“Welcome to Flight 525 from Charlotte to San Antonio, Texas. We are pleased to have you onboard and ask for your attention during the following safety announcements. First, please direct your attention to the nearest exit sign and remember the closest exit may be behind you.”
If you are a frequent flyer, I’m sure you’ve heard a similar speech many times and probably tuned it out.
No matter how many times I fly, I make it a priority to notice the exit signs; their location and distance. Yes, I’m one of those people that will count the aisle seats to each exit!
Heck, exit signs (just like bathrooms) are on my necessary checklist because to me they are important! You just never know when there just might be an emergency!
Better safe than sorry is my motto!
Have you ever considered that it is just as important to know key settings when it comes to temptation?
Now, temptation itself isn’t a dirty word. In fact, when you successfully avoid temptation you are actively exercising your faith muscles and becoming stronger; so that each time temptation rears it’s head it will be easier for you to respond positively. But dealing with temptation is never fun.
Temptation is a fact of life. We ALL face temptations- even Jesus was tempted. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
You shouldn’t feel guilty about being tempted; rather it is the action of giving into temptation that is bad and carries consequences.
So what can we do to minimize the impact of temptation?
The first step is to recognize it for what it is!
The Bible tells us to be alert and to flee from temptation-
“Be alert. Continue strong in the faith. Have courage, and be strong.” ~1 Corinthians 16:13
To be alert means knowing what you are tempted by (your weaknesses) and staying clear of them!
If you are an alcoholic don’t accept the invitation to the Wine and Design party your co-worker invited you to attend. If you have an issue with pornography, put a "parental block" on all your devices to keep you from being enticed to view! If you are like me and over-indulge in spending- stop going to the malls!
The Bible also says to pay attention to the company that you keep.
“Do not be fooled. ‘Bad companions ruin good character.”" ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33
We’ve all had those friends that entice us to “live a little” and they turn on the innocent "peer pressure." When you give in to their advice and find yourself always hurt and suffering; realize you need to either minimize or completely sever your ties to them! Trust me, they will lead you down a destructive path every single time and you will find yourself picking up the pieces all alone!
Wisdom comes in knowing what uniquely tempts you and how to stay away from both tempting situations and associations.
Look hard at yourself, what are the areas in your life that cause you to struggle? Honestly evaluate how giving into the temptation can be harmful to yourself and your future. Are you welcoming temptation into your life by your choices and the company you keep or are you actively seeking ways to avoid it?
What’s the next step, when you've done all of the above, and temptation still comes knocking full force on your door?
Look for the exit signs!
Find the escape!
God promises that when you are tempted He WILL provide the means to escape.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
There is an escape my friend- you just have to be willing to run for it, trusting it is right and not looking back!
Temptation that ruins lives is no less serious than the airplane that is crashing and burning--both will scorch and destroy. In both cases, calmly find the exit (and it just might be behind you) and swiftly move to escape!
Father, help us to understand and recognize clearly the things in life that tempt us away from you. False promises that only lead to heartache. Lead us not into temptation and show us the exits to deliverance. Amen
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. ~ James 4:17