Thursday, April 4, 2019
Week 4 – He WILL protect you
Day 4- He will protect you by giving you a way of escape.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you but such 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.
Growing up, when we needed to gas up, grab a quick snack, or pick up the occasional loaf of bread we would run by Mr. Howell’s store. I can still remember the wooden plank floor with its knots and holes that creaked when you walked in and the smell that filled the air, pickles from the big jar behind the counter. I can also remember the day that I saw the display advertising a new gum the store was now selling, Fruit Stripe. I believe I was around 4 years old when I asked my mom to buy me and pack of the new gum and she told me that I didn’t need it. I wanted that gum very badly and even though she said no, I was determined that I would have some. So, I snuck a pack off the counter, hid it in my hand, and walked out with my treasure buried in my pocket. Once mom was busy driving, I pulled out my bounty, took off the wrapper, and placed a piece of the red striped rectangle into my mouth. It was delicious and my mouth burst with the intense fruit flavor! It must have smelled as strong as it tasted because my mother quickly asked me about it. “Did you take that gum from Mr. Howell’s store after I told you no?” she asked in a shocked and angry tone. After I nodded yes, she turned the car around, pranced me back in to the store, and made me look Mr. Howell dead in the eyes, tell him what I had done, and apologize. It was not my best moment.
While Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days fasting and praying, the devil showed up and tempted Him. Satan goaded Him to turn the stone into bread, he pushed Jesus to turn His back on God, and he tried to convince Jesus to test God. But Jesus did not falter. Despite the schemes of Satan to lead Him to disobedience, Jesus focused on the Father and overcame.
We are much like Jesus who was the prey for Satan’s seduction in the desert. The enemy is all around us trying to coax us into sin. We are under attack, ladies. Satan is continually trying to entice us to choose self over service to others and over surrender to God. Every Christian faces temptation and the evil one is a pro at finding our weak points and luring us to sin. But we are not left to win the battle of defeating these worldly desires alone. No, the Holy Spirit is our helper to assist us and guide us through each sinful yearning. And there is no temptation that God will give us that we cannot handle if we keep our eyes on Him and listen to the Spirit within us.
Unlike Jesus, however, we cannot say that we have won every battle with the flesh that we have met. Whether we have given into temptation through jealousy, anger, pride, gossip, selfishness, greed, or lust, we have all fallen short and sinned against our Father. But because of the sacrifice of Jesus, there is forgiveness for the fallen, salvation for the sinner. We do not always make perfect choices but we are made perfect Christ.
When I was that young girl in Mr. Howell’s store, I gave in to temptation and chose to do what I knew was wrong. I wish I could say that was the last time, but I can’t. Unfortunately, it has happened over and over again in my life. But I’ve learned, when I get in those situations where my flesh is seduced to sin, to pray the words from Matthew 6:13, “Lord lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil.” I do this because I know that when I turn my focus to our Lord, He will be faithful. That doesn’t mean I won’t lose the tug-of-war with temptation from time to time, but it does mean that I have a better chance for victory. “So today, let’s look to God when we are faced with temptation. Let’s turn to Jesus when we slip into sin. He WILL provide an escape for us. He WILL provide forgiveness for the times we stumble. He WILL do this…because He said so!
FURTHER: Genesis 4:7; Psalm 31:1-4; 2 Peter 1:3; James 4:5-10; Romans 8:10-13
We praise Your name and humbly thank You for the example You set for us to follow. When You walked on this earth You were tempted and yet You never sinned. Thank You for the promise we have in You that no temptation that we face will be more than we can handle. Thank you for offering us an escape from sin and also forgiveness for our sins. We love You, Father. Help us recognize our weaknesses and lay them at Your feet. May we turn our eyes upon Jesus as we strive to live a life that is pleasing to You. In the sweet name of Jesus we pray. Amen