Out of Control, Heading Downhill
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
My friend, Bill, was used to handling heavy equipment, but he wasn't used to what happened that particular day. He had his trailer hitched to his dump truck. And Bill was driving his backhoe onto the trailer. One small problem - sort of a physics problem. As the weight of Bill and his backhoe pressed on the back of the trailer, the rear wheels of the dump truck were suddenly lifted up into the air which means no brakes on a downhill slope yet! So try to picture this: this man riding on a backhoe which is riding on a trailer, which is hitched to a truck that is heading straight downhill out-of-control. I said, "Bill, what did you say?" His answer was pretty simple, "Oh no! Oh no!!" He had absolutely no control. So how did he live to tell about it? Well, he threw that backhoe in reverse and backed off as fast as he could. Balance was restored and the truck and trailer - well, they jackknifed. And I'm not even making any of this up!
That had to be one scary feeling, man, no brakes, racing downhill, out-of-control. It's a feeling too many of us know all too well when we're faced with one of those temptations that pull at us so hard. In fact, someone is listening today who is losing their brakes, spiritually, morally. You're losing control; you're headed for a crash.
I guess you're in the greatest danger if you're slipping and you can't even see it. Satan seldom destroys us through explosion; he does it through erosion - just slowly getting you to compromise a little bit more, to lower your guard, to get closer and closer to the flame. It's getting harder and harder maybe to resist what you know is wrong. Your brakes are slipping. And you can be sure the Biblical equation will prove tragically correct in your life. James 1:15, "After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
If you're starting to lose control, if your downhill slide is accelerating, you have got to do what my friend did to save himself - back out fast! Our word for today from the Word of God provides a powerful example of the action that is going to save you a lot of scars, a lot of shame. Joseph has been taken as a slave to Egypt where he earns the top position in the household of a powerful official. But one day he is faced with the mega-temptation of a beautiful woman just offering herself to him. It was his master's wife!
In Genesis 39, beginning with verse 7, the Bible says, "After a while, his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, 'Come to bed with me!' But he refused." That was hard enough, but this lady was there every day! And God tells us the very practical secret for putting on the brakes. "And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her." Joseph remained pure by totally backing away from the source of his temptation.
That's what it's going to take for you, too. Think about what it is or who it is that's pulling you away from God's best - that's weakening your resistance to sin. You have to back out fast - out of that relationship, out of that group of people, out of that music, out of those things you've been reading or watching, out of those internet sites, out of those fantasies. You've got to start fleeing the evil that you have been flirting with; avoiding the temptation that you've been reaching for, because it's all downhill from here. A crash is where this goes unless you back out now.
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.