PRINCIPLE: “When the bees come after you, make a beeline to the cross.”
I was trimming the drain ditch in front of our house – something I do once every 4 – 6 weeks. This time the grass and weeds were taller and thicker than usual so I was being more deliberate than my usual quick swipes with the trimmer. In fact I was standing in the ditch itself. I could see that I was making good progress; but what I couldn’t see was the little hole in the ground, beneath the grass and weeds. It was a little hole that was the entrance to a hive of bees. I didn’t know they were there. But, boy, did they know I was there! As soon as I got close to their hole they came after me – in full force. A couple of quick stings and a lot of buzzing and I suddenly knew they were there. I dropped my trimmer and made a beeline for the house, with the bees in full chase and attack mode right behind me. Thankfully, the house was my refuge. Now every time I trim the ditch, I’m ready to flee.
What I’ve discovered is that the bees in my ditch aren’t the only bees I need to be ready to flee. There are all kinds of bees ready to sting and chase me every day. The bees disguise themselves in the form of temptation, passion, and pride. John identifies them as cravings, lust, and boasting. “Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world.”(1 Jn. 2:16 CEB). Jesus pointed to thee bees of troubles, tribulation, and persecution. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.” (Jn. 16:33)
And Jesus’ advice?“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) How did Jesus overcome the world? Through the cross. “Take heart – you can come to the cross.”“When the bees come after you, make a beeline to the cross.” Jesus gave this instruction often. “When you are persecuted in one place, fleeto another.” (Mt. 10:23) “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea fleeto the mountains.”(Mk. 13:14) “When the bees come after you, make a beeline to the cross.”The apostle Paul gave the same advice. “Flee from sexual immorality.”(1 Cor. 6:18) “So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.” (1 Cor. 10:14) “But you, man of God, fleefrom all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Tim. 6:11 NLT) “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”(2 Tim. 2:22) “When the bees come after you, make a beeline to the cross.”
However, whenever the bees that attack you, be ready to flee, to make a beeline to the cross. When the computer screen calls out for you to click on that porn site, when the television beckons with that seductive movie, when the hormones get excited wile looking at someone other than your spouse, when the little voice in your head tells you a little cheating will move you up the ladder at work, when your pride is leading you to act superior, when those anti-christian voices begins to mock and challenge you – make a beeline for the cross.
And just a word for the sake of clarity. Fleeing to the cross can mean ‘Get out of there and get to Jesus.” But it can also mean to stand firm, and fight the good fight in the strength and power of the cross. As Paul advised young Timothy, there will be times when you want to give up and quit – to run away. “But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.”(2 Tim. 4:5) Depending on the circumstance, you either run or stand still – but whichever is called for, place your heart at the foot of the cross. “When the bees come after you, make a beeline to the cross.” “Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, The shadow of a mighty Rock Within a weary land; A home within the wilderness, A rest upon the way From the burning of the noonday heat And the burden of the day.”