JUST SAY NO
Recently a fifty-ish man walked into a U.S. Bank in San Diego and handed the teller a note demanding money. The teller reportedly read the note, looked at the subject, and replied, “No.” Stymied, the would-be thief turned and walked out the door. Police are reviewing the security recordings in order to identify and catch the man.
Of course, evil isn’t always resisted so easily. When we repeatedly “cave in” to a particular temptation we can begin to think victory over it is impossible. After all, who are we, up against the devil, who has been at this temptation business since long before any of us were here? Comedian Flip Wilson used to excuse his moral failures with the excuse, “The devil made me do it!”
But the truth is that victory over temptation may be easier than you think. James 4:7 counsels, “…Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That sounds like “just say no,” doesn’t it? Then there is Paul’s promise that “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Now, that term “way of escape” pictures a mountain pass or a way out of a defile. So no, it won’t necessarily be an easy escape, but it will be there. You just need to claim it. And, of course, you need to desire it; when you set yourself up for failure, don’t expect God to miraculously rescue you.
How are you at just saying “no”?
Dr. Paul Ratzlaff 12.10.2017