Sunday, October 21, 2007

Escape

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Last night the suggested topic at the Samson Society meeting was escape. Two perspectives were brought out. One was the escape mentioned in the above verse. When we are tempted, God provides a way of escape. Another perspective is that sometimes we commit various sins as a way of escape from the problems and stresses of life.

Several things came to my mind during the discussion. One was a quotation that I have carried on my PDA for many years. It is on endurance:

When you feel you cannot continue in your position for another minute, and all that is in human power has been done, that is the moment when the enemy is most exhausted, and when one step forward will give you the fruits of the struggle you have borne.

Sir Winston Churchill
I pictured in my mind how many times we are on the edge of victory and fail to take the final step that would have led us into another realm. Or, maybe it is when I hold my tongue during an argument and the result is a small victory toward proper communication. I was also reminded by this quote that my enemy is tired. Sometimes the strongest will determines the winner. I remember that when I am weak then Christ can be strong on my behalf. His will takes the place of mine and victory comes.

So we have two kinds of escape, the one God provides and the false one. I picture the false one as a very broad road with a flashy sign and many false assurances. The one God provides may seem obscured and the path is much narrower. Sometimes we can’t even see it until we take the step of faith beyond the easy road. Our experience tells us that the wrong escape route usually leads to a messy situation.

Another thing that came to mind was something I read in my devotions yesterday morning. Here it is:

Using Prayer to Overcome Temptation

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

Christian men continually face temptation. Our world seems to thrive on appeals to our desire for material goods, worldly pleasures, and self-gratification. Yet, continued praying strengthens Christian men spiritually, morally, and ethically. With prayer, overcoming our temptation is certainly possible.


Jesus made this truth plain to Peter in the garden the night of the Savior's arrest and trial. Jesus was facing perhaps the hardest night of His life. He was facing the cross, and He knew it! The Bible says that Jesus fell back on His continual habit of prayer to make it through that night. He realized that prayer would be a source of strength for Him.


And at one point, Jesus told Peter to learn from what he had seen. Not only on that one night but also for the rest of his life, Peter would have to keep praying, especially if he wanted to fight temptation. Jesus then uttered those oft-quoted words,
"the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak".

We have remembered those words fairly well, probably because they seem to give us an excuse for not performing well. We should have remembered the preceding words--
"Watch and pray, that you do not enter into temptation"--for they give us the way to win over sin.

Father, as I now pray, please help me to overcome the temptation that I'm now facing. Amen.


From God’s Man
A Daily Devotional Guide to Christlike Character
Edited by: Don M. Aycock

These are good words. Step by step and prayer by prayer we become more like Christ – the thing we truly desire.

Philip

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