A brother whom I knew fairly well and thought a lot of was “suddenly” overtaken in a grave sin. This brought to mind some verses in 1 Corinthians 10. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (v. 6). Then again in verse 11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” We must remember that no matter how shocking an event, God has a use for it and can use it to warn others.
We all face challenges from time to time, and sometimes we lose the warmth in our Christian lives. The “care of this world” (Matt. 13:22) may choke out the good seed and make our Christian lives unfruitful. The trends of the world may attract us, and we start to think like the world, and we lose our relationship with God. On the other hand, we may try to live so close to God that the evil one can’t touch us, only to find it is our own righteousness we are trying to live by, and we are failing to give up ourselves. In any of these cases and more, we will come to a place where we choose to serve God or continue to serve self.
However, many of us have a desire to serve God but still want to hold on to some little thing. Thus begins a life of bondage as we try to “serve God and mammon.” Nobody can live that way very long. We may decide that Christian life isn’t worth living and live to the full extent of our own desires. This may give us a certain “free” feeling, because we are not in between, but we will lose God’s grace in our lives. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). We may also come to an end with ourselves and commit everything back to God to gain peace and freedom that cannot be compared.
If we cannot make a choice, it will likely drag us down, and we will become depressed, which we may not realize if we are not watchful. Life may also move along, and we think that not much is wrong, while slowly we slip away from God. In either case, we may hardly realize we are moving away from God until the evil one “suddenly” takes us in a moment of weakness, and we find ourselves unable to resist the temptation to a serious sin.
We need to be very watchful. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). We cannot say we’ll never let it go that far. If it was not for God’s keeping power, the devil could this very hour make us do something we thought we would never do. We don’t know the power the evil one has until it’s too late. If we have an area we know is weak, we need to be particularly careful and open to our brethren.
God is, however, there to keep us. We can have faith in Him, and He will help us overcome. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
One evening I was down, thinking of all my struggles and failings. I begged God for His mercy. At one point, it seemed like the evil one’s presence was there, telling me I was powerless. He suggested that I would sin grievously that night, even though I had been entertaining no such thought. I really was powerless. But God wasn’t: all at once, with more clearness, I thought, than at my conversion, I felt God’s presence and forgiveness for my sins. I realized once again that only because of God’s forgiveness and grace I could be free before Him. This is something to which all who have been born again can relate.
If this can help anyone, God be praised. Read all of 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, and let God speak more than this writing.