The holiday season is almost upon us. For many, now is the time to make our Thanksgiving resolution– “I will not gain weight this year!” If you’re like me, that resolution will stand until the 4th Thursday of November. Then, standing at the table looking at all my favorite foods, and way too many desserts, the awful truth comes out–I can resist anything but temptation! I hope you smiled at that, because I wrote it with a smile on my face.
However, I see many believers today facing temptations much more dangerous than pecan pie saying the same thing–I’m only human I can resist anything but temptation. Friends, that is just plain wrong! 1 Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB) says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” The very next verse tells us to flee. Sometimes fleeing is as simple as changing the channel or the conversation. Occasionally it literally means run away, physically and quickly remove yourself from the place. That’s what Joseph did in Genesis and it worked. I won’t tell you that fleeing is always pleasant in the short run–it’s not, but it always pays off in the long run. The issue is when is it time to flee. Let me suggest three questions that will help you discern when you’re facing a temptation you should flee from.
Can I thank God for it?
1 Thessalonians 5:18– “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
When all is said and done with this event, decision, attitude, opportunity, will you be able to say, “Thank You Lord?” If you cannot express gratitude to God for something–particularly for the result–don’t do it.
Can I do it in Jesus’ name?
Colossians 3:17– “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” If someone asked you why? Could you say, “I’m doing this for Jesus’ sake?” Some things can never be done in the name of Jesus. The next question is related to this one.
Can I do it for God’s Glory?
1 Corinthians 10:31– “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” God can be glorified in many ways. Eric Liddell honored God by how he ran as an Olympic athlete and as a Missionary to China.
If your answer is no to any of these three questions, it’s time to put on your running shoes. You are facing a temptation–a test of your faith and faithfulness. It’s time to flee!