When you are tempted, he (God) will show you a way out so that you can endure.~1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
Stop. Sniff. Stop again. Sniff again. Caught. Sniffing temptation was her downfall.
We call our little Chihuahua-terrier mix our cordless dust buster. Wherever we happen to sit to eat, she positions herself underneath our feet so she can retrieve any dropped crumbs. She particularly enjoyed standing beneath our daughter’s middle son when my wife kept him. Pig Pen, we call him—and for obvious reasons. The way he eats causes him to leave many crumbs behind. Sometimes, whole chunks of food. But, of course, our little mutt didn’t complain.
Our daughter’s two oldest boys usually ate snacks—and sometimes meals—on our love seat or my wife’s recliner. Mine was off-limits—unless I was not home to monitor their activity. Our little vacuum cleaner stood guard by each one, hoping a crumb would fall. When the boys finished and got up to throw their trash away, our little mutt quickly went to work, sucking up every crumb they left behind.
One day, as I edited a book manuscript for an author and my wife sat at the table working on making items for a baby shower, we heard a whine—our dog’s standard signal when she wants to go out.
“Let Rita out,” my wife said.
“She’s not at the back door,” I replied.
“Well, I heard her whine,” she said.
I had, too. Then it dawned on me where she was. She had been there before. Under the love seat. Trapped. How she got there when the ends were not reclined, I never figured out. But once she got under, she couldn’t get out without me reclining one or both ends.
On this occasion, reclining didn’t work. I kneeled on my aching knees and saw she had wedged herself in a small section. Springs and bars surrounded her. Rescuing her meant lifting one end of the recliner off the ground.
She ran out, but did she learn her lesson? No. As soon as I put the recliner back down, she scooted under to see if she had missed any crumbs.
Leftover food tempts our little dog. Not necessarily a bad thing, unless she gets in a predicament under the recliner. But temptations are not reserved for my Rita. Paul says they come to believers and unbelievers alike. The difference is that God assists the believer when we turn to Him.
Temptations are not sin—but can quickly lead there. The good news is that God controls them and will not let them intensify to the point we can’t overcome with His help. Emphasis on “with His help.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.~James 4:7 NLT
Regardless of the nature or intensity of the temptation, God has an escape route available, if we’ll ask. The temptation may smell good—as it does for our little pooch—but it will lead to trouble every time. Victory over them, on the other hand, strengthens us for the next attack.
Stopping for a quick sniff when temptation comes might be okay, but choosing to eat is another story. Better yet, ask God to keep you from sniffing in the first place.
Are you avoiding temptations?
Father God, give me the strength not to stop and sniff when temptation comes. In Jesus’ name, amen.