17 "The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life."
Proverbs 16:17 (ESV)
Good basketball players avoid being trapped. They back-dribble away from an advancing trap to create space. They pivot out of pressure. They make two passes beyond the trap to break the pressure it causes. They never pick up their dribbles early. They never turn their backs to the defense. They answer aggressiveness with aggressiveness.
What route do you take to avoid evil? What's your plan? What's your means of attack? Evil will eat you up if you don't have proven ways to beat its choking, deadly pressure. It always seems to trap its opponents, albeit hard or soft pressure, if its opponents are not prepared and committed to break the press.
Proverbs 16:17 offers great clues about how to break evil's pressure. Here are some keys to breaking the press:
• STAY ON COURSE. Cruising on Upright Highway keeps one off Dark Alley. There's never an exit for evil off that interstate. Stick to the high road. • MAKE SPACE. Keep your distance from evil. Evil works best when the gap closes and it can draw you in. • KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. Be on guard. Then an approaching trap will never surprise you. Face up to Evil. See the pressure coming before it sees you to the bench. • GUARD YOUR WAY. Guarding your way guards your life. Being vigilant on a daily basis pays off over a lifetime. Never take a vacation from this. It could be disastrous.
LORD, let me see trouble coming before it is upon me. Don't let me get trapped and ensnared. Keep coaching me to guard my way so I can make plenty of space for You and avoid evil. Help my vigilance to be strong. I don't want to turn the ball over to the enemy of my soul.