Ali was a beautiful, smart, and talented teenager with loving parents. But after high school something prompted her to try heroin. Her parents noticed changes in her and sent her to a rehabilitation facility after Ali eventually admitted the impact it was having on her. After treatment, they asked what she would tell her friends about trying drugs. Her advice: “Just turn and run.” She urged that “just saying no” wasn’t enough.
Tragically, Ali relapsed and died at age twenty-two of an overdose. In an attempt to keep others from the same fate, her heartbroken parents appeared on a local news program encouraging listeners to “run for Ali” by staying far from situations where they could be exposed to drugs and other dangers.
The apostle Paul urged his spiritual son Timothy (and us) to run from evil (2 Timothy 2:22), and the apostle Peter likewise warned, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8–9).
None of us is immune to temptation. And often the best thing to do is to steer clear of situations where we’ll be tempted—though they can’t always be avoided. But we can be better prepared by having a strong faith in God based in the Bible and strengthened through prayer. When we “[stand] firm in the faith” we’ll know when to turn and run to Him.
In what area(s) are you particularly susceptible to temptation? What has helped you to resist?
The Scriptures have much to tell us about our spiritual adversary, Satan. Peter, writing from his own painful defeat, warns us of our adversary “the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Some thirty years before writing this letter, Peter boasted that he would never disown Jesus (Matthew 26:33–35), but in his overconfident pride he failed to “be alert and of sober mind” (1 Peter 5:8). According to John, the whole world is presently under Satan’s control (1 John 5:19), but Jesus came “to destroy the devil’s work” (3:8). Jesus has already defeated Satan (John 12:31; 16:11; Hebrews 2:14), but the devil is permitted to continue to deceive people for a season (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan’s end is sealed, however, for he will be “thrown into the lake of burning sulfur . . . tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).