When You are Tempted

bejeweled 700

I’ve been playing this stupid game on my iPhone. It’s called Cascade and it’s one of those match three jewels to advance kind of games – but it has a bunch of twists. Sometimes you have to not only match colors but break a certain number of boulders or stone walls. Sometimes you have to free jewels from behind bars or in boxes. Sometimes you have to disable bombs. The one that specifically has me inspired to write this post, though, is the level where vines creep in and encapsulate colors. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. It just happens. Sometimes on one side of the screen. Sometimes on the other. There is almost always a way to free them, but you have to be strategic and judicious with your moves. Sometimes you want to go for the “big match” and stick a blue in with the big massive sea of blue in the right upper corner but if you look closely, there are two blues hidden in the lower left, covered in vines but with an open spot beside them that welcomes freedom.

It makes me think about sin. How we can be going along, having what appears to be (and maybe even is): success, meaningful service, fun, etc. and, if we’re not very careful, sin can creep in and ensnare us – or, at the very least, tempt us. If you are a follower of Jesus (and even if you’re not but you’re human), this is an absolute promise. But here’s the reality and the good news: Jesus said “when you are tempted (reality), God will provide a way out (good news). What I wonder though is this: how often do we take time to see it?

God promises that he will provide a way out but that doesn’t mean that we will always take it – or even acknowledge it.

First, we have to be willing to admit when we are in tempting situations (no “playing dumb” pass on this one, folks). Second, we have to be willing to see and admit the existence of “a way out” opportunities (and, yes, God loves us so much that He often provides even more than one. He wants us to make the right choice that badly). And third, we have to take Him up on His offer out.

So, here’s our challenge (starting with me): Next time you know in your knower you are doing some questionable thing, pause. Scan the board. Are you looking for a quick win (but I waaaaant to….no one will know…God will forgive me… – insert justification of choice here) when there is a more strategic move that will advance how your eternity plays out. Jesus knew we would be tempted because even He Himself was tempted. He gets it. And wants us to play (and pray!) through it.

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 10:13


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