Are We Open to God's Escape Plan?
Welcome to my kitchen, Introverts, so we can chat as friends about temptation. No matter what you are going through, I want you to know you are not the first to struggle in sin.
Maybe you’re an introvert simply because you appreciate solitude. Or maybe you consider yourself an introvert because you’ve accepted solitude as a verdict for your sin.
Either way, as your fellow introvert, I know how difficult it is to open up and be vulnerable.
Did you read up and pray up on the scripture from my Sunday Vlog? 1 Corinthians 10:13:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)
I tend to bring my little team of one into my personal huddle and plan a way though my hot mess alone. After all, this scripture tells us God ‘won’t give us more than what we can handle.’ Doesn't it?
No. I don’t think so.
Look closer. “but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.” God may test you, but make no mistake, Satan is tempting you. And he knows you. He knows you will withdraw and rationalize and scrutinize and dig deep before you ever turn to anyone else for help.
“But with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Consider the testimony of a man who wanted to end a longstanding affair but never saw an easy way out.
Months into the affair, the man became a Christian and felt the strong conviction to end his sin.
But as his desire to end the affair grew, the temptation to continue seemed to double.
He grabbed every bible verse, blog and article he could find on relationships and marriage. He tried everything he knew within his own strength. And while he prayed, he still relied on his own will power to sustain him.
He grew exhausted and irritable. He was disgusted with himself and hid from God.
He avoided the few friends he had. Confiding in them was not an option – he couldn’t think of one friendship deep enough to work through the magnitude of this struggle. This was going to take time and emotional energy no one he knew, even his best friend, could afford that level of commitment without placing a strain on their own lives.
And forget going to the church he’d just joined. There was no way his fellow Christians would understand the extent of his emotional and physical desires. Especially when his wife was making a lot of new friends there.
He was alone and couldn’t imagine who could share in his grief. And alone was how he liked to keep himself anyway. Maybe he just needed to work harder at it.
Then he ran across 1 Corinthians 10:13 and focused on"Will also make a way for escape." It repeated throughout his day. On his drive to work, during lunch and in his dreams. He finally prayed the prayer that had awaited him all along, “God, I am a sinner, make my way of escape.”
The man’s desire to live according to Christ had finally risen above the fear to let go of the familiar. And in the very moment he made the decision to do so, God’s plan was set into motion.
You see, he was on a “date” in a crowded city restaurant with his mistress, three hours from his hometown when he prayed that prayer of redemption.
And as he paid the check, his heart heavy with conviction, a member of his church came over to say hello, but stopped short of conversation after noticing the companion at the table. The church member slumped a bit and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder. “It’s good to see you, but I’d really like to talk with you soon, if you’d like that.”
He'd been caught, but given a hand in friendship from someone who didn't know him like a best friend - but knew someone who did.
Friends, God is on OUR side and no matter what temptation you are facing, you must find His escape plan. Not only did being ‘caught’ help to end the affair, the man found an accountability partner in faith. A real friend. He found someone who was willing to invest the time and energy it takes to make it through the most difficult and humbling of life's tribulations and trials.
And as an introvert, I know that building deep and meaningful relationships feels risky, but I pray you remain open to those God places on your doorstep. They may just be an answer to a prayer and your way out.
I encourage you, if you are caught in a sin that has you weary to the bone, be hyper-observant to your surroundings. Your escape plan might just be through a friend our loving Father has placed in your path.
He sends us real, live people to encourage and strengthen us. When we turn to Christ, we know we can invest our energy in confiding in the friend He sent for us.
Then we can make time for recharging. We can allow our brain the time it needs to process the advice and perspective given by wise counsel. And we can also allow ourselves to celebrate and be refreshed by friends who will not only hold us accountable, but will lift us up when Christ overcomes what we face. And He WILL overcome.
Pray this with me: Lord, I am a sinner and I need an escape plan. Make this path visible to me. Give me eyes to see and a heart open to your teaching. Give me the strength to follow and the courage to trust the escape route you have paved. I point my prayer to the cross and the savior who made a way for me. In His name I pray, AMEN.
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