Temptations are not meant to destroy you. “We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT).
The other day, I was on a walk when, the thought hit me to sin. HMM. I did not want to sin. I had no interest in doing what had crossed my mind. I listed all the reasons I had no reason. Yet the compulsion was there.
Compulsion: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes.
On this side of it– the temptation or idea seems like it should have been easy to avoid because I had no interest in proceeding. But, alas, I gave in. Four hours later I found myself doing what I had no intentions of doing earlier in the day.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:15-20 NIV
It’s not an excuse– but it shows me I am in good company. This “sin” thing is a human condition that we are not rid of. There are some who say we can reach a place where we no longer sin but it says in 1 John 1:8 – 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
The sad truth is that just as these verses point out that “sin happens”….the passage that started this post tells us that God has already prepared a way out for us. We do not have to give into sin. Yes, temptation is going to continue…and we are going to cave from time to time…. BUT remember — there is a way out. We need to look for it and then choose to act on it.
Maybe my way out was that internal voice in me that didn’t want to sin and listed all the reasons I had no interest in it. Maybe the way of escape could have been to distract myself, call a friend, read a book, work on my projects or hobbies.
There was a chance at every moment up until that decisive time when I made the wrong choice. A chance to do what is right. To take a different path. To face reality and just deal.
Sometimes we think by sinning we are avoiding the uncomfortableness of life. We are trying to control something in an instant way. But life takes time. And that is ok. Some sticky situations take longer than others to navigate…but cutting corners often just delays the inevitability of the reality to hit us.
Maybe we don’t always get an open door or window to escape through. Maybe instead we get courage and peace to move ahead in doing the right thing. Again though, we have to take the right action for that to be of any use.
Lord, transform my heart and mind. Grant me the willingness to be willing to do the right thing. Then grant me the forethought ( careful consideration of what will be necessary or may happen in the future.) of seeing the right way and its benefits. Help me desire that more than my need to satisfy my instant gratification and prideful desires.Thank you for forgiveness when I fail to do what is right. Thank you for lovingly staying with me and daily nudging me in Your directions. Amen