protection is upon the OBEDIENT.  So if you are not being protected, there has to be a reason.  I know that may not be what you want to hear, but I’m helping you here.  Take communion with the Lord, tell Him you need His correction so you can learn to walk in obedience in every area of your life, then do what He tells you to do, and you will see a big difference in your life.  You will find yourself living in the blessing of God in every area of your life as you submit to Him and conform your life to His word.  Walking in obedience to God does not mean you will not be attacked.  What it means is that the fiery darts he fires at you will not hurt you.

    I apply this word to my own life, as well.  You know what they say, “If the shoe fits, wear it”.  Well, I have to live what I preach. Otherwise, there is no power to change lives in what I preach.  I am learning obedience day by day, and each one who claims the Lord Jesus as Savior will have to do the same.  There are no shortcuts to the blessings of God. As for me, I didn’t learn obedience until I was facing death from cancer back in 1993.  I know that God didn’t bring cancer on me, but my life of disobedience to God opened a wide door for the devil to attack me.  The devil was able to touch me because I was not “keeping myself” from sin.  I wasn’t even saved then, even though I went to church nearly every week.

 Like many people, I thought the attacks were coming because I was going to church.  Now I see the Lord was trying to bring correction into my life, to get me to repent so He could bless me.  But my disobedience was bringing attack after attack, and after a while, I actually got to blaming God for the attacks.  Hello??? Ever done that?  When all the time it was my disobedience that was giving the devil a legal right to attack me.  Once I submitted to God and started “keeping myself” from sin, I saw the attacks lessen.  And those that remained were no longer able to hurt me.

    Today, 14 years after being saved, I find God is still “fine tuning” my life, prompting me to “keep myself” daily from sin.  You see, it’s a choice. Keeping yourself from sin is a lifetime commitment, not just for the times you’re under attack.  Keeping yourself is the best advise the Holy Spirit ever gave us so we can truly enjoy our relationship with God.  Grace is for the times when we slip up, just as the safety net is for the tightrope walker at a circus.  It is the tightrope walker’s goal to walk across that rope from one post to another, and not fall.  The safety net is his “grace” in case he falls.  But falling is not his goal. 

Far too many Christians use “grace” which is meant to be our safety net, as a trampoline.  Then they wonder why they live under constant attack.  You can’t get on the internet and go to porn sites just to “check it out” and not get involved with sin.  You can’t live with “one foot in the Kingdom of God, and the other foot in sin” and say you are “keeping yourself”.  To whatever degree we live a life of total consecration and obedience to God, is the degree of the blessing we will live in.  Remember, the Lord told us in Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and DO all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth, and all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”

    Everyone wants the ‘blessing”, but they don’t want to “keep themselves”.  I find that “keeping myself” is a price well worth paying to live in the blessing of God.  Is it always easy?  No, but it’s worth it.  Will God do it for me?  No, that’s my responsibility. I have to sit down and count the cost daily. Is letting my flesh rule my life worth missing out on God’s blessing?  No way!

    In some churches, all you hear is about the blessing.  But there’s another side of the coin, it’s called “obedience”.  People really don’t want to hear that part.   I’ve been preaching on obedience for some time now, and yet, people are still missing it.  It’s like their ears are closed tight.  Tell me, where in the Bible does it say you can live in sin and disobedience and be blessed?  You might say, Well, there are successful, wealthy people in the world who live in sin, and seem to be getting away with it. 

Yeah, but payday is coming!  If you notice much of Hollywood, or sports figures, having success and money without God does not bring happiness.  That’s why you read of them being hooked on drugs, or alcohol, or getting divorces or going to jail, or committing suicide. Their money didn’t bring true happiness.  Only living in the blessing of God brings happiness.  And only living in obedience to God brings the blessing. And obedience comes by “keeping yourself”.  Because I keep myself, I am showing God I’m serious about my relationship with Him, and that I value Him above all else.  What is the result of that?  I AM BLESSED! 

    So you have to ask yourself, Do I want to be blessed?  Are you under attack?  Got a health issue, or a marriage issue, or a financial issue?  Then if so, “KEEP YOURSELF.”  You can do it, I believe in you.  And most importantly, God believes in you!