Have you ever had a fly trapped in your car? There’s been a fly buzzing around my van for at least a week now. It’s probably surviving off of scraps of snacks that have been left on the floorboards from my children. Every time I get in the car, I think it’s gone, but then it comes buzzing by yet again. And even though I roll down the windows when I am driving to let it out, it still stays.
A way out is available, but it chooses to stay.
That’s often how it goes with temptation. A way out is available, but we choose to stay, which leads us into sin.
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Temptation is one of those things that may look different for every single person, and yet, for every single person, it is rooted in selfishness. Pride.
I want what I want and I want it now.
In the garden, when Satan came and tempted Eve, he played into her pride. He essentially said, “if you eat the fruit, you will be like God. Don’t you want to be like God? Actually, don’t you want to be greater than God?” Eve took the bait and brought Adam along with her and the fall of humanity happened with one bite into pride.
Eve did not have to sin. In fact, God had given her all she needed to withstand the temptation – Him. Eve and Adam had a perfect relationship with their Father. Nothing was hindering their relationship, until the Tempter showed up.
Eve could have walked away. She could have cried out to God and asked for help. But she didn’t, she relied on her own strength, which was weak and she failed.
We are weak, but God is not.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Satan wants you to fail. He wants to tempt you so that you will bite into that fruit instead of walking away, but God is faithful to always give you a way out so that the temptation does not lead to sin.
There are open windows, you just have to go through them.
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Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” We live in a world of temptation. It’s all around us and we can’t prevent Satan from suggesting thoughts, but we can choose to not let those thoughts simmer or act on them through the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
What temptation keeps coming to your mind? Are you entertaining it or are you looking for a window to flee?
Don’t get trapped. And don’t stay when there is a way out.
God is faithful and He will always provide a way out. Cry out to Him. Turn away. Reach out to a friend for help. Set up blocks on your computer. Get rid of your TV. Ditch the smart phone for a flip phone. Whatever it takes. God always provides a way to turn from temptation. And don’t forget – the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Thanks be to Him.
For further study and encouragement, read Hebrews 4:15-16.