I’ve known people who, when they go into an unfamiliar building, the first thing they do is locate the EXIT signs. They want to make sure, if something goes wrong, they know the way out. As the world seems to become more and more dangerous, I find myself, to some extent, doing the same sort of thing. I’ve become more cautious, more aware of my surroundings, more prone to look for the EXIT sign.
Remember the fire drills in school? The alarm would sound and we had to stop whatever we were doing then quietly, calmly (in single file) go outside. Most businesses today have an established “evacuation plan”, a pre-determined route for getting out of the building. Hopefully, you or I will never be in a life-threatening situation, but just in case, it is good to “have a plan”.
There is a danger that every one of us faces daily; it is the danger of temptation. And, just as there is an escape route in the movie theater, the bank, the mall, or your office, we assured of a way to escape temptation, one which God will provide.
Paul writes “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).
Think about the temptations that threaten your spiritual wellbeing. Maybe you’re prone to overeating, gossip, complaining; you know the temptations that you most struggle with, your danger zone. Now, what is your Exit Strategy? Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of a situation and in panic mode. Make your plan now, while your mind is clear.
These are some things that help me:
- Search Scripture. Look to God’s word for strength concerning your particular struggle. I find a lot of help in the Psalms.
- Pray, Pray, Pray. Pray about it. Pray through it. Pray after it passes -prayer of praise. (This is where that scripture can really help – pray it).
- Write It Down. In a secure place, write down the temptations you seem to constantly struggle with along with the scripture you’ve identified. Post It notes work great. You can keep them in your bible on the page with your scirpture.
- Accountability Partner. Ask someone you trust to keep you accountable. Go to them as soon as the alarm sounds, before the temptation becomes a sin.
Above all, don’t get discouraged. I belive that there are few things that please the devil more than to see God’s children get discouraged because that’s when we’re most vulnerable. Keep reminding yourself, you are a work in progress and what the Lord begins, He is faithful to complete.
You may have some other strategies that get you through; if so, I hope you will share them with us.
Until next time,