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Bridges to Burn

The Bible teaches that the Christian life is like war. This war does not use guns and bombs. Nations do not fight each other in this war. It is a spiritual war between us and the devil. It is also a war between us and our own desires. We fight this war inside ourselves. We cannot fight it by hurting other people. We cannot fight it by destroying other people’s things. It is a spiritual war. We must fight it spiritually.

Bridges are important in regular wars. Bridges take armies across rivers and canyons. Enemy armies try to stop each other at bridges. An army destroys the bridge before its enemy gets there. The enemy army cannot use the bridge then. They cannot attack. They cannot escape. The river or canyon stops them. Sometimes the river or canyon also stops the army that destroyed the bridge. When this happens we say they “burned their bridge behind them.”

Bridges are important in spiritual war too. We do not destroy bridges people use to cross rivers, but we need to destroy some spiritual bridges. It works like this.

Some things keep us from being near to God.

These things are bridges that take us away from God. We have to burn these bridges if we want to stay near to Him. These bridges cannot take us away from God if we destroy them. Let’s think about spiritual bridges we need to burn. We will also think about how to burn them behind us.

Burning Bridge

Taking Care of Self

People get in trouble when they try serving God without His help. People also try to get close to God on their own. They always fail because we can only come to God when He helps us.

We always fail when we try to take care of ourselves. Jesus knew that we would. That is why He said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

You can burn this bridge. These steps will help:

Burn the bridge of taking care of yourself!

Spiritual Compromise

People also get in trouble by trying to serve Jesus while following other beliefs. In Bible times they were tempted to worship both God and idols. God has never allowed His people to worship anyone but Him. Some people only worshiped God, but they ate meat that had been given to idols. They thought this meat gave them spiritual help. God told them to stop eating that meat.

Spiritual practices that don’t come from Jesus and the Bible are a bridge. This bridge will lead us away from God. These practices are very dangerous and can lead to great trouble and sorrow. The Bible says: But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

These steps will help you burn this bridge:

Burn the bridge of spiritual compromise!

Unwise Friendships

Bad companions lead many people into temptation. Here are some things to think about when choosing friends.

Careless friendship with people who don’t love God is a bridge. This bridge will carry us back to the way we lived before we knew God. The Bible says: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

These steps will help you burn this bridge:

Burn the bridge of unwise friendships!

Ungodly Desires

Another name for ungodly desires is lusts. Most sin starts in the hearts of people who want what they shouldn’t have.

Bad desires are a bridge that leads to sin. The Bible says: But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. (1 Corinthians 10:5-6)

These steps will help you burn this bridge:

Burn the bridge of ungodly desires!

 Unconfessed Sin

Sin is disobeying God. We cannot be close to God when we sin. God is not happy when we pretend our sins are alright. God wants us to confess our sins. We confess our sins when we tell God we were wrong. God forgives us when we confess our sins.

Unconfessed sin is a bridge that takes us far from God. In the Bible God said this to some people who had sinned: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2) The Bible also says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

These steps will help you burn the bridge of unconfessed sin:

Burn the bridge of unconfessed sin!

Bad Attitudes

Christians need to be very careful about our attitudes. Bitter or rebellious thoughts will make us bitter or rebellious people. Our attitudes can help bring us close to God, or they can take us away from Him. Bad attitudes are sins of the heart. They are among the most dangerous sins we can have.

Bad attitudes are a bridge that will take us away from God quickly. The Bible says:

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14-16) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:35)

These steps will help you burn the bridge of bad attitudes:

Burn the bridge of bad attitudes!

Tempting Situations

Being in certain places or near certain things can lead to temptation. Sometimes these places are real places. They are also activities or attitudes that lead us to temptation.

Tempting situations lead to temptation. Temptation leads to sin. Sin takes us away from God.  The Bible says: Flee fornication. . . (1 Corinthians 6:18) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:12-14)

These steps will help burn the bridge of tempting places:

Burn the bridge of tempting situations!

The picture of the burning bridge was adapted from a 1916 drawing of a bridge by Bertha Corbett Melcher that is now in the public domain by reason of its age. The original drawing appeared in Grover, Eulalie Osgood, The Overall Boys in Switzerland. New York: Rand McNally, 1916 (A children’s book).


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