ON QUEST – Act Fast
February 25, 2019
Verse for the Week: 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 stand up under it”
This week is all about action. Creating and shifting our momentum away from the pull of the pit toward the open road of freedom. We will do this with a pivot. This type of pivot will happen by planting a firm foot in the foundation of our faith and changing directions.
As much as pivoting is fundamental to basketball, it will also stand true to this part of the C-R-A-V-E challenge.
Paul teaches us, in I Corinthians 10:13, how to manage the pivot when it comes to temptation. He knew firsthand what it felt like to endure hardship, testing, and temptation. As he suffered under such extraordinary pressure, he became quite the master of the pivot.
Scripture is clear that there is a definite distinction between temptation and testing. Although God tests us, James 1:13 notes emphatically that God does not tempt us. Even so, we are to expect both.
So how do we reconcile the difference?
Temptation promises to satisfy at the cost of obedience to God, whereas testing challenges us to such obedience.
Temptation is a tool used by the enemy. Testing is a tool used by God. Temptation’s potential is sin. Testing’s potential is freedom. Both are common to our human experience, and God can use either one to challenge and transform us.
Spiritually speaking, to be tempted is not a sin. Jesus, himself, was tempted. But when we follow temptation’s lure, sin will be the result. That said, temptation, when disrobed, is often a form of testing. And although God will not tempt us to sin, he can use it to refine us.
This juncture, where temptation intersects with testing requires us to make a choice. Matthew 6:24 tells us we can’t serve two masters, we must choose—God or self.
By altering the way we see temptation, the rules of engagement change and cause a power shift. Remember, temptation is intended to harm. Testing is intended to harvest.
And this is our pivot point.
Giving God the reigns in the moment of temptation or anxiety stops the momentum of sin. Like Newton’s first law—an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless acted on by an external force—so is our pivot intended to stop the momentum of temptation.
Because of this, the quick pivot not only halts the wayward momentum but repositions us in that critical moment of struggle. Which brings us to our third strategy for change in our C-R-A-V-E challenge—Act Fast!
C–ommit To Pray
R–eplace Feelings With Faith
E–ngage New Behaviors
This challenge is a tactical strategy that relies on the posture of readiness. An all-consuming call to action. Taking what we’ve learned in the previous two challenges, we will pivot with a purpose and change directions in the critical moments of consequence.
In other words…Beat feet and get outta dodge!
Choosing to follow God’s way out requires us to deny our desire to seek subpar satisfaction, and instead risk wading in the dark spaces of the emotional unknown. This is hard and scary. But when we do, we find the farther away we get from the tug of temptation, the freer we will feel. The weight of compulsion lessening with each step.
However, in order to turn against the tide of temptation and walk the other way, we need to make up our mind to do so way before the critical moment of choice. Why? Because the made up mind sets the stage for success. It eliminates justification and fosters confidence.
This posture of readiness takes forethought and decidedness. Escape will not happen because you want it to happen; it will happen because you decide it will happen.
The key to this challenge is speed. The faster you make the decision to pivot, the greater your chances of escape will be. God assures us with each and every temptation He will provide a way out. But here’s the kicker—we must take it.
Lord God, show me the way out, especially in those moments when I want to shrug a complacent, careless, or self-assertive shoulder at the freedom you are offering. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
This week our focus is on the pivot and executing our escape route. It will look different for each struggle be it a habit, anxiety, or addiction. You may have to physically remove yourself from certain situations, friendships, or activities. Or it could be more of a mental exercise as you flee the internal environment of fear, insecurity, or other emotional stronghold that tempts you toward sin.
This is where we rely on the Spirit to give us discernment. Ask God to show you the way out. When He does, hold that sweet head up high knowing you are one step closer to freedom.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed as you pivot with a purpose.