Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.
Fall back, spring forward. Daylight Saving Time, we all love it right? I’ve seen several people writing about how difficult this last week has been since Daylight Saving Time has ended. For me this last week has been great! I’ve gotten back that hour of sleep, finally, that the government stole from me back in the spring when we all moved our clock forward an hour. It is so much easier for me to fall back, to have another hour; than it is to spring forward, and lose an hour. (You can find out much more about Daylight Saving Time at this website http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/)
Spiritually it is the same way, in that it is so much easier to go backwards, than it is to move forward in our spiritual lives. Spiritually, we are either moving forward, or going backwards – we are never standing still. I once preached a series of messages about springing forward in God’s power. Only in His power can we grow as Christians; only through His power, His resources, can we become more conformed to the image of Christ. Without God’s power, without His resources, His guidance, we will fall back, and it is very easy to do. If we want to keep from falling back, and instead move forward in our spiritual lives; it will take some action on our part, it will take some effort.
Why do we want to move forward spiritually? It should be obvious, but for some it may not be. In the Old Testament, after the Children of Israel escaped the slavery of Egypt, we are told that God was not pleased with them. In 1 Corinthians 10:5-7 we are told, “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them.” God was not pleased with most of them because, why? Because when the twelve spies went into the Promised Land, ten of them came back with a bad report. God was not pleased with them when they murmured and complained about the manna, and not having meat to eat. God was not pleased with them when they made a golden idol while Moses was up on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments. God was not pleased with them for their sexual immorality.
The example here tells us who are living today something about what we should want to avoid. That something is this: we do not want to NOT please God, we do not want our lives to be unpleasing to God. Let me be clear, I do not think that God will send a plague of snakes among us like He did the Israelites. I do not think that He will literally make us wander in a real desert until we drop dead, like a whole generation of Israelites did. What I really think is that we do not want to find out what God will do when are lives are not pleasing to Him. Most of all, we do not want to miss out on His blessings because we have failed to please Him.
It comes down to our hearts. Do you have a desire to please God with your life? Or, do you really just not care, whether you do, or not? If you want to please God, then you will be able to keep from falling back, and move forward in your walk with Him.
(Without God’s power, without His resources, His guidance, we will fall back, and it is very easy to do.)