Most of us are word familiar with “fight or flight response” language. For most of us true blooded Americans the idea of flight is repulsive. We have a fighting spirit and we see ourselves as unconquerable. Like the folks in the old west, we want to strap a gun to our waist and stand up to whatever.
I thought I would borrow Wikipedia’s definition of the response. Here goes: “The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.[a] His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, preparing the animal for fighting or fleeing. More specifically, the adrenal medulla produces a hormonal cascade that results in the secretion of catecholamines, especially norepinephrine and epinephrine. The hormones estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, as well as the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, also affect how organisms react to stress.
In other words, God has given us the necessary equipment to fight or flee depending o the need. In a spiritual warfare situation we need the flight equipment the most.
For most animals the choice is relative to strength. If you are the stronger you fight, the weaker you flight. This changes of course if young are being defended. Where we humans run into difficulty is that we fail to recognize when we are out gunned. When the cards are stacked and the dice loaded, tempting fate is a dangerous thing. There is one major area in our life where we should never, and I mean never, think fight.
When we encounter Satan we are against a very strong adversary. The deck is stacked, the dice is loaded and we are out manned and out gunned. To resist him by standing and fighting is to invite disaster. Two biblical stories to prove my point, if you don’t mind.
First, there was Joseph in Potiphar’s household. Joseph was a slave which put him at the bottom of the scale on the power bar. Potiphar’s wife was somewhere near the top. He kept side stepping and she kept advancing. Eventually, Joseph was left with trying to fight her advances or fleeing. Fight or flight. He fled. He did not give in. Satan did not win. Joseph won the victory over evil and never made an offensive move.
Second, there was David with an aerial view of Bathsheba’s bath area. He had a ringside seat. When he realized what was going on he had the same choice as Joseph. Stay and fight the lust or flee for his soul. He chose to stay. What followed produced undeniable sorrow and heartbreak. He gave in. Satan won. People died, innocent people, and David lived with the remorse in his heart for a long time. How often, I wonder, did he wish he had just turned around and fled down the stairs and sent a note to that woman to move her bath house?
Our adversary is much like a roaring lion. The lion is the king of the jungle. His sole purpose is to attack and defeat us. He is stronger, wiser, more dishonest and more determined than we can imagine. Hanging around to pick a fight with him is dangerous, very dangerous. We have one good choice and it’s the choice of Joseph.
Read 1 Cor 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Every temptation has an exit provided by God. In theaters they tell you to find the exit before something happens. David knew where the stairs were. Joseph knew where the door was. He should have used them. Do we know where the exits are? What should we do when Satan attacks us? Should we stay and do battle or head for the exit? Think run! Don’t walk, don’t linger, don’t, like Lot’s wife look back. Think run. Run as fast and as far as you can. That’s the message of “avoiding the very appearance of evil.” Think run and run and run and run.
Don’t be overly concerned if he outruns you, just use your armor that God gave you for defense. When you can’t run you can stand in the armor of God and his shield will protect you but first you must run to him and away from the lion. Think run.