Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MOMENT OF PAUSE


1 Corinthians 10:13
"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."


Pritchard Paraphrase
All the temptations that you have succumb to are nothing new to humanity. At the same time, God always does His part - He will not allow the amount of temptation to be to much. God will provide a way out so you can take the temptation and manage it wisely ("endure it").

God's Part -
  1. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear
  2. He will also provide a way out
Notice our part - "endure it". We do not receive a "Get Out of Temptation Free" card. Step one of our part is to have The Counselor (The Holy Spirit) within you to guide during all moments of your life, especially the temptations. Step two is to act on His discernment or prompting in a given situation. If you are tempted to go right and the Holy Spirit confirms - go left - you had better move left.  

Have you ever walked up on a situation that demands an about face (turn around)? I have. In some cases the temptation is to get involved in order to help out the situation (i.e. break up a fight, diffuse an argument, etc). In some cases you may be tempted to explore areas that you have never been but your gut and The Holy Spirit says, "Don't do it!" (i.e. cheat on an exam/husband/wife, lie, etc). Many times the best policy is to avoid at all costs.  Rick Renner says, "Negotiating with sin usually leads to falling into it rather than conquering it, so it's better for a person to just get up and get away from the situation as quickly as he can! This is why Paul was constantly telling the early believers to 'flee' evil influences (see 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corithians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22)." 

The temptations are going to come. However, three aspects of the Believer I wish to magnify here as helps for these times are: First, the Christian is a Temple of God - The Holy Spirit. We carry around His presence wherever we go. We should remember this and act like it. Second, God does not merely call us conquerors through Paul in Romans 8:37, He calls us "more than conquerors". We need to remember this, claim  it and live it. Thirdly, Inquire of The Lord. If the time presents itself - consult His Scripture, pray and speak with a trusted man/woman of God about your situation. Otherwise pray silently, listen intently and discern quickly.

The phrase "more than conquerors" in the original Greek is translated as hupernikao (hoop-er-nik-ah-o). This word/phrase means to vanquish beyond, that is, gain a decisive victory. When anyone accepts Christ as their personal Lord and Savior they have made a decisive victory in their life. "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Through Him who loved us first we are able to make the most decisive life-statement about sin in our life when we say "No" to the temptation to go on living without Christ in our life. 

However, the verse in context is talking about Spirit-filled living and according to the first half of this passage - Romans 8:35  - the believer's life will have trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and/or sword. But fear not! "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." 

Another Scripture that guarantees trouble is John 16:33. However, in the same breath it guarantees the overcomer of the world - Christ.  With such an awesome Savior, with such a decisive Victor - why wouldn't we consider Christ's Presence, Promise(s) and Counsel when faced with any wavering decision, especially one we deem a dilemma (like a temptation). 

The original verse - 1 Corinthians 10:13 - gives me the impression that Paul is speaking to someone at the church of Corinth or a group at the church who are under the influence of temptation but have not crossed the line and sinned yet. I believe the Holy Spirit, through Paul, wants to encourage us to realize God's presence with us all the time. He wants us to stand on the promise(s) of victorious living in Christ. He desires for us to capitalize on that "way out" that He promised. Plus He desires to be consulted. I hear The Holy Spirit wanting to instruct these believers and all believers to develop a physical, mental and spiritual Moment Of Pause when tempted.