We are in the middle of the flu season. For those of us further north, it is cold and dark. If you are in school, by this point in the semester you are running on too little sleep and probably not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
It is a prime time to start sneezing, sounding nasally, and feeling all around beat down.
As I sat in class during my 8:15 class earlier this week, surrounded by sad, sniffling souls, I found myself annoyed at how much the flu season always manages to strike. No one is seemingly immune. As I write this, I am sitting in bed after downing a horrid ginger tonic shot and a bottle of green juice, hoping and praying that my headache and runny nose do not turn into anything more!
And then I got to thinking — the flu season is kind of like the devil. We know that the flu is real and that it is easily contracted, and yet we still manage to get blindsided by it each year. The same goes with the devil! We know that he is real, that he is out to steal, kill and destroy, and yet somehow, we still fall into his traps and temptations.
I then started to think about the ways that we prepare for flu season and attempt to ward off the germs and found a number of parallels to preparing to ward off the devil.
While many choose to forgo the flu shot (myself included because I hate needles), the flu shot allows your body to learn how to fight off harmful antigens. Flu shots are precautionary and preparatory – a simple injection prepares your body for the next couple of months. Likewise, if you know that you struggle with certain sins more than others or you are aware of temptations for yourself, plan ahead! Identify the issue, set up boundaries, ask for accountability, and be intentional in asking the Lord for strength to fight temptation.
If you are constantly on the go, without giving yourself time to rest, you will burn out – mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. We all know that if we are rundown, we are more likely to get physically sick. The same goes for your spiritual health. If you are not getting quality time with the Lord, you will feel weak spiritually and will be more susceptible to the attacks of the devil.
Natural remedies and good nutrition are a great way to prevent illness or shorten the length of it. Pumpin your body full of nutrients is a prime way to stay healthy. So I ask, what are you filling your everyday life with? Is the music you listen to or the television you watch edifying? Are you filling your brain with the things of this world or with things that glorify God? Community Groups, Worship Music, Christian Podcasts/Sermons, and Christian books are all ways to supplement your faith and to help you learn and grow. When you are filled with things of God that are good, you are more aware of the sinful ways of this world.
Washing Your Hands
Washing your hands frequently i.e. when you touch that shopping cart handle or sit next to someone who will not stop sneezing, is a way to remove germs and prevent them from entering into your body. Repenting of your sin is like spiritually washing your hands. Actively recognizing your shortcomings and repenting before the Lord is important. If we do not acknowledge the sin in our lives, our resistance to temptation builds up and we lose, much like the flu.
Avoiding Other People Who are Sick
Did you know that a sneeze can travel 100 miles per hour, spreading over 100,000 germs along the way? If you see someone sneezing or coughing and not covering their mouth, what do you do? You run away! You do whatever you can to avoid the rapid spread of germs. This is how we need to respond to sin – we need to do whatever we can do to avoid falling into it! If you know that you have particular sin struggles, stop spending time with the people or in the environment that enables you to stumble. Find accountability. Join a church community. Do whatever it is you need to do to flee from sin.
So while you brace yourself for flu season and do what you can to avoid unwanted germs, ask the Lord to reveal to you the temptations in your life that will lead to far worse than just a cold. Be on guard. The devil is on the hunt and we need to be prepared to fight off sin and temptation.