Deliverance Is Possible
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
I have struggled with besetting sins in my life, and I have struggled through times in my life when I felt hopeless. I thought I would be relegated to these sins my whole life, and I saw no way out. I would try everything and anything, only to succumb to falling back in the hole I had just climbed out of. I would apologize to God for committing the same sin over and over again, and I was sure He did not truly forgive me because I was doing the same thing over and over again. I was miserable in what I was doing, but I only sought relief from my consequences and not true change from that sin that I pursued with vigor.
The church we were attending at the time held a Tuesday night class that dealt with finances and offered a class to help one get out of debt. I was all ears as we were dealing with thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I know we did not get there overnight, but we were only making minimum payments on some cards and nearly maxed out on others. The way we were making payments, the graphs showed we would pay off our debt in the year 2042. This was not encouraging as it was 2013, and I felt as though we would be paying these credit cards off forever. The debt seemed insurmountable. We took this class with high hopes, and I was willing to try anything to get out of debt. I took notes and was intent on obeying every word.
As the classes went on, I started to question some of the things we were told to do, but my way had never worked, so I thought I had better listen and apply what was taught. We used the snowball method, and we slowly started to see progress. We vowed to adhere to a budget, and we trimmed the excess spending and our annual trip to Disneyland. The debt did not disappear overnight, but in a couple of years’ time, God allowed us to pay off all the debt. I cannot tell you the relief we felt as we made our last payment and the burden of debt was lifted. Sin is much like debt, and if you are not careful, you will end up in the same predicament if you don't replace the bad habits with good ones.
In Freedom That Lasts, we say, "You do what you do because you are what you are. To change what you do, you must cooperate with God to change what you are." I had to cooperate with the financial guy to get out of debt, and I had to cooperate with God to get victory over my besetting sin. Change did not come overnight, but applying God's principles to my life brought about change. The temptation did not go away, but it became easier to take the way of escape the more I took it, just as it became easier to stop spending once I saw the debt being reduced. When you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no sin you cannot have victory over in Christ’s strength. God is faithful to not allow you to be tempted above your ability through Him, and He provides a way of escape and hope of victory in Him.
Where are you today friend? Are you struggling with a besetting sin? Do you feel hopeless in your addiction? Do you feel like it will be 2042 before you see victory? What lie are you listening to from Satan that has you defeated? God has given us the victory and there is no temptation that He is unaware of. May we claim the victory He has given us, and may we be faithful in taking His way out instead of choosing our own. Will you prove your God faithful or will you succumb to your flesh? There is victory in Jesus if we will take His way of escape. May we cooperate with Him today to change what we are, and may we sing with all our might, Victory in Jesus!
Stay in the fight!