I recently watched an interview with Beth Moore. She encouraged young authors with stories from her own journey and shared examples of how she listens for the Holy Spirit, chooses what thoughts are best for a quick tweet or a blog post, or what material might be the making of a book to be published. She was delightful and engaging all-around, but my favorite moment came at the end of the interview when she was asked about what she was working on and how viewers could support her.
She quickly shared about the book she has coming out (The audiobook version is free on Audible right now). and the Bible study she hopes to release in September. Afterwards was eager to ask specifically for prayer. She shared that the most important thing to her is that she surrenders to ministry because she loves Jesus — and that’s how she wants to go home. “I want to make it to the finish line, that nobody hijacked that — that nothing hijacked that.”
It was a precious and beautiful inspiration to me to see this woman of the faith who has spoken to millions, published more words than can be counted and sown into so many hearts for the kingdom of God, asking for prayer that she would finish the race she began, holding tightly, faithful to Jesus.
I’ve often heard that pride is at the root of every sin. I feel certain humility is the antidote — because if we don’t believe we can fall — well, buddy, look out.
Right now? So many of us are in hard places. We’re facing the fear of a significant illness for ourselves or our loved ones — and so much more. We’re facing the fear of missing paychecks. We’re facing the fear of our children falling behind in school while we attempt to make education happen at home. The list goes on.
It’s easy to feel pretty scared right now, right?
And let me tell you from personal experience, when we are scared or hurting or facing hard things, we’re at a much greater risk for falling into temptations we would never consider when life feels easier and breezier.
In Proverbs 7, Solomon tells this story about this young man who’s really not looking for trouble — but he’s not really looking for a way out of trouble either — Wisdom is not the sister he talks to and Insight is not his BFF.
It’d make a good story for Hollywood — and if the story wanted to lend itself to telling the truth, it would start with this seduction scene, and then the seductress would go on her way, and we’d watch this young man’s life start to spiral out of control, because the path he chose is like turning on to a street hoping to find a different route to where you want to go — but completely ignoring the clearly posted “Dead End” sign right at the top of the road.
Consider this: we’ve all inherited a sinful nature. Not just quirks and opinions and voting tendencies and denominational preferences. We have all inherited a nature that wants to follow temptation when it waits for us in the street. It comes in many forms. Makes us feel good about bad choices. Even uses religion to justify many vices.
What hope is there for that kid who got caught in that trap? What hope is there for all us sinners who can follow a million different paths, ignoring the Dead End sign at the top of the street?
It takes a humble soul to know it: There, but for the grace of God, go I.
But it’s absolutely by grace that any of us are saved from any of the traps and snares of the enemy of our souls. And what a dangerous trap — perhaps the most dangerous trap — pride can be.
Read Solomon’s words here with a humble heart, and do exactly what Jesus tells us to do: make “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” a daily prayer.
Many a greater woman than I has fallen prey and gotten caught in a trap of one kind or another. Walked a dead end street looking for God knows what.
The Good Word puts it this way in 1 Peter 5: Be sober, be vigilant, because your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
This — the place of temptation — is a powerful place to be most honest. Years ago, I was struggling with a temptation that wouldn’t leave my thoughts alone, and it troubled me that it was troubling me. I knew what the right thing to do was, but fear of somehow falling meant this struggle was never far from my thoughts. I called a friend I trusted and said, “This is going to sound weird, but I feel like I need to confess this thing I’m struggling with to you.”
The moment the words were out of my mouth, it felt like an arrow of the enemy that was whizzing straight toward my head had fallen to the ground.
There is so much power in the secrecy and shame of temptation. The enemy holds the upper hand in the darkness — but he cannot stand when we bring things into the light.
This is why we so deeply need wisdom, and why we look to the one who endured every temptation without sin — and we trust Him to take us by the hand, and lead us always toward the path that leads to life. We lean into Jesus, and lean on the friends that will help us walk the walk we want to talk.
Lean hard into Jesus today, my friends. This hard season is not forever. God will see us through this, too! And we will see how He worked it out for our good when we get to the other side.
I sure hope this was an encouragement to you today! Could you use some more encouragement during this crazy pandemic? If so, you can subscribe and never miss my (weekly) posts by clicking right here. I’ll do a happy dance, and you’ll get encouraging words in your inbox once a week! (I’ll also send you an awesome Meal Plan Step-by-Step Guide… Definitely a win/win! Hint: I Instant Pot like nobody’s business.
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