Saturday, June 5, 2010

Victory In The Wilderness

1 Corinthians 10:12-14 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as 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. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Have you ever made resolutions and then not followed through with your plans … not even for one month? Of course you have … we all have. It might be a diet or a new exercise plan or maybe you plan to stop losing your temper, or to quit gossiping. Which is it? What is that habit or temptation that always seems to bring you down? Is it spending money that you don’t have? Maybe you watch too much TV; or is it procrastination? Or here is a destructive problem for some: pornography on the internet. Did I miss anything? Do you have a big one I didn't think of? No problem … write it down. Okay, what if I said there is a solution for each and every one of these problems? Am I getting your attention?

But wait a minute; you say … Bob, have you been able to overcome every one of your bad habits? Are you saying you’ve got this all figured out? No, no, no … not by a long shot. But there is a better question. The question is not whether I have overcome all of these bad habits … but rather: has God overcome them all, and has He provided the solutions for us to solve each and every one of these problems in his word? And the answer is: yes, absolutely. Well hold on … I must admit that I have painted myself into a bit of a corner, I’m not sure where this is headed. It sounds good though … don’t you think. I better stop and pray in order to see where God will lead me.

Okay, I’m back a day later, and the Lord has brought much to my mind, that I would like to share with you. The key verse that I have been led to is: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as 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. 1 Corinthians 10:13. Isn’t that an exciting promise? In my search to better understand the context of this verse, I meditated on chapters: 8-10.

Here’s what I found:

There is a danger that you might become arrogant in your knowledge … and that the knowledge of the world can actually work against you. If you think you have the solution to overcoming the habits listed above, and think that you can overcome them with worldly solutions, “you have not yet known as you ought to know.” But the love of Christ edifies and builds you up. His love will encourage you and give you strength, and establish you. He will give you the steps to overcome any and all of the problems that are common to man. In Him you can have confidence and rest and great success. He has already been victorious over any and every sin, bad habits, and challenges that you might come up against. If you love God and obey Him, you are known by Him, and He will deliver you at the appropriate time.

You must be careful not to worship false idols because they will cause you to take your focus off of God, opening you up to attack, sin, and bad habits. As Christians, we know that there is only one true God, but the world and its false teachings such as: “many gods lead to heaven” and “everyone’s beliefs are equally valid” and “as long as we practice the truth principles, it doesn’t matter how or where we got them” … these and many others are all traps set by our enemy. Be careful lest you fall into a pit. Seemingly innocent things such as: food, cars, homes, TV, books, movies, your career, the internet and a thousand other things can easily be your undoing. Anything that diverts you from God’s purpose and plan for your life can easily become a false Idol that distracts you and works against your success in overcoming your bad habits.

Your God is the one and only true God, your heavenly Father, the creator of all things, and you exist for Him. He is the One and only Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom all things exist, and we exist through Him, and are here and now, spiritually positioned with Him in the heavenly places, as a fellow heir to His eternal kingdom. He has bought and paid for you at a great price. He has promised you a helper, the Holy Spirit, who will guide you in overcoming your sins and bad habits. Is your conscience hindering your ability to rest in the Lord Jesus? You only need to focus on Him and His word. The answers to your questions are right there … for all to see.

But we must all take care, because the liberty and freedom that you have been given, as an heir with Christ, could possibly become a stumbling block to a friend who looks up to you, and who is following your leadership.
You must be so focused on loving others more than yourself, that if anything causes your brother to stumble, you will take care not do that thing again, even though it is not a problem for you. Although you have needs and are called to work, be careful you do not become obsessed with your work, and all of the things that your efforts can provide. There are traps here that can throw you off course. Our purpose on earth is to lead and disciple our brothers in the love of Christ. Use your resources to that end, not to build your own personal worldly kingdom, and the lord will reward you greatly. Although there is honor in being rewarded for your efforts, you are compelled to do the mission God has for you. Your mission is to share the gospel, disciple, and reconcile others: “for woe is you if you do not talk to others about the good news of Christ.” To Be Continued ...

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

God Bless you my friends, Bob
Pray to receive Christ as Savior

1 comment:

  1. This is great food for thought, thanks for sharing it. A good thing to meditate on to begin the week.