On Belay

You look at the yawning chasm, the thin rope bridge and think, “No way!” But, it turns out, there is a way. Rope courses are designed to show how much more you can do than you thought possible.  You can muster up the courage to try if you trust the safety harness.   They have you “on belay.” The instructor shouts, “Go ahead; I got you!  You can do it”  And if you trust him, you just might screw up your courage and give it a shot.  If you fall, the harness keeps you safe (hopefully…).

With that in mind, read this:

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)

A big reason people fall from rope courses is their fear that they can’t make it.  When they trust the harness and step out in confidence, they discover they can make it. In a similar way, in our struggle against various temptations, frequently the belief that we will fail becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  But when you trust Jesus, His Holy Spirit lives within you. I’m a very real sense you are “on belay. ”  In that condition, God may allow you to experience temptation, but only in a measure you can withstand.  The trick is to trust His “harness” will truly keep you safe.  Trust Him, and with each step across the temptation, focus on how God has provided a way of escape.

Notice, the “escape” is not from the temptation, but from failing.  The “escape” allows you to withstand the temptation.  To endure it.  To not fall.

Next time you face that familiar temptation – the one that has come to your mind right now, the one that has caused you to fall so many times in the past – picture God calling out to you, “Go ahead; I’ve got you on belay.  You can do it!  Trust Me!”  Then screw up your courage and give it a shot…

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