“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” —1 Corinthians 10:13.
“I’ll go in if you will.”
“Maybe we should go home, it’s getting late.”
“Chicken!” You are scared aren’t you?”
“Okay, let’s do this.”
The two friends push through a wrought-iron gate that leads to a decayed Victorian mansion in front of them. There is a sudden wind bringing in ominous clouds. So begins every haunted-house scene in every horror movie ever made. We collectively whisper, “Don’t do it!” as they open the door and walk in through cobweb-littered halls and rooms. We know what’s coming. Someone or something will jump, fall, or fly out of a closet, through a window, from behind a door and drag them to the basement. We know it will not end well.
We are not so different. We are supposed to flee from things that can harm us, yet we have a hard time walking away from things we know are not good for us. There are several places in the Bible where we are commanded to flee, to turn tail and run from an enemy far more vicious than anything lurking in a horror movie mansion.
“Flee” is a strong word. The Bible does not tell you to amble, meander, lope, or trot from your sin. It tells you to flee. Fleeing involves effort. It involves speed. You flee when you need to find and experience safety from a threat. When you know the mansion has a bunch of axes in the shed, you don’t go near the shed. When there are chainsaws in the horror movie garage, you don’t go near the garage, in fact you flee because it is too dangerous to remain where you are.
If you know certain situations will bring you into temptation take preventive action. The most effective way to overcome temptation is to avoid it altogether. The mature Christian knows when to turn tail and run. If you have a problem with the wrong crowd, pick a different crowd. If you have trouble with alcohol, stay away from places that serve alcohol. If you watch the wrong TV programs, change the channel. But if you find yourself in a sticky situation – get out! Don’t just walk away — run. You don’t try to resist it, run away.
Fortunately for believers, the Holy Spirit takes the horror out of the horror show. He is a blazing torch we carry into the haunted house, and he ferrets out the monsters. No sin escapes his searching eye. We must simply trust and follow Him.
- What danger might there be for us if we do not flee from sin?
- What weapons do we need in order to combat the enemy of sin?
- When does one flee from sin?