Thursday, March 17, 2016
Don't Open The Door
This morning's Bible verse is a bit lengthy because I have taken it from the Amplified Bible. I like the way it reads and explains the battle between us and temptation, and God's answer to this ongoing problem.
I Corinthians 10:13
For no temptation (No trial regarded as enticing to sin, no matter how it comes or where it leads) has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man (That is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance,and such as man can bear). But God is faithful to His Word and to His compassionate nature, and He can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength and resistance and power to endure. But with the temptation He will always also provide the way out, or the means to escape to a landing place, that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
Temptation is always around us as we move through our day.
Temptation comes in various forms.
It may surface in simple thought...
It might come in the invitation by a friend you haven't seen in a long time. An invitation to use and get high.
It doesn't matter what the vehicle temptation drives to get to your house, it only matters that you don't entertain it.
In other words, you can't stop temptation from "leaning on the doorbell", but you don't have to open the door, even the slightest, to see who it is. I've always said that you can't stop the thought to use and get high from entering your mind. Thoughts come. What I don't have to do is entertain it and let it roll around in my brain. Such is flirting with disaster, and is a sure fire way to end up back in the darkness. I may not be able to stop dark thoughts from coming to my mind,but I don't have to let them rent space in my head.
Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (fix your minds on them).
In other words, I look to Jesus for deliverance from any and all temptation.
Did you notice back in the I Corinthians 10 verse that it says "God will provide a way out" of any and all temptation? Here's the kicker. Suppose you are in a room and you find that a fire has broken out. The flames are getting higher, and the heat is getting hotter and hotter. I'm standing at the door yelling "Come on, this is the way out!" Your reply? "I don't want to use that door, I'll look for another way." Get it. God provides the way out, but it's up to you and me to simply follow His instructions. We fall into sin because of the temptation, and then blame God for not delivering us out of it. That argument won't wash. God always (and falls under always? Every time) provides a path that will remove us from temptation. We've just got to humble ourselves and simply follow His instruction.
One aspect that the church fails to drive home, is the thought of practicing our relationship with Christ. Doing the disciplines that will strengthen our communication and ability to hear God when the Holy Spirit is speaking to our hearts.
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it. And the God of peace (of untroubled, and undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
We don't live in a spiritual free-for-all where anything goes. We live under the direction of a Holy Spirit that fills us and empowers us to see life all the way to the end, and beyond.
Now that's something to think about.
God on you...
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