Almost everyone who visits this site knows It’s a “work in progress.” Nothing is “cut and dried.” Honestly and admittedly perhaps a bit selfishly, I read and meditate first to find and incorporate Scriptural truth in my own life. If something doesn’t make sense to me, it seems reasonable that I can’t force it to make sense for anyone else.
For that reason, I take my time. Mining requires patience and commitment. Hunting requires patience and commitment. Meaningful study is no different. Discipleship requires patience and comitment.
With that in mind, I’ve been mulling over the sentence Paul included in his letter to the “First Church of Corinth.” They were trying to resolve some problems, and deal with some issues which affected their Christian identity and ability to carry out their assignment*. While the issues we face may be a bit different, the fact of the matter is that we do face “temptation.” Whatever form it may take, it’s gonna happen. Count on it!! That is a constant. The only variable is how we’ll deal with temptation.
In this single sentence, Paul nailed down some principles:
(1.) Temptation will “take” you. That is inevitable and unavoidable. (2.) It’s a “common” occurrence, so, don’t be caught off guard when it happens. (3.) God is faithful. Even if and when I falter, His commitment to me is unwavering. (4.) Because of that, He will not allow “temptation” to overcome and overwhelm me. (5.) He’ll not only always be with me,but he’ll provide an exit, a pressure valve release, a “way of escape.”
That seems pretty simple to me. It isn’t as if we’re trying to understand Einstein’s theory relativity. There are many mysteries beyond my comprehension, but this doesn’t seem to be one of them. If I understand and apply what he’s teaching, I can use it anywhere, anytime I’m confronted by any temptation.
The thing I’m attempting to figure out now is this: How do I find the “way of escape?” I can recall, even as a youth, sitting in a darkened theatre and seeing lighted “EXIT” signs over every door. That is now, in fact, required by law and enforced. And Fire Departments have strict rules about occupancy, fire extinguishers. In public buildings EXIT signs must be clearly visible. People have died when those rules weren’t enforced.
The question I raised for myself, and which I now pose for you to consider is this: What are the ways God provides as we attempt to escape temptation and “the sins which so easily beset us?”
God’s servant, your brother, friend, and fellow student, ~donkimrey
* As I understand it, the Church’s main mission, then and now, is Christ’s Great Commission to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” The idea of our being “salt of the earth,” or “lights” are simply components of that assignment.