October 29, 2018
By Paul J. Banta
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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.” – NLT
God established protective barriers for those He’s called to coach for Him. He does this because He knows the dangerous consequences of our disobedience and how we are affected by the desires of our sinful nature and our violations of biblical principles. Examples of not just being tempted but submitting to our old life and committing sin include unkind words said to our players when we don’t get our way, not showing love–despite knowing our saying a kind word would have made all the difference and well you get the picture. God tells us not to give in to temptation but to follow Jesus in a life of standing firm, practicing and speaking with His love, which is the way to sorting your own life out and being the character God originally planned for us to exhibit.
In contrast are the world’s standards, lies the devil whispers at us, that gratification comes from self-indulgence, that I’m right at all cost, that I’m still the old person and not the new maturing person Christ wants us to be. The devil’s purpose is to trip you up so you can’t defend your faith and stay on the mission God has for you. He wants you to choose his way and not God’s way, knowing the results will be disastrous, not only for yourselves but for others you are trying to influence positively. He wants you to be as far away from God as possible.
I’ve come to a simple conclusion–the only way we can withstand the world’s standards, the Devils’ whispering in our ears and our selfish desires, is by immersing ourselves in listening to what God wants us to hear. This is accomplished by consistently reading the Bible, and listening to His Holy Spirit speak to you. I work and practice at blocking out the garbage that comes from the devil, so I can hear what comes from my Savior. At one time I tried every way trying to sort out my life including growing my strength and using my brains and wit, without the Lord’s help. But what I’ve found is that when I focus my attention on getting to know the Lord, letting Him love me so I can love others, believing His promises are truly going to make my life decisions more accurate, and obeying His commands, I spring into taking off becoming the winner I was designed to be. I score for Him as I was designed too. It never fails for when I allow the Holy Spirit’s leading to control me, rather than me control me; God makes me a winner.
It’s only going to happen through a daily, growing relationship with Christ that we will be able to battle against the devil and be victorious against wrong choices. Stand firm is doing the game for Him the way He designed it for us. This not only pleases Him, but you’ll find great blessing await you and you will receive tremendous satisfaction from firming up your game based on a Biblical plan, rather than the one you are struggling to carry out. We all need to develop daily that friendly relationship with our living Savior, Jesus Christ. He said He would never leave or forsake us. He wants to be our best friend. Let’s work hard to know this as the truth that sets us free, really free, and then let Him do His thing through us?
What’s your next move?