The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Let’s continue our journey through the five step journey to conquering the temptations that have been conquering you. Step 1 is to acknowledge your weakness daily. Step 2 is to avoid the wildernesses–those places of weakness that increase your chances of stumbling. Check out the last couple of week’s blogs for the full details. Now for step three.
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
I love this promise—God tells us that every temptation has an escape route. There is an exit ramp waiting to be found, so that means you don’t have to succumb to temptation. You CAN overcome!
First, this passage let’s you know that you’re not facing anything terribly unique. Temptation and the battle to overcome it is the common human experience. You’re not alone so admitting your weakness isn’t earth-shattering. In fact, Paul tells us that what you’re facing is familiar to a lot of people. So you’re not alone in the challenge, and you’re not alone in the possibility for victory.
AND know that a way of escape will be there. Here’s the truth—there’s a moment where stopping runs through the mind. When temptation strikes, the idea to turn away appears as well. And in that evaporating moment, you have a choice. You can choose to walk away or choose to give into the familiar trap.
Unfortunately, we often we sail by the escape moment, thinking it will return. In truth, there’s usually only one exit and if you ignore it, well, it’s going to be hard to stop.
Perhaps the most important truth to capture is that the exit will come, but it always comes early in the temptation. Moments after the initial thought forms in your mind, the window for escape shows up too, and that’s the time to choose it. Once you ignore the escape, there’s usually no turning back.
You may think you’ll get a second chance to escape, but once you let the tempting thoughts linger, you’ve crossed a line that’s difficult to return from. When the score was tempting thought-1 and escape thought-1, you could have won the battle. But once we let the tempting thoughts pile up, the score gets lopsided and we lose the chance to win.
So how do you help yourself choose the exit? Consider the consequences. Perhaps picturing the face of a loved one will help your choice. If only we could see that exit as a fork in the road, with those you love waving you toward the exit.
It’s amazing how easily we can ignore the possible consequences of our sin. We can realize that it “could” cost us, but we don’t think it will. So we become careless when it comes to risk. That’s a guy thing.
As boys, we stuck our fingers close to a biting turtle to get him to snap. We toss rocks off a cliff to watch them fall. And rather than avoid sin, we try to get close without falling in. Bad strategy.
Good strategy? Look for the escape route and take it.