Yes! She plays the guitar, she plays the drums, the keyboard… all of it, I tell you, all of it.
Isn’t she lovely?
Insanity… and I don’t mean the workout (exercise video) either! I have heard it said that it is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…hmmm! Another dilemma, another battle to face…when will it end?
So, I acknowledge there’s a problem, I’ve “asked” for help from The Lord, I know He’s heard me (cos His Word says He hears the cry of His people), so what’s wrong? Why isn’t anything changing? Why do I still find myself struggling?
Not your reality? Bless God, you have overcome! But for those still in the struggle, read on! (It is a long read I must say, but one I believe the Holy Spirit will use to strengthen us).
You know where God’s Word says that He won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear but with every temptation, He will provide a way of escape? Oh boy! Ummm……well, I can’t seem to find mine…..
Perhaps, we should try and understand what this “way of escape” looks like. Trust me, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t know it when you see it.
I always imagined that when temptation came (in whatever form), this “way of escape” would be so there in my face, I would just walk through and overcome. But, truth be told, it wouldn’t be much of a battle or temptation for that matter….and we would be so full of P-R-I-D-E as the ones who know how to overcome every time (like “dude, what’s wrong with you, why are you struggling in sin, look at me, I can overcome, why can’t you?” type of proud person)!
The reality is this – God is aware that we are but flesh. He knows that nothing good can come from our flesh (question is – do you know this too?). When Jesus came, He didn’t come to show us how to struggle with our flesh in order to live right, He came to crucify the sin nature and empower us to live godly in this world. So, by faith we come to God, confess that we are sinners, believe and receive Jesus as our Saviour and then…… go right back to struggling with our mess. But He gave us a ‘HELPER’ for a reason…. To H-E-L-P! If we didn’t need help, He wouldn’t have sent help.
The Holy Spirit, the very presence of God Himself on earth, the Spirit of God (how else can I define Him?) God Himself has come to help us….to empower us to overcome. (Remember, we’re examining what the ‘way of escape’ looks like). Jesus said that our Helper would lead us into all truth. So, we ask Him to help us when we face our various challenges. Now, by challenge, temptation, trial, I mean everything from a chocolate bar to adultery, fornication, murder and everything in between – sin is sin! And everyone’s battle is different – don’t judge! And until you’ve faced what someone else is facing you cannot understand what they’re going through. Read how the Amplified version puts 1 Cor 13:12-14.
Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. 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 that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, 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 of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God). (1 Corinthians 10:12-14 AMP)
So, this “means of escape” is what exactly? Think back to the various times when you found yourself in a situation of temptation, there would be one common (very tiny, almost insignificant) thread that runs through each occurrence… A thought! Yep, just a small thought! A thought so small but, if heeded, powerful enough to deliver you from whatever you’re facing. A simple thought like “Don’t!”, “Stop!”, “Switch it off!” “That’s wrong!”, “Come out of there!” And the more you heed the thought, the stronger it becomes. The converse is true unfortunately, the less you heed it, the weaker it becomes.
This is how The Lord says it:
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 NKJV)
And here is the same scripture from The Message translation (with the verses before and after):
Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!” (Isaiah 30:19-22 MSG)
Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit is right there, present and on the job! providing the way of escape! But we have to walk through it. With our will! God will never MAKE us do anything. The verse above says “Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace!!” The grace to overcome in that moment is right there but you have to yield to Him and not the temptation.
Which brings me back to where I started….INSANITY! Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome or result! We’ve got to stop putting ourselves in the same compromising positions (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be). We must forcefully embrace the way of escape if we are to overcome. Read 1 Corinthians 10 again – what you’re facing is common to the human experience but God allows you to go through it because He knows you can overcome it! The “why” of it all will be dealt with separately, perhaps in another email.
So family, let us embrace our Helper and not continuously grieve Him by ignoring his promptings and leadings. Let us be true sons of God who are LED by the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit we will NOT fulfil the desires/lusts of the flesh. The way of escape is right there people!!! Find it!
Love you all,