STANDING TALL WHILE FAILURE LOOMS
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 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.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
We all walk through this world thinking that we are always walking alone. We feel as though no one really understands the way that we see the world or how we react to certain situations, and I know that for all of us there have been things that have molded our thoughts and ways that we make decisions. It is amazing to watch and see just how we are like our parents more than we want to admit. We fight all of our lives to try and be so different and make decisions about our futures that lead us in a different way than what we have been accustomed to growing up, but amazingly enough, when we look back we are able to see that when we stood the true tests of the world we can see the impact of those who poured into and equipped us. We are all on this journey that is filled with ups and downs. We have days that we have mighty victories and other days that cause us to truly doubt anything that we have ever done. Many times we have spoken about spiritual warfare and once again I just want us to realize how prevalent the battle is in our every day lives.
We all believe that we have the mental and physical fortitude to withstand some pretty heavy burdens. We really do. Many of us don't like admitting that we need help because that makes us look needy or weak. But the cray thing about us, is that God created us to have community and to connect and help each other all throughout our lives. We were not meant to walk through these journeys alone. How can I say that.... simple. Look at the creation of the world. When God created Adam, we see that there was no suitable HELPER for Adam and so did God do? He literally created EVE so that Adam would have someone to walk through the journey with on a daily basis. We have been created to connect and to walk
together to face the trials of this world. But one other thing about the eery part of creation, GOD WAS THERE TOO! I need you to understand that even in our weakest moments and times we feel as though we are all alone, God is with us! Look again at the first few chapters of Genesis. God walked and talked with His creation. There was not a time that we were left alone to battle things by ourselves. Now that does not mean that we will not find ourselves alone, but it does mean that even though we may physically be alone, spiritually, God is always there to draw strength from in our time of need and to direct our path out of the situation.
I love the way Paul leads us into the lesson for today. Paul is first coming to us through our attitude of assurance and pride. When we feel as though nothing is wrong and that we have everything under control, we must be prepared for the true battle to be fought. Paul is warning them of the history of the struggles of God's people that came through apathy, pride and spiritual warfare. Paul is trying to help us see what we cannot truly see for ourselves and is providing us with hope to recognize that we are not alone in these battles. Not only should we be able to learn on our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should be equipping and preparing ourselves daily for any battle that may arise. We cannot believe that if we are simply "CHRISTIANS" that we are never going to face spiritual warfare. We cannot believe that we have it all figured out. On the contrary we begin to realize that if we are not daily preparing our bodies-heart, mind and soul for the battle- then we leave ourselves open for the attack to begin. Paul literals tells us, "So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" And there is an exclamation point. We will be tempted in our journey of life, and it is truly how we are able to stand up to the temptation that shows our dedication to our spiritual preparedness.
Yes, I know that there are times that we will struggle but I also take confidence in the next words that Paul writes, "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 stand up under it." WOW!! Every time I read these words I am blessed, humbled and stand in awe. It allows me to see that the temptations that I face are ones that God has been preparing me for and that God is faithful to walk with me through the test. I know that God is not going to take over the battle, but to have the assurance that God is going to help teach and show me how to walk through the battle is huge. It is something that opens my eyes and encourages me to have a desire to grow deeper in my trust and step out on faith in every aspect of the
battle. I just step back and realize that the battle belongs to the Lord and if I come humbly before His feet and look to God for the guidance I need, I may come out a little beaten down, but I will also come out battle tested and ready for what may lie ahead. Just realize today that standing tall may look more like bowing down. the first steps of the battle may not be to stand up but to kneel and invite God into the scenario. Yes, failure may happen, but as I have heard in many books, movies, and through inspirational speakers, you may lose the battle, but win the war. In the face of adversity, may we experience the power and reassurance of God's love. May we recognize that we will never be alone and to stand firm means the we have to continue to build on the firm foundations that have been poured. Are we ready to take on the daily battles and claim victory in the name of the Lord. AMEN!