The Way of Escape
In my last post (Everything is Permissible), I mentioned that God had been speaking to me about verses I’ve known, but opening my eyes to more of their meaning. So true that the Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12).
Another verse I’m getting new insight into is 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common
to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I always pictured God’s “way of escape” as a physical one. At times, this is the case. You must physically remove yourself from a situation (i.e. alcoholic leaves the bar).
There are TWO OTHER “WAYS OF ESCAPE” that I am learning.
1) Through TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY – Letting people into your lives. Sharing with someone the good, the bad AND the ugly.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
A recent example of this for me was two weeks ago when I went on a dinner date with my husband. In Everything is Permissible post, I had chosen to forfeit my large and second food portions as an intentional sacrifice for God. While I had been doing well, I hadn’t been to a restaurant yet where I am really tempted. Truthfully, I was scared to go because I didn’t want to fail. Fortunately, I CHOSE to be transparent and vulnerable with my husband… so I explained it to him and he offered to help. A neat thing happened… I only ate half of my meal and I was truly full – did not want another bite! That NEVER, I mean NEVER happens!!! I believe God blessed me that night for my obedience to ask for help from my husband AND Him.
2) Through YOUR MIND. Did you know your mind is constantly in a dialogue? At this very moment, there is a dialogue going on inside of your head. Do you recognize it? What is it saying about you? Your circumstances? Other people? This self-talk will either bring life or death to any situation. Which is it for you right now? If it is death, don’t throw in the towel. Did you know that you can CHOOSE to change your mind to speak words of life instead of death?
Deuteronomy 30:19 I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live
2 Cor 10:5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, <sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>dwell on these things.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
There are millions of self help books, sites, speakers, etc. out there trying to motivate us for change. While there efforts are noble, the change is temporary. Why? Because TRUE CHANGE CAN ONLY COME FROM THE WORD OF GOD. (2 Cor 5:17; John 8:31-32)
We must change our self dialogue
to overcome temptation.
Going back to the example of my food struggle, I must wake in the morning and renew my mind daily with God’s word (Romans 12:2).
Instead of speaking the negative (death),
“It’s not fair that I cannot eat that. Dieting is the worst. I feel so deprived. I am so weak. I am so fat. It’s hopeless, I am never going to change”
…. CHOOSE to switch gears and speak Philippians 4:8 (life), “I can eat it because everything is permissible, but not beneficial (1 Cor 6:12). This is not a diet, it’s choosing to live a healthier lifestyle to fulfill my calling. I feel EMPOWERED because I’m growing closer to Him and when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor 12:10). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and I’m one step closer to victory because I was made for more! I can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13) and I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)”
So… in what area is your self dialogue speaking death? Identify it and choose a positive Truth to replace it. If you feel you don’t know enough of God’s word… recognize that’s Satan trying to keep you from this powerful tool. Here’s my secret – Google. It helps me find all the verses I’m looking for. If you remember a portion of a verse, type it in OR type in “verses on (subject)” and it will get you there. Stand up for yourself and start living out your ways of escape!