Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Temptation in the Wilderness

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

When we are in the wilderness, the temptation will always be stronger.  Like seeing a mirage in the distance, when we are in a desperate place, we will begin to see what we want. The devil is all too happy to lay a snare before us.  When we are hungry for attention, tired of our life, feeling unappreciated, we will reach for the nearest thing that we believe will satisfy us.  Satan will always tempt us in the wilderness because he knows we are weak in the wilderness. But God always provides a way that is better if we will look to Him – A way of escape.  God always has a plan to meet the needs of His people.  
The place we go to escape can become a trap.  A bad relationship, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping…These are substitutes for God, love, belonging, and family and are no part of what God has planned for us.  The need is met – it works for a little while, but then you are looking for another escape route, and dragging a new problem with you.  
When we are in the wilderness, God always provides a way out, but we have to look to Him to find it. God’s way out of the wilderness you are in will never be the way you would choose, or even a way that is visible to us.  He doesn’t do things the way we do things.  His ways are not our ways.  The Children of Israel were running from the Egyptians because they had fled Egypt and now the Egyptians decided they wanted them back as their slaves.  The Children of Israel came to what seemed like a dead end – The Red Sea.  There was nowhere to go, and The Red Sea definitely did not look like the way out. It looked like a watery grave.  If they hadn’t followed in faith and stepped into the sea, they surely would have died at the hand of the Egyptians.  
What we do in the wilderness determines how we stay enslaved or move into freedom.  Many battles will be fought in the wildernesses of our lives.  Sometimes God may deliver us from something and what do we do?  We turn right back to it again. When the Children of Israel had been rescued by escaping the Egyptians through the Red Sea, things got a little tough out in the wilderness and what did they want to do? They wanted to go back to Egypt.  Sometimes we want to go back or run to things that are easy but wrong.  We turn back to what is familiar but has no hope, no perspective.  It is sickeningly comfortable for a while. That leaves us running around in circles – right in the wilderness we are so desperately trying to escape.  
Battles in the Wilderness
We are no match for our battles, especially the ones the come up in the wilderness.  – only Jesus is equipped to fight our battles.  He never intends for us to do it.  He intends for us to take cover in Him and let Him fight for us. If you are in a wilderness today, I urge you to surrender to God and let him take control.  Let Him fight the battle for you and help you to see His plan for you outside the wilderness, as well as His escape route to get you out of the wilderness you are in. 

And Moses said to the people, Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.  Exodus 14:13-14

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