“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” —C. S. Lewis
When I was playing basketball in college, we had the opportunity to take a trip to Europe to play some international teams. Our travels took us to Amsterdam. I was completely ignorant to the reputation of the city and apparently my coach was too because he gave us a night off to “enjoy the great city of Amsterdam.”
Walking the dark streets with some of my teammates, we happened across the red light district—a clean, legal, organized, and repulsive venue for soliciting and selecting prostitutes. I glanced into a large window pane and was mortified to see an almost naked young woman enticing me towards her. Every hormone-injected cell in my young body immediately snapped to attention. It was a recipe for disaster: young American athletes, the deepest of fleshly desires calling.... But in that moment, something inside took control. My eyes reflexively glanced down at the cobblestone street and stayed there. I had memorized 1 Corinthians 10:13 as a child and the Holy Spirit instantly brought that verse to mind:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. —1 Corinthians 10:13.
Out loud, for the benefit of my equally terrified and tantalized teammates, I started to quote the verse. “Eyes down boys!” I shouted. “Remember, no temptation has seized us except that which is common to man…. Keep walking; follow me…. God is faithful; He won’t let this go too far and He will provide a way out for us. Look for it guys; where is it?” I looked up and saw a cross-street leading to a quiet residential street. Recognizing it as our “way out”, we sprinted for the safety.
We are constantly bombarded with temptation in this world. I get shivers down my spine thinking about how I could have messed up my life that night. God says that he will give us a way out when we need it, and because He is in us, He Himself will walk us through it. That night, I learned He is able to uphold us. It’s a not a matter of if He will uphold us, it’s only a matter of if we will allow Him to do it.
Dear Father, thank You for Your divine protection and the support that upholds us from the inside out. Please keep your commandments in my mind. Give me the discernment to see temptation for what it is. Give me the wisdom and humility to allow You to move in me so that I’ll take the way of escape You have already provided. Amen.
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