This is a great year for celebration, too, because Cord of Three will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. So, what do we celebrate first? Our awesome clients? Our amazing support staff? Our wonderful volunteers? Our generous donors? Our caring counselors? Not yet. We are certainly going to celebrate all of these things in the coming year, but first, we want to celebrate Jesus. It is through His death and resurrection that we have reason to celebrate, so we want to take this time to praise Him for making us more than overcomers.
Through Jesus, we can have victory in every area of our lives, and that includes victory over sin and temptation! 1 John 1:9 (KJV) says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Isn’t that amazing? He takes the broken, sinful, ugly parts of our lives, and completely cleanses us, making us like new.
Not only does He take away the sin, but He also gives us the ability to resist temptation so that we do not have to go back to that sinful lifestyle ever again. 1 John 4:4 (KJV) states, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) says “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Sometimes temptation seems overwhelming, but these verses tell us that we have what it takes, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to overcome these temptations.
Temptation is not a sin. Temptation is just the vehicle that takes us to sin. However, with every temptation God makes a way of escape, so we can choose not to get into that vehicle! Research says that an urge (or temptation) only lasts about 15 minutes. That is not long at all, so if you seek the way of escape, that urge to give in will fade away shortly thereafter.
What does an escape look like? It can be all kinds of things. A walk to the mailbox, a worship song, doing a simple chore, reading a verse, devotional, or positive affirmation. All of these are simple ways of escape. For me recently, it was a phone call from a friend. I have been on a quest to make healthier choices, and one day last week, I just really wanted some fries from McDonalds. As I pulled into the drive through, I had the thought, “You are going to feel bad and be upset with yourself if you do this.” Do you know what I did? I got into line anyway. Then, my phone rang, and it was a friend from out of town that knows I have been trying to make healthier choices. I didn’t want to admit that I was in line at McDonald’s, so I got out of line and drove home! It was my way of escape, and I chose it!
Because of Jesus, we have victory over temptation. It doesn’t matter if the temptation is as harmless as staying up too late or as dangerous as binging on alcohol – God will make a way of escape, and because the One who lives inside of you is greater than he who lives in this world, you can overcome it! In this year of celebration, do not be tempted to go back into those areas you have already battled and rebuilt. Seek out the way of escape and let’s celebrate our victory